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Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021), Oct 17, 2012.

  1. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle


    I’ve asked myself if it is better for me to forgive someone who really was a rotten friend (he’s now in the U.S. House of Representatives and that galls me) or maybe my honest feeling to hate him is healthier for me. You may have one or more people you want to forgive and wonder if that is healthier than suppressing your hatred. I found the article below on the Internet and it convinces me to forgive the S.O.B. for my own good mental health:

    The article:

    We all have been in the familiar position that we were hurt by somebody. Perhaps it may even have been somone close to us. For most people the natural reaction is to hold on to this hurt for as long as possible. Some may even plot revenge.

    So why is it that we have a problem forgiving? Here's why, because it is easier to hate than to forgive. Some people think to forgive is a sign of weakness, but let me tell you, it is not. To forgive takes courage and extra effort.

    What is forgiveness? It is a gift from a generous heart. Forgiveness is not a reward. It is not something that you give to someone based on his good behavior. It is something that you give to a person irrespective of whether he has deserved it or not. Forgiveness is also not based on whether the person has asked for forgiveness.

    Also know this. Forgiveness is not an event, which starts and concludes when you say the words, "I forgive you".

    Forgiveness is an act and a process, which often takes time. The deeper your hurt the longer it usually takes to completely forgive. It is an act because it is not just the words you say but it is your actions which will show if you've really forgiven.
    A fine example of someone who embodies true forgiveness is former South African president Nelson Mandela. Mandela was imprisoned by the former all-white South African government for 27 years. Upon his release Mandela surprised the whole world when he showed no bitterness towards his jailers. That is truly remarkable.
    Why is it necessary to forgive? Forgiveness releases you from the burden of bitterness and hate. It takes enormous energy to hate and to keep that hate in place. Forgiveness brings freedom whereas revenge is neither sweet nor gratifying, its just a hollow feeling.

    Hate puts unnecessary stress on your body. It is a well-known fact, proven by numerous studies, that bitterness and hate can actually make you sick. A great number of people in the world don't really belong in a hospital, because the root of their problem is not physical but is mental. The moment they forgive and let go of their hate they will start to get well.

    There is another reason why you need to forgive. If you don't forgive you actually prevent blessings from flowing to you. The Bible says that before you pray for anything first forgive those who wronged you, and then your Father in heaven will forgive you your wrongs. So there you can see that blessings are closely connected to your forgiving others. I have personal experience of this.

    I used to be very cynical about life and didn't forgive easily. At the time I also struggled in every area of my life. Things just didn't seem to work out for me. It is as if everything that could go wrong, always went wrong.

    That was until somebody told me to take a look at my attitude. And when I forgave those who wronged me and changed my attitude, everything else changed. It didn't happen overnight. It took a while, but I could see and feel the difference.

    Now you may ask how do you know when you've really forgiven someone? Here's the key. If after you've forgiven that person you still experience negative sting whenever you think of him or her, it means you still have work to do.

    If however you don't have negative feelings towards that person it means you are free.

    (end of article)
  2. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Thanks for sharing the article, Walt.

    I just read an article on Dr. Lissa Rankin's site today called A Lesson in Grace that talks about the importance of forgiveness.

    I try to remember that forgiving someone is for ME--not them. And holding onto resentment and not forgiving is toxic to me.
    yb44 likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, I think forgiving is the big thing. Forgiving ourselves, too.
  4. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Absolutely! Very important.
  5. Peter Zafirides

    Peter Zafirides Physician

    To be able to forgive is to triumph over anger.

    Forgiveness represents the very essence of our strength and true potential.

    This is why forgiveness is so healing.

    Never, ever doubt how truly powerful you are...

    -Dr. Z
    Anna1, Becca and veronica73 like this.
  6. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Letting go of the hate and forgiving is the one thing, I believe, that is keeping my symptoms going. I haven't found my own way forward. I I have been a grudge holder as far back as I can remember. I have forgiven people in the past but it took a long, long time.
    Anna1 likes this.
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Forgiving can be tough, forgiving others and ourselves. We have to really BELIEVE we forgive.
    Anna1 likes this.
  8. honeybear424

    honeybear424 Well known member

    I think the person I am having the most difficulty forgiving is myself. I had an incident with one of my daughters last night that showed me how easily I can fall into the pit of self-abuse. It was truly scary.
    Peter Zafirides likes this.
  9. sewmuch

    sewmuch Member

    I think forgiveness is HUGE, GIGANTIC, in the path to wellness. First, forgive yourself. Even if it is nothing specific, forgive yourself for not being perfect, for being human. This a MAJOR weight off. I think if you don't do this, it is like trying to swim out of deep ocean with heavy clothes and ankle weights on. And I think it helps to have a little ceremony. That can be whatever and wherever you want - in a special place in your house, with candles, burning a smudge stick, or somewhere special in nature, by a stream, in the park - something that makes it special for you.

