Forgiveness is a choice, but it is not an option!
Most of us have been hurt in one way or another, and our deepest wounds feel like they will last a lifetime: The absent mother who robbed you of the mother-daughter bond you craved and deserved. The seventh-grade bully who turned the classroom into a living nightmare. The girlfriend who broke her promises and your heart.
You feel bitter. Perhaps still sad when you think about it. You still hold a grudge. But clinging to those betrayals and disappointments, that hurt, is bad for the body, mind, and soul. “It’s inevitable that we’ll all be hurt by others, and that it will happen often,” says clinical psychologist Ryan Howes, who’s based in Pasadena, California. “People have accidents, make mistakes, behave selfishly, and even intentionally try to hurt one another. We can’t escape it. Forgiveness is a vulnerable act that can feel like it opens us up to more pain. But we need to have a way to process and let go of the effects of injury, or we risk serious physical and emotional consequences.”
As a Wellness Consultant with doTERRA and Master Energy Therapy Practitioner, I believe by forgiving it lets go of the distress and dis-ease, which causes disease and blockages to your body. Your body is like a river. If a river gets stuck, nothing is going to get through–no ships, no boats! Same for your body. If the vessels in your body get stuck with issues, it causes blockages. Once these blockages get thick enough, it can cause so much dis-ease that the dis-ease will create disease.
The good news is once you release and forgive, the vessels become unblocked and your body becomes free from distress and dis-ease!
Experts say that forgiving those who have wronged us helps lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart rate. One study found that forgiveness is associated with improved sleep quality, which has a strong effect on health. Duke University researchers report a strong correlation between forgiveness and strengthened immunity among HIV-positive patients. The benefits aren’t just limited to the physical. Letting go of old grudges reduces levels of depression, anxiety, and anger. People who forgive tend to have better relationships, are happier, more optimistic, and overall enjoy better psychological well-being.
We have to remember, when we forgive we’re not doing it just for the other person, we’re doing it for our own good. We are forgiving them to allow ourselves to move on–to be free! When we hold on to un-forgiveness and we live with grudges in our hearts, all we’re doing is building our disease.
If you’re bent on holding grudges, you may become so wrapped up in past wrongs that you can’t enjoy the present. You may feel helpless or that life is meaningless. You could jeopardize future relationships. “If you don’t get past some of the wounds of the past, you tend to bring them into everything else you pursue,” says psychotherapist Frank Luskin, director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project and author of Forgive for Good. He’s spent more than 20 years studying forgiveness. “If you’ve been dumped or treated badly, and you don’t really heal, you’re going to be less trusting, more defensive, and more quarrelsome with the next guy–or even the next five–because you still carry visceral pain. When we can’t move past that, we stay a prisoner of our worst experiences.” And feeling that way, constantly on edge, resentful, and maybe even frightened, certainly isn’t healthy.
Still, no one ever said forgiveness was easy. It’s a difficult process. Enright says that it “takes serious hard work over months” or even a year. The first step is understanding what forgiveness is: a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge, and perhaps even reaching a place of understanding, empathy, and compassion. It’s not reconciling and it’s not forgetting. In fact, “it’s important to remember what hurt you, so you can avoid it in the future,” Howes says. Forgiveness also doesn’t justify or excuse what the other person did, rather, it helps one achieve a sense of peace. It is the true gift you are giving to yourself by forgiving!
There’s no single manual for forgiveness, but these are my recommendations:
* Express the emotion. Let yourself feel hurt and angry. Verbalize the way you feel. Ideally, express it to the person who made you feel that way. Otherwise, talk to a stand-in friend or even an empty chair. Write a letter; you don’t need to send it, burn it. Shout your emotions at the top of your lungs while you’re in the car, alone, with the windows down.
*Then, the real trick is to get it “out of your tissues” with Integrated Energy Therapy, aka “Healing with the energy of the Angels.” Angel Daniel brings the healing gift of forgiveness and helps you clear judgments from yourself and others. Daniel is very effective if you have been victimized. He helps you to understand that you do not have to condone the past hurts, but rather forgive them so that you can free yourself of the past and be fully alive in the present moment to enjoy and live in peace.
*You must forgive the people who hurt you so you can get out of your prison. You’ll never be free until you do. Let go of those wrongs they’ve done to you. Get that bitterness out of your life. That’s the only way you’re going to truly be free. You will be amazed at what can happen in your life when you release all that does not serve you!
*If you feel “stuck” today, you may want to examine what you’re holding on to. Be willing let go of past disappointments by choosing forgiveness. Release them. Do you need to forgive yourself? Do you need to receive forgiveness? Let go of the past so you can overcome disappointments and experience your bright future! There is freedom in forgiving!