The importance of forgiveness in healing from trauma
23 Mar 2023

I. Introduction

Forgiveness is not only a simple action, but also an extremely important healing process. Releasing resentment and repairing broken relationships through forgiveness can enhance mental health and avoid stress and pressure in life. Furthermore, if forgiveness is not granted, holding onto grudges can harm the physical and mental health of the forgiver. Therefore, the importance of forgiveness in healing from trauma cannot be denied.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction II. What is Forgiveness? III. Trauma and Consequences of Holding onto Resentment IV. Benefits of Forgiveness V. How to Forgive VI. Conclusion

II. What is Forgiveness?


Forgiveness is a process of freeing oneself from the pain, resentment, and stress caused by someone else. Forgiveness is not about forgetting or overlooking harmful actions, but about accepting and forgiving the person who caused the trauma.

Forgiveness is important in healing from trauma because it brings peace to the soul, enhances mental and physical health. If forgiveness is not granted, the person who was traumatized may continue to hold onto resentment and grudges, causing stress and affecting their health.

Forgiveness also helps rebuild relationships with those who caused the trauma, maintain the love and connection of a family, community, or organization. Forgiveness teaches us lessons from other people's mistakes and helps relationships become stronger and more constructive.

However, forgiveness is also a difficult process that requires patience, compassion, and understanding. Sometimes forgiveness needs to be done slowly, and it may take time for oneself to accept and forgive the person who caused the trauma. Seeking help from mental health professionals or finding methods to overcome these difficulties is also necessary.

III. The harm and consequences of holding onto hatred


1. The consequences of holding onto hatred and not forgiving

Holding onto hatred can cause severe harm to the person holding onto it. If someone doesn't forgive their adversary, they can become immersed in resentment and animosity, leading to negative impacts on their mental and physical well-being, including an increased risk of illness and stress. Moreover, holding onto hatred can damage their social relationships, making them distant, isolated, and distrustful of others. On the other hand, forgiveness can help alleviate tension and bring peace to one's life, reinforcing and improving relationships.

2. Psychological and health harm to oneself

Not forgiving can have many negative impacts on one's psychological and health well-being, including:

  • Creating stress and tension: Anger and rage from not forgiving can create stress and tension in the mind and body, leading to health problems such as high blood pressure, headaches, and sleep disorders.

  • Generating dissatisfaction and unhappiness: Not forgiving can create feelings of dissatisfaction and unhappiness, leading to loneliness and difficulty in creating and maintaining good relationships with others.

  • Causing doubt and low self-esteem: Anger and rage from not forgiving can cause doubt and low self-esteem in oneself. You may be stuck in the past and unable to move forward because you cannot forgive others.

  • Causing despair and loss of faith in life: Not forgiving can lead to despair and loss of faith in life. This can make you feel hopeless about the future and unable to find joy and meaning in life.

  • Creating tension and conflict in relationships: Not forgiving can create tension and conflict in relationships, causing rifts and ending relationships.

3. Impact on relationships with others


Not forgiving can have many negative impacts on relationships with others, including:

  • Causing distance and threatening relationships: Anger and tension can cause you to distance yourself and threaten relationships with others. This can lead to discomfort and difficulty in creating and maintaining good relationships with others.

  • Causing tension and conflict: Anger and rage from not forgiving can create tension and conflict in relationships, leading to broken bonds and damaged relationships.

  • In conclusion, holding onto hatred and not forgiving can lead to harmful consequences for oneself and others. Forgiveness can be a challenging but essential step towards healing and improving relationships.

IV. Benefits of Forgiveness


1. Benefits for Psychology and Health

Forgiveness not only provides psychological benefits but also has positive effects on human health. When a person is able to forgive, they release psychological tension and pressure, helping their mood to become more relaxed and peaceful. Moreover, forgiveness helps reduce stress, enhances concentration and increases the ability to accept and support others.

In addition, many studies have shown that forgiveness has positive effects on health, reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Forgiveness also strengthens the immune system, helping the body fight against diseases and recover faster after illness.

2. Benefits for Relationships with Others

Forgiveness also has important benefits for relationships with others. When a person is able to forgive, they can strengthen and develop social relationships, creating a positive living and working environment.

Forgiveness helps people resolve conflicts and disputes, creating a spirit of reconciliation and unity. If a person does not forgive, their relationship may weaken or completely break down, leading to heartbreaking consequences.

