In a perspective today on parenting blog Strollerderby, Katherine Stone discusses what she wants to teach her children about love this Valentine's Day. For Stone, the most important lesson for her children to learn about love is forgiveness. She writes:
... I want them to know that you can't experience and maintain love for another without forgiveness. Sometimes people hurt you because you are caught up in their whirlpool of self-destruction. It's not because they woke up that day and decided their goal was to ruin your life. I know this. I've been through the most devastating of hurts, and I've learned that most of the time I was hurt because I was the nearest person to someone who was suffering and unable to cope. I've watched those people learn to forgive themselves, learn from their mistakes and become healthy human beings. I've forgiven them, just as they've forgiven me when my own maelstrom sucked them in. We have rich and rewarding relationships now. Make forgiveness a part of your life. You will learn that there are a lot more things you can let go of than you think.
A growing body of research over the past decade has shown that the act forgiveness is not only beneficial to our emotional health but for our physical health as well. This week, Stanford psychologist Fred Luskin, PhD, a research associate at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and co-founder of the Stanford Forgiveness Project, is taking questions about why forgiveness is important for health via our @SUMedicine Twitter feed.