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Making Peace With Your Past: Choosing Health and Happiness

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on February 27, 2014 12:00 pm

“A life lived without forgiveness is a prison.”
~ William Arthur Ward

Forgiveness is not only a state of mind, but it is a state of being.  It is woven through the very essence of our being.  Forgiveness is a constant attitude occurring through a purposeful action.  As humans, we are instinctively designed to forgive. It is only when we choose not to forgive that our minds, bodies, and spirits begin to experience disrepair.  Those who choose not to forgive, choose to harbor the wrongs of others and of their own person, frequently have physical and psychological signs.  Forgiveness cleanses the body, ridding it of the decay of negativity, disappointment, and heartache.  It is through the act of forgiveness, that we can live a balanced and well-adjusted life.  Forgiveness is the key to live life productively.


Forgiving others, especially our enemies is a challenge indeed.  What if, you had committed a wrong against another?  Would you not have deep desire to be forgiven?  Have you ever experienced the denial of your repentance?  What sort of effect did this have on your person?  Were you shattered by the unwavering and unyielding of the person or persons you had wronged?

As a clinician, I have met a variety of patients / clients who’s hearts ache to be forgiven.  As an individual, I too have had the experience of others denying the acceptance of my repentance.  The denial of our repentance can have a penetrating effect, plunging like a dagger deep into the very core of our being.  For so many, forgiveness and the lack of forgiveness can prove a major stumbling block.

If we deny accepting the repentance of another, then we are intentionally and purposefully hanging on to the wrongs of the past.  The wrongs of the past serve as a coat-of-arms.  We identify our coat-of-arms as a shield of honor, but the reality is, our coat-of-arms is shielding the very nature of our person from allowing others to enter.  It is serving as a warning sign, informing others to tread lightly, because I will remove them from my life, if they wrong me.

For people who long for the acceptance of their repentance, they will continue to be haunted  by their past wrongs as long as they choose to hang onto them.


“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Forgiveness is the intentional act or process of pardoning or offering absolution unto another.

Furthermore, it is the intentional act or process of accepting my own personal responsibility in an act or an event.  True repentance is expressed through sincere regret and remorse of our wrongs.  Therefore, I must forgive my own person, if I truly desire to heal from wrongful acts.  Forgiveness is a three way street.  It is the act of contrition, which is a state of feeling remorseful, sorrowful, regretful and penitent for the wrongs the we have committed.  It is also the responsibility of the person accepting our humbled and broken heart, that engages the act of forgiveness.  Most importantly, whether or not those we have wronged will accept our repentance, we must be willing to forgive ourselves.  For forgiving our own person allows the individual to move forward in life.  Unfortunately, not everyone will pardon or offer absolution of the wrongs we have committed.  Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that we forgive our own person simultaneously, when we request others to forgive the deeds or acts that we have committed.  Always remember, forgiveness is a continuous act not a momentary embrace.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA