|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on January 11, 2020 at 6:30 PM|
Why Forgiveness is Necessary for a High-Quality Life in 2020
Welcome to 2020, a new year, a new decade, and a new you! As usual, everyone has made the typical new year’s resolutions; many are fasting and praying, some have just started retirement, and even more are anxious about going back to work again, especially after a long holiday break. Whatever state you might find yourself in, I hope that you are excited and happy to have made it into the brink of this new decade. In my mind’s eyes, it seems like only yesterday, we were getting ready for the Y2K scare of 2000, and now we have arrived on the shores of 2020. Exhilarating indeed!
But one might wonder whether we are ready for this decade with its technological advances and other promises. What will the new decade bring? How might it end? What changes will it offer to our lives? What is the role of forgiveness in all of this, and why do we even care? I am glad you asked. It is critical always to understand your “why,” so that you have a clear understanding of the root causes of an issue, and how addressing this will get you to your intended goals that you might hope to achieve this decade.
So, why do we care about forgiveness and what influence might this have on how we will spend the next decade. First, let’s start by defining forgiveness! Forgiveness in clinical terms is defined as “an act of deliberately giving up resentment towards an offender while fostering the undeserved qualities of beneficence and compassion towards the offender” (Freedman & Enright, 1996, p.983). But of course, the million-dollar question is why forgive
In a recent Forgiveness Circle, an Ethiopian client stated the answer to this question in a concise, but unforgettable way, that “we forgive so that we can live a high-quality life,” and I could not agree more. Forgiveness is for us and not for those who hurt us. As you might know, unforgiveness has been linked to illnesses, syndromes, depression, and all kinds of sicknesses. So, why then do we choose not to forgive? Why do we keep drinking the poison is (unforgiveness thinking that someone else will be hurt? Again, allow me to share a few reasons or forgiveness “blockers,” as I call them that I have encountered in my practice about why people choose not to forgive.
These forgiveness “blockers” are prevalent and include, pride, selfishness, self-righteousness, pompousness, and merely a belief that your standards are higher than even God’s. So, God can say we must forgive, but we don’t agree and won't. These forgiveness “blockers” continue to help us to justify a stance that robs us of joy, peace, happiness, and contentment, and effaces any desire for any decent standard of life. Choosing unforgiveness is weaker than choosing to forgive, and we know it, but often we want this option anyway since “no one has been hurt as badly as we have.” Of course, this is a lie from the pits of hell and a strategy of the enemy meant to keep us in bondage. So, let me challenge you in 2020 to move to the light and life that forgiveness brings. You can do so by taking a few steps. These steps are as follows:
First, forgive yourself, your parents, family members, friends, enemies, and anyone that has ever hurt you in your past. Nothing is worth losing peace and sleep about.
Second, know your “why.” For any behavior change to work, understanding your “why” is the linchpin for success. So, for instance, my “why” for always choosing to forgive is that I would like to live to see my oldest grandson, Luke Jacob, walk down the aisle. He is now seven years old, so I need to I MUST forgive and keep living a healthy lifestyle even to have the potential to attend this wedding. This is on my Vision Board! Only God knows if it is possible, but I am working hard to realize this “why.” But your “ why” might be different from mine, but find the “why,” and that will help with the how and what. Only then can you get to your goal in 2020.
Third, stop self-criticizing. This self-criticism drags you down and often allows us to think that we don’t deserve to be happy at work, at home, and in other parts of our lives. You are good enough to be forgiven, to forgive, and to be loved. You are valuable to God and the human race. Remind yourself of this always!
Fourth, learn to be content wherever you are in your life. For example, if you are divorced and need to forgive your ex, forgive them, and then learn to thrive as a successful single adult. The world has not ended and your best years are still ahead of you! Take some deep breaths and keep going; God always has the last say. Trust in with your dreams. Only he can take what the enemy planned to harm you and turn it around for good. Believe me; he is still doing that today!
Fifth, as you contemplate the changes that you will need to be happy, peaceful, and whole again, consider setting micro-resolutions. In other words, start with resolutions for a week, then expand to a month, later a quarter, etc. Many times we are trying to do too much, too quickly, and miss the need to make slow but steady progress towards our goals. So, try micro-resolutions in 2020. Who knows, this might be the only way to get to the goals you seek in 2020.
So, in summary, as you stare into the brink of the next decade, know your “why”, forgive, stop self-criticizing, and learn to be content in whatever state you find yourself in so that you can have the high –quality life that you so desperately deserve. Happy New year to the new you! So, what do you think? Please share with us what might be your new year resolutions, and how if any practicing forgiveness will help or hinder your progress, and any thoughts about this blog.