There are times when forgiveness can be the furthest thing from our minds, particularly when the person we should forgive has done something we deem to be unforgivable. It took me years to understand that forgiveness is not for the benefit of the other person, but for our own benefit. It takes very little effort to harbor anger, resentment, hurt and other negative feelings associated with the betrayal of another. The real effort and strength is in the forgiveness; in the ability to let go. There is a sense of personal freedom that we acquire when we learn how to forgive which may very well add years to our lives. In letting go, we allow life’s vibrant energy to flow through us rather than blocking it with the bad feelings we’re holding on to.
When we harbor bad feelings, our bodies eventually begin to fail us, and so do our minds. We’ve all experienced, either as the receiver or the perpetrator, the ugliness and destruction that negative interactions with others begets. It is not too difficult to figure out why society suffers from such a wide array of illnesses, both physical and mental. I equate this to breathing in fresh air or toxic air. One promotes good health and wellness while the other promotes death.
There is a complete science to health, wealth and happiness; it is not simply a matter of good fortune or “luck”, and forgiveness is one of the main ingredients to acquiring such a state of well-being. When we forgive, we bring forth the ability to feel happiness and to experience abundance and good health. Without forgiveness, not only do we imprison ourselves in an unhealthy mind and body, but we block the ability to enjoy the blessings life has to offer. I don’t believe that one can experience true happiness and good health in a tainted mind any more than I believe a person can experience a healthy mind in a tainted body and impoverished conditions. So often these things are viewed as separate when they are very much a part of the same whole.
Not only do scientists now acknowledge the fact that our mindset has a tremendous impact on our health, but many illnesses are attributed to factors such as stress, depression and the like. In fact, more and more doctors are incorporating holistic medicine into their treatment methods.
When we hold on to bad feelings about another person, we are basically holding poison in our minds and bodies and the long term damage can be devastating. In short, when we don’t forgive, we are refusing to expel the poison from our bodies. Anger, jealously, resentment, guilt, stress, fear – these are all forms of poison.
Practicing forgiveness will set us free from those toxins and allow us to live happier and healthier lives. It really doesn’t matter whether or not we believe the other person is deserving of our forgiveness, what matters is whether or not we believe ourselves to be deserving of forgiving. It’s not only beneficial to our health, but it’s incredibly freeing when we operate from a place of calmness and love.
Let’s not forget that most of us have asked for forgiveness at one time or another. It only seems fitting to continue the rotation.