Forgiveness is considered important when dealing with trauma and conflict, as it brings freedom, healing, and peace. Without forgiveness, a person is tethered to the people who brought about the harm, thus binding them to the chains of bitterness. Forgiveness is done for an individuals own good as one is able to take control of their own feelings and fate. Several authors have delved into this topic and have made several findings on the importance of forgiveness, and how it transforms people spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. Such include Forgiveness: A Bold Choice for a Peaceful Heart by Robin Casarjian (1992), and Dancing with the Energy of Conflict & Trauma: Letting Go Finding Peace by Mark Umbreit (2013). This paper will, therefore, provide key learnings from the two books on forgiveness, and the implications it has on professional and personal life.
From A Bold Choice for a Peaceful Heart by Robin Casarjian, forgiveness is a significant aspect of the emotional healing process for a peaceful heart. If a person cannot move through their grief, this is usually transformed into anger, bitterness, and rage. This can easily affect the daily interaction of a person with those around them, either at work, with peers or the family. In respect to these, the personal growth of an individual is hindered and that also affects a persons performance at the workplace. For this reason, it is important that people suffering from grief create an opportunity for forgiveness.
Secondly, forgiveness requires maturity and understanding. Forgiveness is always a personal decision, and a choice to see beyond the hurtful event, as well as beyond our ego that a persons hurtful behavior is a reflection of painful past. Hurtful behavior is a call for help, emotional safety, acknowledgment, love, and respect. In respect to this, forgiveness is viewed as an understanding of reality that is extracted from us. In forgiving, a person develops clarity and sees fear for what it is. People who forgive are able to set boundaries so as not to condone hurtful behavior while keeping the heart open in the process.
In addition, forgiveness is so much about the forgiver than the forgiven. Forgiveness is not necessarily a dynamic or transaction that is relational. In some cases, forgiveness is a personal approach to moving on and liberating oneself from anger and bitterness. In some extent, forgiveness can go further and deeper like the humanizing process with the forgiven. To have a better relationship both at work and in other social places, one ought to look further into forgiveness, like trying to understand the reason behind the hurtful behavior of the offender. In this way, one is able to accommodate all personalities.
In Dancing with the Energy of Conflict & Trauma: Letting Go Finding Peace by Mark Umbreit (2013) forgiveness may require one to relinquish something that is of importance to them. Such include giving up the individuals need for retaliation, and their attachment to be right. Despite this, forgiveness is useful to a societal building, as people who forgive are more flexible, and with fewer expectations on how others will treat them, or how life will be. Forgiveness allows for people not to perpetuate historical grievance, but rather to loosen themselves from the painful past, turn the page, as well as reframing their life story. In this respect forgiveness is a gift to the forgiven, and often people destroy this gift by making it a duty. This also means that an individual working towards forgiveness ought to start with personal storytelling without being coerced to forgive.
Secondly, granting others forgiveness aids reconciliation. Any person willing to forgive always has pragmatic reasons that allow them to make the conscious decision not to retaliate or seek to punish their offenders. However, pardoning an offender of their sins does not necessarily mean that they cannot be incarcerated. For example, a person serving a prison sentence can be forgiven by the victim, but still, there is still the necessity for them to be incarcerated for them to be reformed. In the same sense, a victim may feel resentment towards an offender but may seek let go in order to end the series of violence.
Finally, forgiveness is considered an intimate and visceral process which leads to reconciliation with those that caused harm. In this case, an outward gesture is made in order to renew broken relationships and to reconnect with others. This is mostly seen in communities where initiatives are taken to reconcile divided communities so as to reintegrate the offenders back into the social realm both within the community and at the workplace.
In summary, forgiveness can occur in all areas of human experience including national, community, professional and individual. For personal, societal and professional growth, an individual ought to practice forgiveness so as to save relationships with the people around them as well as to end the cycle of violence in society today. Letting go of the pain, anger, and bitterness is the way to finding peace, and this can only be achieved when individuals forgive others.
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