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None of us "does" family perfectly. We sometimes say and do things that offend loved ones. All of us are guilty of "sins" of commission or omission toward those we care about. Forgiveness is an essential part of strong, healthy relationships. Judeo-Christian beliefs teach that nobody is exempt from forgiveness; we should forgive all wrongs that have been done to us, regardless of their severity. Once thought to be exclusively a religious doctrine, the notion of forgiveness has rapidly movedp beyond religious borders into mainstream society.
One definition of forgiveness is the ability to release the mind and the heart from all past hurts and failures, all sense of guilt and loss.
Forgiveness enables us to overcome anger and feelings of resentment or a desire to punish or get even with someone who has crossed us. Forgiving involves changing your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in relationship to the offender. Bad feelings and judgment toward the offender are reduced, not because they don't "deserve" that treatment, but because we willingly view the offender with compassion, benevolence, and love. Health professionals tell us that the body manufactures "high voltage" chemicals like adrenaline and cortisone when you don't forgive. Too many of these chemicals can result in tension-related ills such as headaches and abdominal pains.
Left unchecked, this can result in more serious problems such as ulcers, gastritis or irritable bowel syndrome. When couples and families fail to forgive, unequal relationships are created and maintained. True closeness is an impossibility because the "offended" is in a position of holding the "offender" in bondage, and the obsession with being wronged and seeking revenge holds the victim in bondage as well. The person who made the mistake or hurt the other is kept in a "one down" position of being indebted to the other.
The following phrases are common to such a situation:. Forgiveness researchers suggest that family members from all families must humbly seek and grant forgiveness so that their relationships can survive. The benefits of forgiving are recently being discovered by science How to forgive family have long been taught by religious organizations. Scientifically validated benefits of How to forgive family include the reduction of chronic pain, cardiovascular problems, and violent behavior; increased hope; and decreased levels of depression and anxiety.
People who don't forgive typically have higher heart rates and blood pressure and other physical problems. The unforgiving responses of blame, anger, and hostility have been linked with poor health, particularly coronary heart disease and even premature death.
Most people who have forgiven others will testify of the joy experienced as the emotional burden they had been carrying was released. Countless family situations present the need and opportunity for forgiveness. One regular battle between a teenage son and his father ended when the youth retreated to his bedroom, packed his bags and left the house in great anger and resentment, despite his mother's tearful protests. As he left, his father called out saying, "I know I haven't been the best father to you.
I'm sorry for the pain I've caused you. I love you. As he traveled, his father's words--"I'm sorryI love you"--rang in his ears.
His boiling resentment cooled, and he began to weep. He bought a return ticket at the next stop. The youth arrived home late that night to find his father in the rocking chair with his face buried in his hands. The youth whispered, "Dad" and they ran into each other's arms.
The son later wrote, "Those last years at home were the best ones of my childhood. You can apply the tips to all kinds of relationships. They may help you tap the healing power of forgiveness. First, reflect on areas where you may harbor resentment, bitterness, and lack of forgiveness in your relationship with family, friends, work associates, or others.
Do you hold grudges? Write these down. How old are these feelings? Do you bring up past events in arguments?
Are there patterns of behavior that continue to offend you? Are you willing to push yourself to forgive? Second, reflect on situations where you may have hurt a family member. Have you taken responsibility? Did you apologize? Have you taken steps to change recurrent patterns that offend? You may be standing in the way of reconciliation if you've never taken responsibility for your part of the problem. Expect forgiveness to take time. A relationship has the best chance to heal when each party takes appropriate responsibility to make things good again in the relationship. What if the other party has wronged you and won't take responsibility, won't apologize?
You put yourself at risk for psychological and physical problems such as depression, ulcers, high blood pressure and rage. That's no way to live. Marriage and family therapists James Harper and Mark Butler offer additional help in forgiving and seeking forgiveness from others.
