Character Building - Forgiveness

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Forgiveness
Forgiveness; it’s not something people often think about. It’s also not something highly publicized. However, it is hugely important. Forgiving others and being forgiven, impacts our whole lives. Forgiveness can impact your health, your happiness, your relationships, and more. Forgiveness is something all parents need to be sure to take the time to teach their children. Parents are the first line of defense when it comes to children. They may not always listen or grow up remembering and abiding by the morals and ethics you tried to teach them, but a lot of the time they do. I define forgiveness as the letting go of anger, hurt, and hate towards a person (or people) who has wronged or harmed you physically, mentally, or emotionally. Refusing to forgive someone has several repercussions. To begin with, withholding forgiveness can actually harm you physically. By refusing to forgive someone, you are not allowing yourself to heal and move on. In response, you body turns that anger and resentment into stress, high blood pressure, lower immunity, anxiety, and even depression (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011). That same anger can also make you bitter. You will begin to be angry with everyone, you won’t be able to enjoy the present, you life could begin to lack meaning and purpose, make you at odds with your spiritual beliefs, and cause you to lose your connection with others (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011). You have to be careful with your anger so you don’t hurt others around you. You could be threatening your relationships with those you love. If you’re acting like a jerk to those around you, relational interdependence could decrease due to the way you treat them. Also, due to social exchange, they may treat you the way you are treating them. Creating more hate and hurt for you and just making your already bad situation worse. Not forgiving also makes you just as bad as the person who hurt you. The longer you hold onto



References: Bennett, C. (n.d.). 7 Simple Steps to Forgive Others & Yourself - Mind, Body, & Soul at Exploring Womanhood. Exploring Womanhood. Retrieved April 30, 2012, from http://www.exploringwomanhood.com/mindbodysoul/forgive.htm Creates Personal Growth. (2008, September 11). The Most Important Reason Why You Ought To Forgive | Creates Personal Growth.com. Creates Personal Growth. Retrieved April 30, 2012, from http://www.createspersonalgrowth.com/335/why-you-should-forgive/ Mayo Clinic staff. (2011, November 24). Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges and bitterness - MayoClinic.com. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved May 2, 2012, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/forgiveness/MH00131 Orloff, J. (2011, September 8). The Power of Forgiveness: Why Revenge Doesn 't Work | Psychology Today. Psychology Today: Health, Help, Happiness + Find a Therapist. Retrieved May 2, 2012, from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-freedom/201109/the-power-forgiveness-even-911 Wilner, J. (2011, August 21). Why Forgiveness is Major Key in Relationship Success | Adventures in Positive Psychology. Psych Central Blogs. Retrieved May 2, 2012, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/positive-psychology/2011/08/why-forgiveness-is-major-key-in-relationship-success/

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