How Forgiveness Helps to Heal
I focused on forgiveness because I realized I was hanging on to feelings that were weighing me down, and I could feel this “weight” on an emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical level, and I knew I needed to release it.
When I forgave and released the feelings I was holding on to, I felt lighter and freer. As I did so, I noticed my health improve. I shared part of my healing journey in one of the lessons I learned since I started this company. But, what I did not share at the time is that forgiveness played a part in that healing.
When someone “does” something to us, and they hurt, damage, or limit us in some way, it is normal for us to feel pain, anger, disappointment, sadness, or frustration. In fact, feeling these emotions is a normal part of us learning to deal with these situations.
The problem occurs when we hold on to these feelings. We do so because we lead ourselves to believe that these negative emotions are our way of “getting back” to that person, they are our way of not forgetting, and they are our way of making sure that “it” does not happen again.
And this is normal. Somehow, we have to find a way to balance our emotions because we feel wronged. And the truth is that we do not have to forget. Forgiveness is not about correcting a wrong. It doesn’t mean that by forgiving we are saying to the other person that what they did was acceptable. Rather, forgiveness is about letting go of something that is weighing us down. If someone did something wrong, it is their cross to bear, not ours.
When we do not forgive, we hurt ourselves. That person likely has gone on with their lives, but we are stuck. We don’t feel happy, at peace, calm, or free.
When we hold on to these negative emotions, when they take over our thoughts and feelings, and when we cannot let them go, they accumulate. Holding on to emotional pain, hurt, sadness, anger, frustration, resentment, or any form of resistance, creates a buildup of negativity in our bodies. This buildup eventually manifests as anxiety, stress, depression, or other chronic conditions.
Science has proven that stress is a factor in most illnesses, and stress can arise as much from our day to day lives, as from not letting go of negativity that comes from not forgiving.
“Forgiveness is a cleansing process, a ‘Shifting’ of the Heart. It is a reclaiming of your inner self as your True Self that as it ripples out into the world becomes a healing agent; a pathway for peace; inner and outer.” (Neumann, 2017).
Forgiveness is essential for us to feel mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual peace. When we let go of the resentment, bitterness, frustration, and sadness, we allow ourselves to reach for happiness.