The Power of Forgiveness
I have been thinking on what are the important elements of therapeutic change, I have concluded that one Â of the most important elements is forgiveness. We often hold on to hurt or wounded feelings which does nothing but cause pain and distress to ourselves and others. Forgiveness for therapeutic purposes comes in two varieties, they are forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others.
Interestingly, for many people it is easier for a person to forgive others rather than forgiving themselves. Forgiveness is at the heart of many belief systems, and is necessary for peace of mind. Forgiveness is a process of separating the action from the person. By which I mean, a good person can do a bad thing, but that bad thing does not necessarily make the person bad.
Additionally, we are prone to making decisions on the premise of making the best choice possible. This best choice may be time dependent (ie circumstances make this the only choice possible) and that people are doing the best they can based on their resources.
This means that the people around us are doing the best they can as well as we individually do the best we can. So the idea of forgiving ourselves and others for outcomes that did not work to our advantage is an excellent way to get to good mental health.