Psychological Self-Help

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By taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it
over, he is superior.
-Francis Bacon
Forgiveness—Details of cognitive ways to reduce anger
Anger consists of our bitter responses to insults, hurts, injustices, rejection,
pain, etc., and the bitterness is repeatedly rehearsed and remembered.
Hatred is a memory that we are unwilling to let go, to dismiss, to forgive. If
we could forgive the person who offended us, we would no longer be so angry
and stressed. For many of us, however, forgiveness is especially hard because
we confuse it with other reactions. Making these distinctions may help you
become forgiving: 
a. Forgiveness is not forgetting nor is it a promise to forget. You can
never forget being hurt. In fact, if you had forgotten, you couldn't
forgive. 
b. Forgiveness is not promising to believe the other person was not
guilty or not responsible for the wrong things he/she did. If he/she
were blameless, there would be nothing to forgive. 
c. Forgiveness is not praise or a reward; no reward was earned, none
is given. 
d. Forgiveness is not approval of what was done. You are not
conceding that the wrong he/she committed is viewed as any less
serious than it has been heretofore. 
e. Forgiveness is not permission to repeat the offense. It does not
mean that your values or society's rules have changed. It is not based
on an assumption that the hurt will never be repeated on anyone but it
implies such a hope. 
Forgiveness, as defined here, is your decision to no longer hate the
sinner; it is getting rid of your venom, your hatred; it is your attempt to heal
yourself, to give yourself some peace (Smedes, 1984). There is research
evidence of a positive relationship between forgiveness and self-acceptance,
i.e. the more you accept others, the more you like yourself, and the reverse.
www.authentichappiness.org. Then go to www.authentichappiness.org/all24
and insert your scores for each strength. This will help you understand
yourself better and understand forgiveness better. By knowing clearly what
forgiveness is and what it is not, we may be able to forgive more easily (also
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