There is Power in Forgiveness
Excerpts from Life Strategies
Doing What Works Doing What Matters by
Phillip C. McGraw, Ph.D.
Life Law #9: There is Power in Forgiveness
Your Strategy: Open your eyes to what anger and resentment are doing to you.
Of all of the emotions in the human repertoire, hate, anger, and resentment are among the most powerful and self destructive.
You may think that you want and are justified to hate, or harbor rage against, someone who has hurt you deeply enough to create these emotions. You may believe that they deserve it and are made to suffer by your hatred of them. You may sometimes treat your hatred as though it were a mythical curse on the target of your disdain. But to do so, to carry and feel that hatred, is to pay an unbelievably high price, for the reality is that those feelings change who you are. They change your heart and they change your mind.
Hatred, anger and resentment are absolutely incompatible with your peace, joy and relaxation.
If you are carrying around these ugly emotions, it's likely that your body is almost constantly in a condition called heterostasis, a condition of physiological imbalance; put simply, it's a state of having too much of this, in terms of your natural chemistry, and not enough of that. People who stay in this powerfully aroused state often experience sleep disturbance, nightmares, poor concentration, and fatigue.
People are not built to be happy and sad at the same time. It is impossible for us to feel simultaneously peaceful and agitated. So to the extent that these powerful emotions crowd their more positive counterparts out of your experience, your physical state is going to be miserable.
When you choose to bear hate, anger, or resentment toward others, you build walls around yourself.
Bitterness and anger are such powerful influences that once they enter your heart, they are present in all of your relationships. They truly do make you become a different person. Who you were goes away, and now you are defined by the hatred and bitterness.
Ultimately what makes these emotions so powerful is that they change who you are.
You and only you choose how you feel. Others can provide an event or behaviour for you to react to, but it is up to you to choose how you feel about them.
Forgiveness of those who have transgressed against you, or those you love, is not about them; it is about you. By forgiving someone you are releasing you and not them.
The only way to rise above the negatives of that relationship in which you were hurt is to take the moral high ground, and forgive the person who hurt you.