    Regarding forgiving others, I really liked the post above. For me, it felt so good to get that poison and energy drainer out of my system. I have a quote that says do not waste your time and energy on people who do not matter. For those who truly do "matter", I have found that the faster I forgive and let go, the less I feel that awful distracting and self perpetuating tension.
  10. igloo

    igloo New Member

    I find forgiveness very hard. I know that being angry only harms me and not the person I am angry at. But when you have been (repeated) be treated like cr*p by people, my instinct is to be annoyed at them (and sometimes a lot more!)

    For me, forgiving is too close to saying that the way people have behaved is 'okay'. How can I get past this?
    Anna1 likes this.
  11. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    It isn't easy to forgive some people but maybe keep trying and allow yourself to be annoyed by them.
    Maybe others can give you better advice.
    igloo likes this.
  12. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    Igloo, try think of forgiveness not as saying that what they did was ok, but rather that you understand that they are human, flawed. That what they did was wrong, but that you are beyond it. For me, forgiveness is about moving on. It's about healing and not focusing on those negative thoughts of hate, anger, revenge, spite. All negative stuff. It's about creating an attitude of happiness. My quick 2 cents...
  13. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Igloo, I've found it really helpful to see if any part of it is mine. For example, I spent a while picking unsuitable partners. They were what they were, and yet I picked them. It had something to do with me. Then, rather than making them wrong, I would use my dislike of their behavior to reaffirm my own values. So, for example, if they were inconsiderate (in my opinion), rather than obsessing about how they shouldn't have been inconsiderate, I would reaffirm how important it is to me to treat others considerately.

    This really works, but of course takes much more work when dealing with serious abuse. I've also found the book Loving What Is by Byron Katie to be totally helpful with this.
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Good advice from you both. I ordered the Katie book.
  15. Anna1

    Anna1 Peer Supporter

    This is a topic that I'm struggling with. I want to forgive. But I have been too forgiving in the past. It can be a way for me to push away the negative emotions, and that's exactly what I shouldnt do. I try to find a way to be open for healing (I believe that actually is forgiveness) and at the same time allow myself to feel anger without being consumed by it...
    Peter Zafirides likes this.
  16. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ruth, I have trouble forgiving one person on my list. I've decided to think of that person as being mentally sick. I'm sure he is.
    So I find it easier to forgive him for betrayal of friendship (very important to me) and also to think back earlier before he became a s.o.b.
  17. Peter Zafirides

    Peter Zafirides Physician


    Forgiveness is not always that easy to do as it forces us to be vulnerable. But we can be too forgiving, as you mentioned. I think this is due to our tendency to be "people-pleasers" - the same thing that makes us vulnerable to the pain of PPD.

    Just FYI, I had done a podcast specifically on Forgiveness (Forgiveness: The Key To Healing Our Pain)

    You can listen to it here:

    It has been one of the most downloaded episodes at The Healthy Mind.

    I hope you find it helpful.

    Dr. Z
    Anna1 likes this.
  18. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just listened to the podcast on forgiveness and it does help me a lot.
    Putting into perspective I was able to better understand why I need to
    forgive several people and how I can do that and then let it go.
    I'll journal myself about it tomorrow. I feel more at peace already.
    Thanks very much Dr. Zafirides.
    Anna1 and Peter Zafirides like this.
  19. Peter Zafirides

    Peter Zafirides Physician


    I am so happy you found the podcast helpful. Just remember, your ability to feel better represents your true strength and potential.

    Keep it going!!!!

    -Dr. Z
  20. Anna1

    Anna1 Peer Supporter

    Great dr Zafirides, thanks you, I will listen to it tonight!! Very curious about what you have to say about this topic!

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