Forgiveness is a process of healing for a person who has been deeply
and personally injured or harmed. Forgiveness is a series of conscious
thoughts and actions, an inner response, which includes letting go of
a desire for vengeance or harm toward the offender and letting go of
negative emotions, such as resentment. Letting go creates a positive
change in the injured person’s physical, mental, and emotional
well-being. Forgiveness restores a sense of personal power and can
lead to improved interpersonal relationships.
Forgiveness is often confused with other things. It does not require an apology or even contact with the person who caused the harm. It does not mean to forget the injury, to condone what happened, or even to tolerate injuries. Forgiveness does not require reconciliation with the offender, because that person may be dangerous, unavailable, or dead. Understanding the process of forgiveness, and being supported through that process, leads to deeper healing.
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