What Does Forgiveness Have to Do with Wellbeing and Longevity?
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” ~Nelson Mandela
So, what does forgiveness really have to do with our overall wellbeing and longevity? In my opinion one heck of a lot.
Let me explain why, and then I will share some great quotes on forgiveness that are excellent food for thought and may make you reconsider holding on to past hurts and letting them go once and for all.
Dr. Carsten Wrosch is a professor at the Department of Psychology at Concordia University in Montreal and director of the Personality, Aging and Health Lab. He and his team study how we process life’s problematic situations and how they affect our psychological, biological, and physical health.
We all must admit that life’s difficult situations invariably include some form of hurt or harm and breed a certain amount of resentment and bitterness. If left unchecked and allowed to fester it can cause a major damaging effect through our entire body. It is no secret anymore about the effects of chronic stress. The damaging effects of long held resentment and bitterness is not much different, it also effects our immune systems, according to Dr. Wrosch, leaving us susceptible to disease and illness.
One of the best antidotes to resentment and bitterness that I have come across in both my personal and professional life is forgiveness. Therefore, I feel that forgiveness has a great deal to do with wellbeing and longevity.
“Forgiveness has nothing whatsoever to do with how wrong someone else was; no matter how evil, cruel, narcissistic, or unrepentant they are. When you forgive a person, you break the ties with their ill deeds that keep you in anguish.” ~Bryant McGill
“When we don’t forgive, we’re not hurting the other person. We’re not hurting the company that did us wrong… We’re only hurting ourselves.” ~Joel Osteen
“Nothing is more generous and loving than the willingness to embrace grief in order to forgive.” ~Brené Brown
“Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it forgives revenge and dares to forgive an injury.” ~Edwin Hubbell Chapin
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.
“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different. It’s accepting the past for what is was and using this moment and this time to help yourself move forward.” ~Oprah Winfrey
“There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.
“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one who inflicted it. And yet there is no peace without forgiveness.” ~Marianne Williamson
“Forgiveness is above all a personal choice, a decision of the heart to go against the natural instinct to pay back evil with evil.” ~Pope John Paul ll
The wisdom in these quotes is not for the faint of heart. It does take a tremendous amount of courage to embark on the serious business of forgiveness, but it is very apparent that we as people need it now more than ever. Unresolved grief can carry a tremendous amount of resentment and bitterness and can negatively add to the stress and weight that we are feeling right now with all that is going on around us. However, there is something you can do, and that is to work on your own grief, forgive, and let go of that which does not serve you. Your wellbeing and longevity depend on it.
Stay safe and be well.