Wednesday, April 2, 2008


hope after reading this, we could learn to FORGIVE, FORGET AND MOVING ON from there...

The Mayo Clinic writes that it is better to forgive and forget than to hold grudges.

Beyond the personal anger and resentment that grudges cause, it's also bad for your health: it causes high levels of stress, high blood pressure, more anxiety, and poor anger-management skills. Instead, commit to forgive and find compassion, even if forgiveness does not yield reconciliation.

Recognize the value moving forward adds to the quality of life. One who has finally forgiven someone will be more at peace, even if it is necessary to forgive again and again when memories trigger unhappiness. Ultimately, looking beyond the bad will bring much joy, and that is why it helps to achieve that much-needed closure.
Forgiveness: How to let go of grudges and bitterness
When someone you care about hurts you, you can hold on to anger, resentment and thoughts of revenge or embrace forgiveness and move forward.

Katherine M. Piderman, Ph.D.

Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of another. Your mother criticized your parenting skills. Your friend gossiped about you. Your partner had an affair. These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness and even vengeance.

But when you don't practice forgiveness, you may be the one who pays most dearly. By embracing forgiveness, you embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy. Here, Katherine M. Piderman, Ph.D., staff chaplain at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., discusses forgiveness and how it can lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

What is forgiveness?
There's no one definition of forgiveness. But in general, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentments and thoughts of revenge. Forgiveness is the act of untying yourself from thoughts and feelings that bind you to the offense committed against you. This can reduce the power these feelings otherwise have over you, so that you can a live freer and happier life in the present. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.

Why do we hold grudges and become resentful and unforgiving?
The people most likely to hurt us are those closest to us — our partners, friends, siblings and parents. When we're hurt by someone we love and trust — whether it's a lie, betrayal, rejection, abuse or insult — it can be extremely difficult to overcome. And even minor offenses can turn into huge conflicts.

When you experience hurt or harm from someone's actions or words, whether this is intended or not, you may begin experiencing negative feelings such as anger, confusion or sadness, especially when it's someone close to you. These feelings may start out small. But if you don't deal with them quickly, they can grow bigger and more powerful. They may even begin to crowd out positive feelings. Grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and hostility take root when you dwell on hurtful events or situations, replaying them in your mind many times.

Soon, you may find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. You may feel trapped and may not see a way out. It's very hard to let go of grudges at this point and instead you may remain resentful and unforgiving.

How do I know it's time to try to embrace forgiveness?
When we hold on to pain, old grudges, bitterness and even hatred, many areas of our lives can suffer. When we're unforgiving, it's we who pay the price over and over. We may bring our anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. Our lives may be so wrapped up in the wrong that we can't enjoy the present. Other signs that it may be time to consider forgiveness include:

Dwelling on the events surrounding the offense
Hearing from others that you have a chip on your shoulder or that you're wallowing in self-pity
Being avoided by family and friends because they don't enjoy being around you
Having angry outbursts at the smallest perceived slights
Often feeling misunderstood
Drinking excessively, smoking or using drugs to try to cope with your pain
Having symptoms of depression or anxiety
Being consumed by a desire for revenge or punishment
Automatically thinking the worst about people or situations
Regretting the loss of a valued relationship
Feeling like your life lacks meaning or purpose
Feeling at odds with your religious or spiritual beliefs
The bottom line is that you may often feel miserable in your current life.

How do I reach a state of forgiveness?
Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change. It can be difficult and it can take time. Everyone moves toward forgiveness a little differently. One step is to recognize the value of forgiveness and its importance in our lives at a given time. Another is to reflect on the facts of the situation, how we've reacted, and how this combination has affected our lives, our health and our well-being. Then, as we are ready, we can actively choose to forgive the one who has offended us. In this way, we move away from our role as a victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in our lives.

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