It’s healthy to forgive

My husband is very supportive of my career, and this morning he spotted a story in the Wall Street Journal and cut it out for me. “Here’s something for your clients,” he said. And for anyone reading this blog.

This is what the real experts — the Mayo Clinic, researchers at the University of Missouri and Dr. Janis Abrams Spring — say about forgiveness. I bought Spring’s latest book a few months ago, and I have recommended it to several clients. The title is “How Can I Forgive You? The Courage to Forgive, The Freedom Not To.”

Everyone knows that hanging on to anger and resentment and negative thoughts is unhealthy and unhappy. So the consensus has been, You need to forgive. Period. Well, Spring says what should have been obvious all along. There are some actions that are so grievous that there can be no forgiving. Rape, incest, murder, cruelty, sabotage. She posits that the person on the receiving end of those terrible things cannot truly, totally forgive. But that person may be able to come to what Spring calls “acceptance.”

I particularly like one line in the WSJ article, not from Spring, but from a Mayo Clinic expert: Forgiveness . . . allows one to focus on more positive thoughts and relationships. It allows you to free up the real estate in your brain taken up by negative thinking.

That aligns perfectly with the base of cognitive behavioral thinking, which I teach to most of my clients.

I like that: Free up the real estate in your brain taken up by negative thinking. Good image.

Here’s the article: