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Forgiving (and asking for forgiveness) is hard:  This can make it easier

The ability to forgive is a virtue, a social skill that is learned, but there are other factors at play as well. Forgiveness is a reality loaded with emotions. It can be embarrassing, and yet also rewarding, to ask for forgiveness for an action of ours that has caused harm; it can also be difficult and yet peace-giving to forgive another person whose action has inflicted harm upon us. Our emotions and the way we manage them depend not only on our upbringing, but also on our current environment and our individual biological constitution — all the things that go into our personality. All of this affects how difficult or easy it is for us to forgive or to ask for forgiveness. For some people, it can be very difficult.

Benefits of asking for forgiveness or forgiving: Higher self-esteem, less stress, anxiety or sadness, better physical condition (lower blood pressure and heart rate), finally—it makes us better people with enormous personal, family & social benefits

Some fundamental attitudes when asking for forgiveness: 1. Analyze the offense with real empathy towards the offended person.  2. Express yourself briefly offering a sincere apology. 3. Listen & recognize the importance of what has happened.  4. Find out how to repair the damage (as much as possible).

Some attitudes that help us forgive:  1. Remember that we have offended others, we are not perfect. 2.  We may never know all the mitigating circumstances that led the person to offend us.  Also, it is possible they are suffering deeply for what they have done. 3. In the worst case scenario, (i.e. the person was cruel), it is still better for us to forgive.  Otherwise, we’re letting the person enslave us through our anger, bitterness or desire to seek revenge.  Forgiveness frees us to move on.

Remember that to forgive or request forgiveness is not to forget or deny what happened or its consequences, but it is a voluntary act to reconcile with the person with whom the event occurred.

 Forgiving is a gesture of noble souls,

who are great and full of love.

 

—by Javier Perez & Matthew Green (to read the ENTIRE article, please go to Aleteia.com)