Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Healing Power of Forgiveness

Sometimes we experience a trauma so horrific that we feel we must acquire justice.  We fight the feelings of sadness, depression, the loss of innocence and trust that comes when others hurt us.  And although all of our feelings are valid and important to express and honor, forgiveness is the highest goal that we can aspire to achieve.
Holding vengeful feelings and grudges affects the mental and physical body in negative ways.  Therefore, it is important for each of us to learn to forgive.  This action is not done for the person for whom the grudge has been held but for the holder of that grudge.  Anger, hatred, and the loss of life force are expensive, and the damage done to our own lives comes with costly repairs.
Although it may seem impossible to forgive certain people in our lives, and vengeance seems the sweeter deal, the costs are most often prohibitive.  Think about the fact that it may take days, weeks, months or even years to acquire the just punishment for the crime done against you; however, you are the one who has been suffering all of that time with all of that hatred, anger, and rage inside of your body, dimming the light that you were born upon this earth to shine.  It is a proven fact that negative emotions take their toll when it comes to both physical and mental health.  So, instead of harming and punishing someone else, we end up penalizing ourselves.
Why is it so challenging to forgive?
Our society is trained in retaliation when we are hurt by others.  We may find it difficult to forgive because we have our own beliefs surrounding giving others a pardon.  We may feel that we cannot forgive a certain person because they will see it as weakness, or because they don’t take any responsibility, or because as children we were judged harshly, and now that is the way we judge others.  There are so many variations that make up the reluctance to forgive.
Lack of forgiveness in one’s life can lead to the constant brooding and preoccupation of “settling the score.”  This consumes the mind of the individual and keeps him or her from leading an authentic life, and keeps them from achieving their own beautiful dreams and goals.  Psychosomatic disorders can follow and may include:  skin diseases like eczema, or hyper or hypopigmentation, allergic rhinitis, migraines and even irritable bowel syndrome.
Keep in mind, forgiveness does not happen overnight and is a constant step by step process:
Try to keep a daily Gratitude Diary – we all have things to be grateful for in our lives.  This is a good way to begin the day by opening the heart and releasing all negative feelings from the body.  When we live as if our life is great, then great things can come to us. 
Consider the value of forgiveness and its importance at a specific time in your life.
Think about what occurred in the situation, your reaction, and how the mixture has impacted your health, life and sense of peace and well -being. 
Process through the anger and other negative feelings with a therapist; It is important to honor what you are feeling, but not allow it to consume your life.
When you are able to choose to do so, forgive the person who has hurt you.  This will allow you to move on, and release the role of victim.  You will no longer be allowing that person to control your life, and your thoughts will be free to create dreams and goals that you can fulfill.
As you let go of vengeful feelings and grudges you are no longer defined by your hurts.
Forgiving serves us especially when we consider the law of physics:  What we focus on in each moment becomes our reality.  Do you want to continually create a reality filled with rage, anger, and people seeking vengeance?  Remember, you must become what you seek to experience in life.
So no matter how deep the wound or scar, seek to forgive…it is your road to freedom.

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