For most of us it is easy to identify specific instances where someone has offended us. Whether you have received an ugly look in the grocery store for blocking the aisle, or cheated on by your significant other, the feelings that reside are often the same (different levels of hurt, but still ultimately the same core feeling). But how do we deal with these feelings of hurt, pain, fear, shame, and vengefulness? Well, we can lash back and seek justice for the violations others have done to offend us. We can hold on to the offense resulting in ongoing resentment, hardening our heart and providing us a sense of stress that almost traps us into misery. Or, we can choose to impart our forgiveness on the offender and everyone lives happily ever after.
Forgiveness gives the offender the right to violate me again, and allows them a pass for the hurt and anguish right? WRONG! Forgiveness is actually meant to help and heal the victim of the offense. Think of all of the heartache the wrong doing has caused, and continues to cause you. Would you want that to continue to linger, or to vanish away? Chances are that you would pick the latter. The pain rarely ever just “disappears” however. Forgiveness is a process that can take days, months, or even years depending on the offense. And even after working diligently at this task, it may only be possible to enter a place of acceptance, which is okay too. It is also okay to enlist the help of a therapist, pastor, friend, or family member that has some knowledge on the subject. You will do the work on your own, but tips and moral support are very big helpers.
For more information on forgiveness and its benefits, visit our website at http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com. Or, if you would like to make an appointment at our Tampa or Brandon offices give us a call at 813-244-1251.