By Paul Lawal on
Unbelievable! What Studies Reveal About Unforgiveness – By Hlo Cebekhulu
The effects of keeping resentments, hurts, and grudges are far damaging to the offended and have no significant impact on the offender. While we try to fight back, pay back, and route out our vengeance, we get burn out in the process. Everything rises and falls on emotions, and hormones control our emotions. We trigger the release of certain destructive hormones when we harbour resentments, unknowingly to ourselves. These dangerous hormones simply destroy us, but gradually.
It is therefore right to say that anger is like drinking poison and expecting your offender to die.
Let The Past Pass Away
Many people are emotionally and spiritually damaged by their past, yet they have no idea how deep their wounds are. They are consumed by bitterness, as a result, have given their offenders the control of their life. They are driven by negative emotions.
These kinds of people are like ticking boom; they remind me of duck’s behaviour. When you see a duck floating on water, you would swear life is easy for it. It’s carefree and enjoys the water, but wait up until you see what’s happening underneath – it’s paddling so hard to stay afloat. Same as these people, they act happy and free, yet inside, there is a battle of feelings, and their mind is constantly at war, holding lots of bitterness and anger.
Being with them is dangerous, as one will never know when the boom would explode. They are mostly not capable of loving and trusting.
Forgive And Live
Mother Theresa once said, “If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive,” and I think it will not be wrong if I say that, if we really want to live, we must learn to forgive.
Forgiveness, therefore, is the intention and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude, regarding an offense, let go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well. It’s a process of healing for both the offender and especially the offended.
It takes a strong person to say sorry and a stronger person to forgive.
3 Reasons We Find It Hard To Forgive
#1. We are scared: We are afraid that when we forgive, we would have to deal with what transpired. This is sometimes more painful than the wound we suffered. It takes lots of emotions and requires us to be vulnerable.
#2. We attribute weakness to forgiveness: Sometimes people think forgiveness shows sign of weakness and that with forgiveness, one need to forget the hurtful deeds. Honestly speaking, it’s not possible to erase hurtful words or acts from our mind. Actually, you don’t have to forget anything, you just have to let things go.
#3. We don’t see the need: When you feel betrayed and hurt by the one or the people you love – those you have trusted, and perhaps, sacrificed so much for, sometimes, it becomes hard to let them out of our heart. It even becomes more difficult when their actions have a strong effect on us, like losing a job, a long awaited opportunity, a relationship, or when we feel immensely embarrassed.
6 Reasons Why Forgiveness Is Vital
#1. Delayed negative emotions can cause a number of long-term health problems and depression is one of them. Depression is the most frequently encountered mental health issue, but the depression caused by unexpressed emotions can be more dangerous than other forms. It not only affects the mental stability of a person but also damages his/her physical health. Common health issues associated with depression that can directly influence mental health are anxiety, short-temperament and sleeplessness.
#2. There is evidence that chronic stress can alter brain function at the cellular level. Researchers at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute in Calgary have discovered that one of the effects of anger on the brain is that neurons in the hypothalamus, the brain’s command center for stress responses can be compromised. Normally, these neurons receive different chemical signals that prompt them to switch on or off. Stress and anger compromise these functions and jeopardize the brain’s ability to slow down.
#3. Emotional stress and anger trigger the release of stress hormone, cortisol, in the body. Small releases of cortisol can give the body a quick burst of energy. However, higher and more prolonged increases can bring into the body a host of negative effects. It can create a blood sugar imbalance; it can decrease bone density, suppress the body’s immune response, and make it susceptible to chronic inflammation; it can suppress thyroid function, slowing down the body’s metabolism; it can impair the brain’s thinking ability and increase blood pressure.
#4. Thoresen et al. (2000) in a research study concluded that when a person starts thinking that other people can harm him, it gives rise to negative emotions. Apart from causing severe diseases like cardiovascular issues and high blood pressure, chronic stress can also cause brain haemorrhage. A person who lets out negative feelings is less prone to severe health issues than the person who cannot express his/her mental state.
#5. Anger can raise your heart rate to 180 beats a minute. It can raise your blood pressure from 120 over 80 to 220 over 130, perhaps even higher. Your breathing becomes rapid as you try to get more oxygen into your body.
#6. Anger does kill. A study in the journal “Circulation” finds that those who explode with anger are at a greater risk of strokes and sudden death.
How To Heal Up And Let Go Of Your Hurts
I wish there was a manual on forgiving, but here are useful step towards it.
#1. Remove yourself from the hurtful situation; take a walk/drive to cool down. This will help you gain your balance and prevent you from saying hurtful things out of anger.
#2. Take time to think about what happened and most importantly, what your role was. Did you push your offender beyond his or her elastic limit? Did you trigger your offender’s emotion? Think about it. One needs to be brutal honest when doing this.
#3. If you feel like crying, do so. Let out your emotions but don’t scream at people.
#4. Find a person you trust that you can talk to. Bottling anger inside is dangerous.
#5. Let go of past mistakes. If you hold on to past hurts, you will never heal and cannot forgive. Forgive yourself; forgive your offenders.
#6. Realise that we are human and we all make mistakes
So, What’s Next?
I cannot tell you what to do or feel. You are in charge of your actions and feelings. You choose how you react to any situation.
However, I want you to ask yourself questions: if I were at fault, would I want to be forgiven? What exactly will I gain from holding grudges and bitterness? Would my reactions change the past or destroy the future? Answer the questions.
People living in the vanity of their mind not only destroy themselves, but far too often, they bring destruction to others around them.
Free your mind and soul. Forgive and live!
Question: How do you handle hurt and anger?