Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Healing Power of Forgiveness

I recently had a very interesting discussion with some Facebook friends on the nature of punishment and forgiveness (compliments of a story I posted about John Demjanjak, former Cleveland resident recently convicted in Germany of assisting in the killings of almost 30,000 Jews while working as a prison guard in Nazi Germany). Throughout the course of the discussion, I noticed that the concept of forgiveness is very misunderstood. Most people understand forgiveness has a healing quality about it. What they don't understand is who the forgiveness actually benefits.

When forgiveness is the topic, most people focus on the effects forgiveness has on the one who committed the offense. They see it as setting the perpetrator free, and this would be an accurate statement. Forgiving someone who has acted against us does break an energetic bond which holds the offender captive. As humans, we often have the idea that forgiveness is not justice--that if we forgive someone they are no longer accountable for the crimes they have committed. This is not true. Wrong actions always have consequences, whether they be physical, emotional, mental or energetic. The problem here is our focus on the other person.

An offense always has two sides: the perpetrator and the victim. What we fail to recognize about forgiveness is the effect forgiveness has on the victims. This is actually the most important part of the two. When we forgive others, the energy connecting us to the offense is broken. We are now free to let go of the pain and move forward with our lives. Forgiveness is truly about our own freedom, not "justice". Think about this as well. Do we really want to be energetically connected to someone who has harmed us? Do we really want to continue to drown in all that pain? Personally, I don't.

I choose to forgive, as freely as I can, so I don't have to walk in constant pain and I am free to focus on all those joyous things I aspire to in life. Yes, forgiveness heals, but the truly important person it heals is me. My life is not about controlling others and holding them accountable. That's a task for the Universe. My life is about the lessons I came to learn and the growth I hope to experience. Forgiveness frees me from much of the negativity in my life so that I am free to live the life I have chosen. It's that simple.

Forgiveness is healing. It heals you!     

1 comment:

  1. It is an empowering act in situations where you often feel powerless.