When you give the gift of forgiveness to yourself or to others, it’s primarily for you and not for others. Forgiveness can be one of the most difficult concepts to grasp. Even definitions differ. One of the best definitions I’ve heard was attributed to Oprah Winfrey: Forgiveness is to accept the fact that the past can’t change. That definition may also help to explain why forgiveness is one of the most difficult and at the same time one of the greatest gifts to give. [Source]

Negative feelings (e.g., recrimination, resentment, remorse) can occupy the brain. Forgiveness simply acknowledges that no debt exists. This is a gift people need to give themselves and others. (Cousins, Norman, MD (honorary). Head First. NY: Penguin Books, 1989, p 110-112)

Studies have shown that the one who forgives, benefits more than the one who is forgiven. Forgiving is a sensible choice, for avoiding painful living, reducing tension and depression, and developing a peaceful normal life by gradual change. Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness but it is also not a once in a life time event. It is a skill and an attitude that only creates good will. It begins with your feelings of pain (for which you have a right) and the understanding that the incident was and will remain unfair. In forgiving, you have a right to give up your anger as an act of mercy even though the perpetrator may not deserve mercy. The motivation for forgiving is that you should feel better by healing your suffering. [Source]

Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself, a way to stop harboring destructive feelings that sap health and happiness. The act of forgiving allows the body to turn down the manufacture of catabolic chemicals, and instructs the subconscious to banish negative feelings from your mind. When you say, “I forgive you” you’re also saying, “I want to be healthy.” This will impact your communication. Forgiveness has little to do with others and everything to do with you. (Fox, Arnold, MD, and Barry Fox, PhD. Wake Up! You’re Alive! FL: Health Communications, 1988, pp 102-107)

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