#thoughtfulthursday 20: Forgive

Forgiveness is such a difficult topic. When we feel we’ve been wronged it is difficult to let go of those negative feelings. It can feel like if we forgive we are letting someone get away with the wrong they have done.

But unforgiveness imprisons us in negative emotions – and that cause damage to us. Research has shown that holding onto anger and the emotions related to unforgiveness actually has a detrimental effect on our physical and mental health, increasing the risk of developing various health conditions.

As Jaime Thurston says, “Forgiveness, on the other hand, calms stress levels, leading to improved health.” Kindness: the little thing that matters most

Having grown up during the troubles in Northern Ireland, I have seen so many times that the only way people can move forward and build lasting peace is through forgiveness. Of course, people should be brought to justice, but neither justice or revenge bring the freedom and healing that forgiveness does.

During the Peaced Together course we consider how we can have peace with the past. It is always amazing to see the impact on participants lives when they embrace forgiveness. As one of our participants said, “To forgive and let go will give me a lot of peace inside.”


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