When was the last time you forgave someone? It’s not a common word in our vocabulary. I wonder why! I ask myself, how often have I forgiven another or myself and let go of the negative thoughts. As I grow older, I see the value of forgiveness. In my emotional suitcase are many past hurts, misunderstandings, and archaic beliefs that are just weighing me down.
I have to put myself on an emotional diet and weigh in with forgiveness as my tool.
There are two different types of forgiveness: forgiving others and forgiving ourselves. Both are important in order to develop and increase compassion and love within us.
As I write about forgiveness, up come two distinct feelings. First, I can’t forgive someone’s behavior because my thoughts say he/she will continue it. Second, I feel my body respond favorably to the word ‘forgive’…letting go and releasing the tension that I hold within me. If I can quickly create two different reactions, I’m assuming that I have a choice on what I want to feel. I believe that we are the creators of our thoughts, which influence our feelings and actions.
Forgiveness doesn’t change what the person has done, but rather changes our reaction to the situation. Forgiveness isn’t about turning the other cheek. We can forgive another without forgiving the act. The same holds for our behavior. We can forgive ourselves when we have made a mistake and still own up to our actions.
I just heard yesterday…not even sure where…but it made sense to me. When you have a problem, find a solution and let go of complaining. Forgiveness creates the space for you to find the right solution. Holding on to bitterness, anger, sadness only affects your wellbeing and adds negative stress to your life. Negative emotions indicate that we need to do something to create change. Our inner guidance is telling us that we need to understand our feelings and take action to heal and support our wellbeing.
I was watching Oprah the other day and she had on a man who lost his wife and son because of a shooting. He was shot and as he rested in the hospital bed, he made a decision to forgive this person. At that time, he didn’t know who did the shooting. He later found out that his older son had put out a contract killing on the family. This is definitely an extreme example of forgiveness, but if this man could forgive (because of his deep faith), then how much can each of us forgive on the smaller issues.
Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive? Do you need to forgive yourself?
If you want to release the tension and forgive others or yourself, and find that it is difficult, then find support. The most obvious support is traditional talking therapy. I’ve found Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to be a great tool to releasing the tension within me and finding space in my heart to forgive others and myself. You can do this technique anytime and it doesn’t cost you anything. Check out www.emofree.com and download their free 87 page ‘how to’ to learn the technique of EFT.
Research is proving the power of forgiveness on our health and wellbeing. Forgiveness provides clarity and balances the physical, emotional and spiritual parts of our lives. Our inner balance influences others around us.
Do your own research, find out just how powerful ‘forgiveness’ is for you, others, your community and for the world. Start forgiving today.
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
(By Pat Brill)
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