Moreover, forgiveness also helps enhance empathy and sharing between individuals, helping everyone understand each other better and building a positive living and working environment. When a person forgives another, they are creating a spirit of unity and mutual respect, helping to strengthen and develop relationships.

3. Benefits in Work and Daily Life


Forgiveness also brings significant benefits in work and daily life for each person. When a person is able to forgive, they can reduce stress at work, helping their mind and spirit to become more comfortable and ready to focus on work.

Forgiveness also helps reduce conflicts and disputes at work, helping individuals work more efficiently and achieve their goals quickly. If a person does not forgive, they may create barriers in the workplace and cause difficulties in relationships with colleagues and subordinates.

Moreover, forgiveness also helps people create a positive working and living environment, enhancing cooperation and unity among individuals and organizations. This also helps each person unleash their potential and become more successful in life.

V. How to forgive?


1. Forgiving oneself and others

Forgiveness is an important psychological and emotional process in life, and it can be applied to both oneself and others.

Forgiving oneself is the process of allowing oneself to forgive oneself for past mistakes or actions. Forgiving oneself is an important step in freeing the mind and seeking self-confidence and self-satisfaction. Forgiving oneself helps a person to actively and decisively face their mistakes, avoiding feelings of guilt or self-blame for a long time.

Forgiving others is the process of allowing oneself to forgive others for actions or words that cause harm or offense. Forgiving others helps to resolve and restore the relationship between two people, as well as create conditions for the development of that relationship. Forgiving others also helps the forgiver to free themselves from negative feelings, such as resentment or anger, and make their spirits more comfortable.

2. Basic steps to forgiveness

Forgiveness is not a simple process, but it can be done through the following basic steps:

  • Awareness and acceptance of the incident: The first step in the forgiveness process is to become aware and accept the incident that occurred. Try to understand what happened and find out the cause, so that you can make the right decision.

  • Allow emotions to be free: Allow yourself to experience emotions such as sadness, pain or anger, but at the same time, control your emotions to avoid overflowing and harming others.

  • Release negative emotions: Find a way to release negative emotions by writing in a journal, exercising, or seeking help from a friend, a mental health professional, or a support group.

  • Avoid criticism and judgment: Avoid criticizing and judging others, as this can increase tension and difficulties in forgiving.

  • Find a way to resolve the problem: Try to find a way to resolve the problem or seek help if necessary to help the forgiveness process go smoothly.

  • Take positive actions: Take positive actions to show forgiveness, such as apologizing, finding ways to repair the consequences of hurting others, or helping them in necessary matters.

3. Notes on the forgiveness process

TT06.jpg When performing the forgiveness process, the following points should be taken into consideration to make the process more effective:

  • Perform forgiveness when ready: Forgiveness is a psychological process, so it is important to pay attention to one's mental state before starting the forgiveness process. If not ready, take more time to self-heal and determine the right approach to help the process go more smoothly.

  • Avoid coercion: Forgiveness is a voluntary process, and one should not force others to forgive. This can make others feel tense and difficult to accept the forgiveness process.

  • Seek to understand and empathize: Forgiveness requires us to understand and empathize with others, even in cases where they have caused harm to us. Try to put oneself in the other's position and try to understand the reasons and causes behind their actions.

  • Focus on the present and future: When performing forgiveness, it is important to focus on the present and future rather than looking back at the past. Try to find ways to resolve the issue and build a better relationship to avoid further harm.

  • Do not forget to protect oneself: Forgiveness does not mean allowing others to continue to harm us. Find ways to protect oneself and set boundaries in the relationship to avoid similar events from happening again.

  • Be compassionate with oneself: Finally, remember that forgiveness also includes forgiving oneself. Try to forgive and overlook one's own mistakes to continue to mature and develop.

VI. Conclusion

Forgiveness is an important factor in healing both psychological and physical damage. When we are hurt or wronged, fear and tension can lead to feelings of anxiety, discomfort, and insomnia. However, if we can forgive, we can free ourselves from those negative emotions, reduce stress, and help restore our relationships with others.

Forgiveness can also help improve self-awareness, reduce feelings of insecurity, increase self-confidence, and help us grow. It can also make us feel at ease and help us improve the quality of our lives. Forgiveness not only helps protect our minds, but also helps our bodies become healthier, reduces the risk of disease, and increases longevity.

Therefore, forgiveness is a necessary part of a healthy life, and it is important to practice it regularly to maintain our well-being.