The Power of Forgiveness - Your Mental Health Booster


  To each individual, forgiveness has diverse meanings. However, it usually entails a decision to let go of hatred and vengeful thoughts. Forgiveness is something every individual struggles with. Forgiveness is the act of making the conscious decision to let go of resentment towards a person who did wrong to you. It is a choice we can make to get rid of the negative thoughts and feelings that hold us back from attaining true happiness. In fact, the simple act of forgiving can have many positive effects on one's social, physical, and spiritual well-being. We may not realise it, but we sacrifice part of ourselves when we hold grudges.

The image contains the word forgiveness written on sand


Why forgiveness?

Forgiving is the process we must go through to be whole again. No doubt forgiving someone may sometimes feel difficult. To a certain degree, it is very natural for us to resent another person for their wrongdoings towards us. However, this resentment becomes a problem in our lives if we let it linger in our hearts, making ourselves prisoners of hate and anger. We can only be set free from all these negative things if we choose to forgive someone, no matter how grave their act may have been. When you forgive someone, you are choosing yourself over the negative things that trouble you. You may not be able to forgive someone now, but you should hold on to the hope that someday you might be able to do that because forgiveness is the only path that leads to freedom.

The image contains the word Love written with the use of different words.

How to attain forgiveness?

When you want to forgive someone, you should not ask how you should forgive them. Instead, you should ask yourself why you should forgive them. We should know exactly why we are forgiving someone and be sure that it is for the right reasons. Some people forgive because they think forgiveness makes you look like a good person. Others, forgive because of pressure from the people around them. However, these are not good enough reasons to forgive. If your motivation to forgive is selfish, it won't save you. Forgiveness is being kind and setting free not only yourself but also the person you have a grudge against. Then, when you have your reasons sorted, you can slowly start to forgive and be whole again.

The image contains a man standing with his hands wide open with sunset and sea in the background

Forgiveness and Healing: What's the Connection?

Forgiveness can assist you in overcoming despair, anxiety, and fury, as well as personal and interpersonal difficulties. It's about deciding to let go of a grudge consciously. Why would she want to forgive someone who has harmed her before? It's not about absolving someone of responsibility for a wrongdoing, or about erasing the past, or ignoring the sorrow. Anger and hurt are transformed into healing and peace when we forgive others. It doesn't mean you'll put up with future abuse from a boss, a partner, a parent, or a friend. It's all about freeing yourself so you may move on with your life.

The image contains a man standing and sunset and sea in the background

Ashwini John, a youth ICON awardee, says that you get three powers when you forgive. Firstly, you will live a healthy and happy life. Second, you will no longer be under anyone's control. And third, you will no longer be held back by feelings such as rage, depression, and sadness. She further adds that no one can move on without forgiving a person, and to forgive, we must have in us the ingredient of forgiveness, the ingredient known as LOVE. Without forgiveness, we can never learn how to love.


Dalai Lama suggests that the best way to deal with resentment towards someone is to simply look at them from another perspective and focus on their positive qualities. Harvard researcher and physician, George Vaillant describe forgiveness as one of the eight positive emotions that keep us connected to our deepest selves and with others. He considers the eight positive emotions joy, compassion, love, hope, faith, awe, gratitude, and forgiveness, to be key ingredients that bind us together and support us in living happy and peaceful lives.

A portrayal of forgiveness

We can take an example from the story of Sister Maria, a nun from Kerala. She was stabbed 50 times by a resident of her village where she was working, just because he didn't understand what she was doing was for their own good. Her mother came the day after the incident to see her daughter, whose body was lying helpless and dead. Unlike the usual angry reaction that one may expect, she did not resent the killer. Although she was upset, she forgave him because she knew that he had his reasons, even though his act brought sadness and sorrow upon her. The take of this story is that choosing ourselves is more important than being right or getting revenge. Her mother could have hated the man all her life for taking her daughter's life. However, she chose to forgive him and get closure. So that the vicious cycle of revenge would stop and peace would be maintained.


Forgiveness, therefore, is a virtue that we must practise if we want to get closer to attaining true happiness. It is the most beautiful form of love and courage. It is a divine act, and one does not have to be a saint to practise it. Furthermore, it teaches us that we do not have to be victims of our weaknesses.

A person who can forgive is a person who can say with full confidence that they are strong emotionally and spiritually. The secret of forgiving is to remember that you cannot control others, but you can always control the choices you make. In the words of Ashwini John, forgiveness shows your maturity level. Your forgiveness speaks about you, not them. Forgiveness is your gift towards yourself, from yourself. " When we learn to forgive, it will go a long way towards helping us in our pursuit of happiness.



~ Wochobeni Ovung

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  1. I read the article in the morning, when what we see or hear influence our mood for the day and I think that it was gratifying. Also, I am going through a season of discomfort and hurt, wherein, I feel that, I too, need to let go of certain things and emotions to be able to move forward and just like the article tells me how - to forgive, is to set myself free. I read reassurance and reminder today and further hoping to acknowledge and practice it in all certainty.

    Cheers to the writer ~ Wochobeni Ovung for sharing such one valuable virtue.

  2. It's a beautiful piece on forgiveness, thank you for this!

  3. Forgiveness is a wonderful weapon. And yes, as you rightly pointed out, it gives you freedom from all emotions and makes you go free!


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