The Importance of Forgiveness
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love” – these were the words of the American Christian minister and activist, Martin Luther King Jr. Indeed, forgiveness is such a noble and powerful thing. Having the capacity to forgive, no matter the severity of the offense done against you, is a great sign of strength and humility.
Forgiveness is the central theme of Doreen L. Hatton’s heartwarming novel entitled Then Sings My Soul. Its story revolves around the journey of the Langston family, particularly Lily, towards forgiving the accidental killer of their household patriarch, Samuel. This book basically teaches readers about the joy of forgiveness – of how to forgive means to be free.
One cannot stress enough the importance of forgiveness, especially in this day and age. Peace and tranquility have become quite seldom because bitterness and resentment have become commonplace. For this reason, developing the capacity to forgive is essential now more than ever. Provided below are some further reasons why letting go grudges and bitterness is an important thing to do.
Forgiveness makes you healthier
Forgiving those who have wronged you can make you emotionally, physically, and psychologically healthier. According to studies, carrying negative emotions such as hurt and anger leads the body to release stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol – these hormones make a person more prone to high blood pressure and heart disease.
To get rid of these pesky stress hormones, you need to release all the negative emotions that you are carrying inside. Forgive so you can free your heart from resentment. Forgiveness shall elevate your mood, enhance your optimism, and guard you against anger, anxiety, stress, and depression. It will make you healthier emotionally, physically, and psychologically.
Forgiveness allows you to live in the moment
Being angry, resentful, and unforgiving can prevent you from living in the moment. When you refuse to forgive, your mind will always be preoccupied by the negative emotions that you feel towards other people. You will spend most of your time reliving the mistakes and errors that were done against you. To an extent, you may even fail to appreciate the things that are happening in your current life.
To be able to live in the present, you need to learn how to forgive the people who have wronged you in the past. Your emotions are valid. You are allowed to feel aggrieved, sad, and furious, especially when something hurtful was done against you. However, being allowed to feel certain emotions does not mean you are also allowed to wallow in them for the rest of your life. Learn how to forgive. Let go of the past and live in the moment. Appreciate the beauty of the present before everything in your life now becomes a fleeting memory.
Forgiveness allows you to regain personal power
Carrying feelings of anger, hatred, regret, and resentment towards other people entails that you are giving up your personal power to those people. Those people now have control over you and your emotions. They occupy a great part of your emotional and mental space, and they even get a hold of your time. They are now like guards who hold a chain around your neck. They have become the master, and you are their slave.
In order to free yourself from the chain, you need to forgive the people who have hurt you. Do not allow them to have an unhealthy hold on you. Regain your power over yourself and your emotions, and be the master of your life again.
Forgiveness helps you repair relationships
Aside from helping you become a better person, forgiveness also allows you to improve your relationships with other people. Mistakes can ruin relationships. Being wronged by someone whom you trusted can really hurt you and make you feel cold towards them. However, mistakes can be corrected and the wrong can be amended in time.
Forgiving people can indeed take time, but this should not discourage you from truly forgiving. Forgive people and repair your relationships with them. By doing so, you are not just improving yourself, but you are also helping yourself see the worth of other people, especially those who are close to you.
Overall, forgiveness is the key to a better and freer life. To forgive is to unlock the door of resentment that imprisons both the mind and the heart. Although resentment and bitterness are inevitable emotions that you may feel after being wronged, these emotions should not stay with you forever. You should eventually let go of them in order to experience a more joyful life like the Langston family in Doreen L. Hatton’s Then Sings My Soul.
At the end of the day, everyone makes mistakes; everyone has the ability to hurt others. However, not everyone has the capacity to forgive genuinely. To be a better person, you need to recognize the importance of forgiveness, and you must always be willing to forgive whenever necessary.