What Forgiveness Really Means To Our Mental Health

April 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured

I just came across the below post by Marina Cantacuzino.  In it she discusses the nature of forgiveness and the dangers of forgiving too easily.

One of the definitions I found on the web for forgiveness is: “Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and/or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.”

I believe the process of forgiveness starts with an internal journey which results in acceptance and then translates into forgiveness.  I believe this to be a process that’s necessary for the victim to survive and to move forward.

I know most people define forgiveness as an act from one person towards another, but I think most importantly is the act of oneself towards oneself.

Without taking the inner-journey to find the strength to accept and release, we will spend our lives having given the power away to the perpetrator.  If we want to move forward we must let go.

Forgiveness is not a simple act.  But an act of great wisdom and strength.  It is the culmination of act of love by us towards ourselves.

I will never compare myself to others who have suffered horrendous crimes perpetrated against themselves, but I am someone who has had her own share of injustices.

In my 20s I lived with a very abusive man.  When I finally had the courage to leave his parting words were: You’ll never amount to anything without me.  I don’t know if I have amounted to anything by his standards, but I know that today I live my own life with plenty of love and freedom.

I had to do a lot of work to forgive him for the violence he instilled in my life.  It took me years, but eventually I realized spending more time being angry at him only continued the violence I had so courageously left behind.  That realization was the result of my inner-journey where I got learn that my life and the quality of it was my responsibility.  It doesn’t matter that I have never heard “I’m sorry” because I don’t need his consent to let go of my anger. And it doesn’t mean I’ll be calling him anytime soon to have coffee.  It means I love myself enough to move forward unencumbered by anger and regrets.

Please read on…

The Dangers of Forgiving Too Easily

By Marina Cantacuzino

The Archbishop of Canterbury has been saying some interesting things about forgiveness this week. He told the Radio Times: “I think the 20th century saw such a level of atrocity that it has focused our minds very, very hard on the dangers of forgiving too easily… because if forgiveness is easy it is as if the suffering doesn’t really matter”. In this Easter message, he states that it’s not fair to expect victims of abuse, rape or torture to turn the other cheek with ease.is easy it is as if the suffering doesn’t really matter”…Continued

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