To forgive, being forgiving, and practicing forgiveness: why is it important?
Might not be as easy as some would say. But is doable. And more than necessary.
Sometimes it’s obvious to ourselves that we haven’t (forgiven). Other times, resentment is so hidden that you literally need to draw maps to get to them. Sometimes resentment is so old and calcified as a fossil within you: and yet you still react to that hurt, without perceiving. Maybe we’re not even conscious or aware of that pain: the unforgiven is buried deep down inside. And it still hurts.
Well, if you’re religious you’ll have your faith to back you up on this.
If you’re not that religious, here are 2 reasons, with major weight, to find a way how to (forgive):
- Because, if enjoy some peace of mind: is your responsibility to restore it. Nobody else’s.
- Because your health depends on it. How else are you going to enjoy the money and happy times that are just around the corner, that the near future is bringing? I’m positively sure you want that for yourself and you are planting it… Right?
Lets’ break this and start by forgiving… Yourself!
2. Start By Forgiving Yourself: You’ll Find Peace Of Mind.
You’ll say: what? People have done me wrong, and I’m the one who has to forgive myself?
Yes: you got that right. You have to start by forgiving yourself.
Nobody I saying that whatever happened is your fault. Might have or might have been not.
But forgiving is not just a matter of blame.
We can agree that when one feels injustice when one feels wronged: our ego gets bruised. Sometimes seriously bruised. Sometimes we rock-bottom.
We can be harsh onto ourselves having this low vibrational inner talk:
“I should have seen it coming…”
“How could I be so stupid?”
“He/she made a fool out of me”
“Why didn’t I see it…?”
Basically: you’re pulling yourself down, thinking that someone outsmarted you.
And one gets angry and bitter at ourselves.
And that’s the easiest way to fall into the self-pity trap or even worst, install in yourself a victim mentality - which is dangerous because it might put you in a mental state of not wanting to do anything else. Ever. And live randomly as tragedy-magnet.
Yes: you were a victim in a determined situation. Period.
It doesn’t mean that “Is always like that”, or “everything happens to me” “things always work out that way for me ”: as if you had no responsibility for any possible positive outcomes in your life.
You have: your attitude, your decisions, and your actions will have a major saying in this.
And in whatever situation you need to forgive yourself, stop beating yourself up.
Start treating yourself as you would treat a person who is very dear to you and remember that:
You did the best you could with what you knew at the time.
So: now that you have forgiven yourself. What do you do with the feelings of resentment you have for others?
3. Feelings of Resentment: What To Do With Them?
So, naturally: there’s resentment. What to do with them?
It’s a matter of using your energy towards something that will actually make a difference in your life: You.
Instead of focusing on the person who wronged you: focus on you.
Nobody is saying that is easy: it is a challenging process.
And in some situations, not even a win in a courthouse can either heal or fully compensate for the amount of loss – material or moral.
But let us say that the issue is not a matter for the courthouse to fix it.
3.1 You feel resented, and you want the person out of your life…
3.2 You feel resented, and you want to keep the person in your life…
Ok: you want to fix it. Because it’s a relationship that is not dead and you don’t want it to die.
Resentments are a kind of torture-poison, that’s killing you slowly: you and the person that you decided to maintain in your life.
Just because you want to forgive and keep the relationship, doesn’t mean you have to forgive and forget.
Try and have an open heart conversation. You and your Emmylou. Or your Emile, whatever the case: but an honest, heart-opened conversation, one of those healing ones.
Understand what needs to be understood.
Learn from the situation, learn about the other person, and learn from you. Set boundaries in the relationship in a way that you know yours, and the other person’s too: both ways.
And if anxiety is taking the best out of you, try listening to this Hawaiian mantra for forgiveness, Hoponopono, before asleep:
It is repetitive: but that is probably the point. Ideally, you can do it for 21 days in a row routine: works pretty well. And after that: any time or situation that you identify that some forgiveness is needed.
It’s five minutes long and it might work for you: to relieve those heavy energies of stress that resentment carries along.
After all, stress eventually will take a slice off your health: and you want to keep your health to enjoy the better days that will certainly come, right?
4. Forgiving: Your Health Depends On It
Well: is not a guess.
Is scientifically supported by studies that, continuous stress or chronic anger puts you in a constant flight-fight mode, which will result in an enormous physical burden with effects on:
- Your immune response
- Altered heart rate
- Blood pressure
And these effects increase the risk of :
- Heart disease
On the other hand, practicing forgiveness:
- Lower the risk of a heart attack and lowers the blood pressure
- Improves cholesterol levels
- Improves sleep
- Reduces the perception of pain
- Lowers levels of anxiety, depression, and stress
Besides those facts, the studies also indicate the age factor is preponderant on the connection between forgiveness and health. Which is the same to say that the sooner you learn to forgive the better your health will be in the years ahead.
Being willing to forgive is a good investment of your emotions. For many reasons:
- Your mental health;
- Your physical health;
- More time and vital energy is left to dedicate to a more constructive way of being.
Yes, we all are born to die, but while we are here, we might as well live well. "Living well" might have different meanings for each one, is a very personal concept: but certainly health is transversal and common to all formats of "living well".
Forgiving is one of the tools.
Getting Better Every Day
Hey! I'm Eunice Veloso and you'll find more about me on my About Page
Antoine Lavoisier, 1789
The Law of the Conservation of Mass