Forgiving one another from our hearts helps restore the peace and contentment that can be a part of every family. But forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. By forgiving another, regardless of the actions of others, you do yourself a great service. You let go of bitterness, contempt, vindictiveness, and desires for revenge that sap you of mental and emotional energy you could use in other areas of your life. It is important to let these things go because if you don't, the other person - even if you never see them again - continues to hold power over your emotions and your thoughts - and you.
Written by Trampas J. Rowden and Sean D. The concept of forgiveness has recently received considerable of attention from researchers, the media, and people in general. Today, a person can hear about forgiveness practically anywhere. Once thought to be exclusively a religious doctrine, the notion of forgiveness has rapidly moved beyond religious borders into mainstream society. It seems the more that people are forgiving, the more the benefits of forgiveness are being discovered. In fact, forgiveness has recently been the focus of a great deal of scientific study.
Consider the couple devastated by the confession of an affair, a parent and severed by high conflict during the boy's youth, the survivor of childhood sexual abuse, or an individual consumed by hatred toward a family member who How to forgive family them.
In each of these examples, those involved all face a common challenge-the challenge of forgiveness. Many people might consider this task to be one of lesser importance or even an unrealistic expectation in response to some of life's experiences with others.
Such a view, however, betrays a lack of understanding of what forgiveness is and how truly powerful a remedy it can be in healing hearts and relationships. The purpose of this article is to illustrate the most recent scientific findings and religious teachings, as well as answer some frequently asked questions concerning forgiveness. This question lies at the heart of understanding the process of forgiveness.
Therefore, it has received a lot of attention from researchers. The most widely accepted definition of forgiveness among scientists comes from one of the nations leading researchers on forgiveness, Dr. Robert Enright. He defines forgiveness as:.
The overcoming of negative affect and judgment toward the offender, not by denying How to forgive family the right to such affect and judgment, but by endeavoring to view the offender with benevolence, compassion, and even love, while recognizing that he or she has abandoned the right to them. The important parts of this definition are as follows: a one who forgives has suffered a deep hurt, thus showing resentment; b the offended person has a moral right to resentment but overcomes it nonetheless; c a new response to the other accrues, including compassion and love; d this loving response occurs despite the realization that there is no obligation to love the offender".
In other words, forgiving involves changing your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in relationship to the offender. Bad feelings and judgment toward the offender are reduced, not because the offender doesn't "deserve" such treatment, but because the victim has willingly viewed the offender with compassion, benevolence, and love.
Researcher Michael E. McCullough proposes a different definition of forgiveness. To him, forgiveness is a "pro-social change in the motivation to avoid or to seek revenge against a transgressor. His definition does not include any of the emotional or thinking changes that Dr. Enright thinks are important. Forgiveness seems to involve a "letting go" of negative feelings brought about by another's actions towards you. It is acknowledging the wrongdoing but releasing the wrongdoer from any ability to you. It is overcoming negative feelings and judgment towards the offender.
It is viewing the other person with an attitude of love, even if the offender does not offer the same gift to us. It seems to go against the common ideas of "an eye for an eye," revenge, or holding grudges. The person who forgives makes this often-difficult choice of his or her own free will. Notice that the word forgive suggests action. It is not a something that "sits" or an "object" that is numbly passed from person to person. More accurately, it is not even a "something. It is found in the heartfelt words of sorrow between marital partners; it is manifest in the willingness of family members to encourage the relief of How to forgive family or guilt from a loved one who has offended or erred.
These statements represent the frequent and harsh real-life experience of many couples and families. When partners and family members are unwilling to forgive, however, they set themselves up for increased resentment, conflict, frustration, and ultimately despair and heartache.
In the wake of such experiences, sometimes a "debtor" the one who wronged declares a type of "bankruptcy" and walks away from the relationship. Some people might raise the question at this point, "It sure seems that attention is being given to helping the person who wronged someone else feel better; what about the person who was wronged? Is forgiveness only for the benefit of the person making the mistake?How to forgive family
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Forgiveness: The Key to a Happy Family