“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi
It has been known that one of the heaviest burdens to bear is a lack of forgiveness. Letting go can have a huge impact on our physical, emotional and psychological well-being.
The Healing Power of Forgiveness
When we hold onto resentment and tiresome grudges, our bodies begin to produce excess levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol and can act to destroy everything from peaceful sleep to the ability to lose weight.
Our immune system can also begin to suffer as a result of these heightened levels of stress and place undue pressure on our heart, our head and our peace of mind.
Fortunately, all these experiences can be reversed just by starting to forgive. We can begin to piece together the pieces of the puzzle, that lead to letting go.
As Deepak Chopra once said, “By letting go, we increase our capacity for forgiveness, we increase our capacity for compassion and love for everyone around us, including ourselves.”
“Ultimately forgiveness is a gift we give to ourselves.”
Forgiving, Not Condoning
In order to reap the benefits of forgiveness, it is important to not mistake forgiveness with condoning.
By forgiving, you are making sure the person who is awarded your forgiveness, is no longer in charge of your happiness – or lack thereof.
Taking back the power means that you forgive the person, not the action. By letting go of grudges you no longer give the person who wronged you, the satisfaction of hindering your happiness.
Let Go Alone
Whilst there’s no rulebook for forgiveness, letting something go that has been holding you back from experiencing clarity, doesn’t need to be shared.
Instead, when you make the decision to forgive, do so alone. Use the action to make yourself feel better – not the other person. Get in touch with yourself and learn about what your own mind needs, in order to forgive and let go.
Don’t Make Excuses
Regardless of how inexcusable the action, forgiveness is not about you telling them what they did was ok, it is about acceptance.
By telling yourself that the person ‘didn’t know any better’, you are assisting in the acceptance process, thereby making it easier to forgive and move on.
After all, moving on opens up more space for happiness and joy, where resentment used to live. Think of moving on as an emotional freedom that will last you the rest of your life.
Consider the inspiring words of Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned by the South African government for 27 years, yet emerged without bitterness or hatred for his captors: “As I walked out the door toward my freedom I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind, I would still be in prison.”