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Forgiveness can heal! It is one of the most brutal things that one attempts and succeeds at. However, it feels like torture especially when the person you want to forgive shows no remorse. It is very important to understand that true forgiveness cannot come through without addressing the issue at its root. It backfires if forgiveness is forced upon yourself as that’s the ideal way people believe helps you heal. Also, forgiveness is a process that helps you heal and it’s more about you then it’s about the other person.
How forgiveness helps you heal?
The actual process of forgiveness involves the hormone oxytocin, which is the ‘feel good’ hormone that is generated by taking care of oneself and by feeling loved. When we work on ourselves, oxytocin is released in good amounts. Also, when we work on ourselves, we increase our self-worth and self-love. In such a good internal space, where we have healed from our wounds and trauma, forgiveness comes as the next step of letting go of the past.
In other words, oxytocin calms down the anxious triggers of the amygdala (part of the brain responsible for ‘fight-or-flight’ response). and forgiveness becomes easier.
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As a progression on the healing journey or the journey of rediscovering oneself, forgiveness acts as a way to enhance our overall health – mental, emotional, and physical. Forgiveness marks the culmination of the healing process and promotes a longer, healthier life.
- Forgiveness as a trait of one’s personality, where one can forgive anyone for anything, may indicate low self-worth. This can present itself as a way to be amiable with others.
- It can be a genuine part of one’s personality, where a person can dissociate easily from the blame game. In this case, it can be very advantageous on the journey of healing oneself.
- Forgiveness can also be situational, which would be for a particular person or perceived offense.
There are some situations where people generally find it difficult to forgive, like a betrayal of trust. In such cases, it helps if the forgiveness process is embarked on as a journey by both partners in the particular relationship.
Practice forgiveness for the sake of your sanity
Although forgiveness cannot be forced or taken upon as something that ought to be done without entirely meaning it, holding a grudge can significantly impact your mental and physical health. It is like imbibing something toxic and expecting the other person to suffer because of it. The negative energy will affect only you and not the person it may be directed towards.
Forgiveness energies the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the immune system to function smoothly and releases feel-good hormones. Taking charge of one’s life rather than living in a victim mentality helps to let go of bitterness and resentment. Forgiveness is a gift to yourself. It is the path to your mental and emotional freedom.
Also Read: Positive self-talk: Stop saying these toxic things to yourself!
How to start on your healing journey?
Some ways in which you can start on the journey of forgiveness is by allowing yourself to face the trauma, and form and adhere to clear-cut boundaries. It helps to realise that the process of forgiveness can increase the pain for a bit, till it is faced and released.
Give yourself time to allow the full forgiveness to come through as and when it does, rather than insisting on it.
The full healing and letting go happens when we forgive ourselves fully. Holding ourselves responsible for whatever happened adds years to the actual moments of trauma. Looking back and judging ourselves for a previous incident doesn’t work. If you had known at that time what you know now in hindsight, things would have been different.
Take it a step at a time and let forgiveness be a part of the journey of your healing.