Forgiveness – The Power of Letting Go
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 (NIV)
All religions embrace the healing power of forgiveness. Forgiveness has the power to release a person from a place of anger and hate, to a place of peace.
Most of us have been hurt by the actions or words of another. We all have things that happen to us in life which create pain, anger and grief. They may come unexpectedly and are rarely deserved. These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness, or even revenge.
Unwillingness to forgive can lead to feeling consumed by negativity. You may bring this into every relationship and experience. You may become depressed or anxious, pessimistic and distrustful. You may build a wall so nobody else can hurt you again. You may become so wrapped up in the past that you can’t enjoy the present.
Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for healthier relationships and greater spiritual and psychological well–being. It can lead to better health including: less anxiety, stress and hostility; lower blood pressure; fewer symptoms of depression; and lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse.
Forgiveness is the ability to let go of resentment, blame and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. It does not mean pretending you were not hurt; not saying what they did was okay; does not mean forgetting; does not mean trusting the person; and does not mean relieving the person of responsibility.
The most important reason you should forgive is to allow the healing process to begin. Yet forgiving someone who has harmed you or someone close to you can be a very difficult task.
The season of Lent is a time of reflection and reconciliation. It is a good time to practice forgiveness toward those who have hurt us. Although unconditional love and forgiveness are central to Jesus’ teachings, few of us really know how to do it.
To learn more about forgiveness, there will be a workshop on Thursday, March 21, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. in the Community Room in the Worship Center. “Spring Cleaning for Your Heart” with Mary Hayes Grieco.
Mary Hayes Grieco has been teaching people how to forgive for nearly 25 years, and her work has taken her around the world. She is the author of Unconditional Forgiveness: A Simple and Proven Method to Forgive Everyone and Everything. She is the director of The Midwest I
nstitute for Forgiveness Training in Minneapolis, and she works in private practice as a forgiveness coach and spiritual director.
She will explore some of the most important questions about forgiveness, including:
- Why did Jesus place such emphasis on the importance of forgiveness?
- Should we forgive everyone and everything, or are some things unforgivable?
- How do you know you need to forgive someone?
- How is forgiveness accomplished?
In this mini-workshop, every participant will have a chance to privately reflect on whether they need to forgive someone, and enjoy a guided meditation intended to increase your willingness and ability to accomplish this forgiveness.[register URL=”http://popmn.org/event/forgiveness/” target=”_blank”]