Can I learn to forgive?

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Forgiveness has been scientifically proven to decrease depression, increase hopefulness, decrease anger, increase self-confidence, health relationships, decrease stress and physical symptoms of illness, decreased heart disease and increased immune function. Forgiveness is a gift we give to ourselves that helps us live more peace-filled, healthier lives. There are many excellent books on the subject to assist with and facilitate the process of forgiving the unforgiveable.

Dr. Luskin is the author of the book Forgive for Good, and a world renowned researcher on the subject of forgiveness. His scientific studies demonstrate the healing power and health benefits from the process of forgiving others for the actual or perceived transgressions against us or those we love. Dr. Luskin was the lead researcher on a study in Ireland which included individuals from both sides of Northern Ireland’s civil war. These individuals had all lost a loved one due to this civil conflict.

In his groundbreaking book, “Forgive for Good”, he outlines what forgiveness is—and, what it is not:

  • “Forgiveness is for you and not the offender”
  • “Forgiveness is about your healing and not about the people who hurt you”
  • “Forgiveness is taking responsibility for how you feel”
  • “Forgiveness is a trainable skill – just like learning to throw a ball”
  • “Forgiveness is a choice”
  • “Forgiveness is not condoning unkindness or poor behavior”
  • “Forgiveness is not forgetting that something painful has happened”
  • “Forgiveness does not mean reconciling with the offender”
  • “Forgiveness does not mean giving up your feelings”

So then what does forgiveness mean? Forgiveness means being willing to find new ways to experience “justice” and to choose not be victimized by other’s choices or actions. It can also mean experiencing an event from a different perspective which allows us to reclaim our life from the depths of our suffering, loss or despair.

Changing Behavior: Immediately Transform Your Relationships with Easy-to-Learn, Proven Communication Skills

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Changing Behavior: Immediately Transform Your Relationships with Easy-to-Learn, Proven Communication Skills

FREE CHAPTER DOWNLOAD at www.changingbehavior.org AWARD WINNER 2013 International Book Awards --- WINNER 2012 Indie Book Awards --- AWARD WINNER 2012 USA Best Book Awards ---AWARDED - 5 STARS...
Karyn Hall
Psychology

Yes you can learn to forgive. If you are struggling to forgive, then part of the process is looking at the reason you are resisting forgiving. Maybe you believe that if you forgive then the person "gets off" without any consequences for what he or she did. Maybe your anger feels protective, that you need to stay angry to protect yourself. Maybe forgiving makes you feel too vulnerable. Maybe it seems that forgiveness is like saying what the person did is okay. Staying angry may seem like justice and that forgiving means that is no justice. When you know the reason you don't want to forgive will help you address the issue and make the best decision for you.

Forgiveness is more about you than the other person. Carrying around anger about the past limits the love and joy you can experience in the present and keeps the past in your life.  

Yes. Forgiving is a process. Start by realizing you are in charge of your emotions. You can't control what others do, but you can control how you react to their actions. You don't have to confront the other person to forgive him - and you don't have to forget. In fact, remembering a hurt can keep you from being in a situation where you're hurt again.

Continue Learning about Emotional Health

Emotional Health

How well you handle stress, anger, relationships, work, family life-it all factors into your emotional health. Finding balance in life-as well as peace of mind-helps us cope with life's ups and downs. Take time to explore new ways ...

to find stress relief, and to release anxiety, and unhappiness. Counseling can help-as can a gratitude journal.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.