The Art of Forgiveness – The Practical Side

Forgiveness: 1) to give up resentment of or claim to requital for, 2) to grant relief from payment of, 3) to cease to feel resentment against (Merriam-Webster).  I propose that most people have at least one person in their lives they find difficult to forgive.  Some people we think we can never forgive, and others we find the courage to forgive only to be wounded by them again.  To forgive or not to forgive is a personal choice we make countless times throughout our lives. 

Forgiveness cannot be forced, and some therapists argue that it is not always helpful.  However, it is interesting that one of the definitions of forgiveness is, “to cease to feel resentment against.”  Resentment is a negative emotion that can have serious implications for one’s physical, emotional and even spiritual health.  We already know that there is a link between depression and heart disease.  And it is easy to see how deep feelings of resentment over time could lead to depression.

I am not suggesting that not forgiving someone could necessarily cause heart disease.  But what I am saying is that holding onto negative feelings (or negative energy) has real implications for your day to day life, including your physical, emotional and spiritual health.  Over time and without intervention negative emotions can lead to mood disorders such as mild, moderate or severe depression.  Relationship problems may also occur making it difficult for you to have healthy relationships with others.

If you are feeling resentful, struggling with the issue of forgiveness, or notice that your feelings are interfering with your daily functioning, please make an appointment to speak to a counselor today. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment.


Yolanda Brailey