The Act of Practicing Forgiveness
As humans, our capacity for forgiveness knows no bounds. It is when we do not show forgiveness that we do ourselves and injustice. And yet, forgiveness is a practice that can be difficult to master. When we feel wronged our mind becomes reactionary, lashing out and taking action against the person that wronged us feels like a normal response. In reality, we are only hurting ourselves. Forgiveness is NOT acceptance of a wrong behavior, it is simply a way of letting go and moving forward.
When it comes to our health, forgiving the transgressor is key to vital health and well being. When we are treated with a personal injustice, our blood pressure rises, digestion suffers, you may suffer headaches; the stressors of being wronged can create a firestorm of issues in the body. Our physical, emotional and spiritual health all suffer when we hold on to the anger and refuse to forgive. Sleep is another part of life that suffers when we hang onto the anger. When you lack sleep the body is incapable of functioning at one hundred percent.
The very idea of forgiveness is easy, it is the action that is difficult. Most people believe that by forgiving they are accepting what has happened to them, when it is really the contrary. When you forgive, your heart opens up, your self esteem rises and you become a more compassionate human being. This does not open you up for being taken advantage of, it opens you up to more possibilities to what life has to offer. How? By widening your vision, allowing yourself to see more broadly how things are possible when there is not resentment holding you back.
Resentment and the inability to forgive creates a negative impact on those around you and in yourself. In anger, you become addicted to your story, you show up in the world in a more negative way. This negativity creates a wedge between you and those in your life. People do not gravitate towards negative people and you find yourself alone. Ignoring forgiveness can sometimes take you to a place where you find discord in other things in life as well.
The Art of Forgiveness
So just how do you practice forgiving those that have transgressed against you? Old hurts run deep and can be difficult to let go.
~Break up with the story. Do not let it have a force in your life. You have the ability to re-write the story and forgive.
~Remember that forgiveness is for you, not the one that wronged you. They may or may not think they have done anything. Absolution is yours, for you alone.
~Do not put yourself in the situation again. If you keep repeating the same behaviors, you will get the same results. Create situations that lift you and those around you up.
~Send them love and light. I know this is difficult, but remember, I said forgiveness is something you do for YOU. When you send them love and light, do so and drop it. Do not let the situation re-enter your mind. Gain your perspective and move on. We must always be learning from our mistake.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. -Mahatma Gandhi
Forgiveness isn’t easy, it is however, essential to your well being. Some positions may seem bigger to you than to your offender, that is what makes us all different. As difficult as it is to put ourselves in another’s position, try it. There may not have been any harm intended, nevertheless, perception is reality.
Next time you experience an infraction towards yourself, stop and think of what the harm could be in forgiving. You will go along way in doing something good for your mind, body and your spirit. Forgiveness is a choice, you can choose to forgive or not to forgive. What a beautiful practice it would be if we all chose to just let it go and live life unconditionally.