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Stress Management for Health Course


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Stress and Forgiveness


We will know no peace until we discover how to forgive ourselves, to forgive other people and to let others forgive us. (Dorothy Rowe)


Someone once said that there are only two certain things in life:


1.  The Taxman and  2.  Death. 


However, there is a third constant and that is all human beings, at times, make mistakes not because we are inherently bad people but to err is human.


Life is complex, we are learning from the moment we are born to the moment we die; it is important we understand this because excess feelings of guilt can be a source of stress.  None of us can look back and say we have not made mistakes.  We may unintentionally hurt other people and other people may unintentionally cause us hurt. 


Now, we have two choices, we can remain eaten-up about our mistakes and eaten-up by the mistakes other people have done to us; we remain angry, bitter and we carry the burden around our neck for the rest of our lives.  Or, we can choose to forgive ourselves and/or others for the hurt we/or they may have caused.  Of course there are different degrees of mistakes, we do not necessarily forgive a person for their sake and nor is forgiveness about saying that what the person has done is OK.  We forgive because it helps us.  The only person who suffers, when we do not forgive, is ourselves.  We do not hurt the person who hurt us by not forgiving them.


The late Gordon Wilson lost his daughter Marie, a nurse, when the Provisional Irish Republican Army set off a bomb on Remembrance Day in Enniskillen in 1987.  He chose to forgive the people who had committed this act.  It was not weakness for him to forgive, it took courage, and to forgive was not about saying that what had happened was OK and didnt matter.  Remaining chronically angry or bitter at people doesnt help us and chronic anger and bitterness at people or situations doesnt change the situation, it doesnt remove it or negate it.


It can be difficult to forgive somebody who has hurt us.  The majority of people are decent people.  If we dont forgive others for their mistakes how can we expect forgiveness for any mistakes we may have made.  When we are hurt we can naturally become angry and want revenge or retribution but there is an old Chinese proverb that says:


When you plan revenge, dig two graves.


Some people may be in the position where they havent hurt anybody in their lives, but the majority of us have from the very minor . . . . . . . ???


Forgiveness is part of healing, but its not excusing, denying, hiding, or ignoring the event that caused people pain.  Forgiving includes remembering, letting go of anger, recognizing what happened, and moving on.  Forgiving is often a slow, confusing process, you can forgive and still feel some anger.

(from web document on Stress 42 pages)


The Benefits of Forgiving


Forgiving makes your life easier.  It gives you greater peace of mind.  You can get on with your life when part of you is freed from having to resent those who have harmed you.


(Ref web article above)

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