The Healing Power of Forgiveness
At some point in our lives, each of us will feel an overwhelming sense of pain caused by transgression. An unfaithful spouse, a thieving sibling, an abusive parent, a severe and crippling accident. And oftentimes, we cannot express the anger, humiliation and hurt. So, we repress the severe emotions, and eventually they subside — at first to a dull ache, then diminishing to an occasional pang. Only to surge to the surface with some trigger, unleashing all the bitterness and angst that we had thought (hoped!) we had put away forever. These instances can be frequent, disrupting our lives as we constantly fight to keep the emotions sequestered within us. Or they may only happen occasionally, slipping in when we least expect it, leaving us feeling vulnerable and exposed. Either way, it’s debilitating. For a moment or for a lifetime.
Repressed emotions that cannot be released will manifest into physical symptoms. Neck and back pain, headaches, and ulcers are all believed to be caused by stress. If stress can cause these types of ailments, it stands to reason that it can cause all sorts of other conditions, illnesses and afflictions. And stress is caused by repressed emotions. The practice of forgiveness can release these emotions, and begin the healing process, both emotional and physical.
There are three things to know about the practice of forgiveness.
- Forgiveness is not about the other person or a past situation, it’s about releasing the bitterness and anger. It’s about feeling better. A lot better.
- Forgiveness is not about finding the circumstances acceptable, it’s about accepting the circumstances.
- Forgiveness does not mean a reconciliation. One can come to peace and move on without ever having a confrontation or any communication.
The power of forgiveness is two-fold. It helps us to let go of the negative emotions that we have been carrying as dead weight. Once we let go of something that doesn’t serve us, we make room for things that do. Letting go helps us raise our vibration, and we will naturally attract better things to fill the void. Holding onto past transgressions only burdens ourselves. We are the only ones who suffer.
Also, the power of forgiveness helps us move into a better future. Remaining bitter, angry, disappointed, hurt or hostile will keep us in the past, remembering the scenarios in our minds, over and over. We will be distracted, and focusing our attention on the past, reliving it — both in our minds and in our lives. Forgiveness provides the path out of the past and into the future.
The healing power of forgiveness begins with a willingness to let go and move on. And within that action is a great transformation. A transition from a life of sorrow to a life of peace.