Updated: Feb 21
We all have someone to forgive. Most people hold the view that when we forgive someone, we do it for them, to absolve them of their guilt and to somehow be above the pain that they have caused us. That might be a hard pill to sallow depending on what you are forgiving. There is another way. How about we start to forgive those who have wronged us not for them for but for us. Studies have shown that by not forgiving and hanging on to feelings of resentment we may be affecting our physical health. The good news is that studies have also found that the act of forgiveness can have huge rewards for our health, lowering the risk of heart attack, reducing pain, lowering levels of anxiety, depression and stress. So lets explore how developing a habit of forgiveness can benefit us without having to deny the existence of the wrongs which we have experienced.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and realize the prisoner was you.” - Anonymous
Forgiveness is a choice, we can choose to let go of thoughts of how the past could been different, of ruminating on every single detail of the event and replaying over an over trying to get the answers we need to find peace. The reality is that there is no amount of apologies and recognition from the assailant that could ever repay that debt owed to you. That debt can only be repaid by you.
So how can we forgive? Firstly, we can show ourselves some love and acknowledge that forgiveness does not happen over night. Forgiveness is going to be a muscle that we are going to exercise on a daily basis. This will be no easy task but once you start this journey, at the end awaits compassion and empathy not just to the person who wronged you, but more importantly, yourself. Often times forgiving ourselves of allowing the harm to be done is the biggest task and that is why the debt can only be paid by you.
We can develop a forgiving attitude and benefit from better emotional and physical health by fully acknowledging that we are doing this for ourselves and our loved ones. We are doing this for those who are still in our lives and depend on us, we are doing this for our future self. Through forgiving exercises such as forgiveness meditations and journaling we begin to slowly understand that all emotions are temporary. Through this exercises we let go of the pain and make room for understanding our true power and resilience. We zoom out of the present pain and acknowledge the evidence of our abilities to overcome. We shift our focus away from what we no longer control, the past, and begin to focus on what we can control, our present and how we respond. Most learning is done in discomfort, so how will we grow from this? What meaning can we give this pain? Our revenge will be letting go and using the scar tissue left behind as the stepping stone towards the best version of ourselves.
Make no mistake, this will be no easy task. At first it will feel like you are drowning in a sea of sorrow. Eventually, you will come up for air but a wave pushes you under. You come back up again and this time the space between those waves become bigger. As the space above water lengthens you eventually end up on sands of forgiveness and release yourself from the discomfort.
If you find yourself needing to forgive so you can evolve into how you want to show up in the world, your best-self, then book your FREE consultation session to learn more on how we can work as a team to start the journey. What do you have to lose?