I hope you have had a splendiferous September and great start to your week! I?m going to get right down to our topic du jour, and serve up some Soul Food for ya today. Something to ponder as you travel the journey of life and continue to build healthy relationships, including the one that you have with YOU.
Forgiveness is a key practice to the health of your body, mind, and spirit?and it is also a misunderstood concept. In our culture, it typically sounds something like this: ?Anger and resentment are bad. Forgiveness is good, makes you good, and is a nice gesture to do for the person toward whom you feel anger or resentment.? Let?s unpack that one?
Out of the gate, ALL emotions are good and necessary. They tell us important things about ourselves, and what we need to pay attention to. It?s what we DO with our emotions that can become a problem in our relationships, including our most important relationship: the one with ourselves.
Next, my forgiving someone else actually does nothing for them. THEY have to forgive THEMselves if they feel they screwed up. My forgiveness is really all about me and my emotional health. It?s about putting my desire to feel good and Whole before my desire to be right and feel vindicated.
?Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.? ~ Nelson Mandela
Finally, forgiveness is indeed good?if it?s authentic and thoughtful. Forgiveness is a decision (not an emotion) made by your whole self after your true emotional work has been done. True forgiveness is not a pretty, polite gesture made with head bowed and a Hallmark card. True forgiveness is typically an ugly, messy, thrashing-around type of internal process.
Where does forgiveness take root? True forgiveness is recognizing that we all make mistakes and we all do things we?re not proud of. It recognizes that people often act out of fear, which rarely produces great results. Forgiveness is a practice. It?s a Journey. If we do it authentically and with presence, the healing and unwinding of our wounds will make us more Whole, and improve our ability to create meaningful connections with others.
And, as I mentioned, it can be an ugly internal process. But here?s the thing. If you had an arrow in your leg, you?d probably be totally on-board to go through MORE pain to pull it out, tearing the flesh in the process, and then having to get it sewn up and have that hurty antiseptic stuff put on it. You?d even do all that without any painkiller because you want that sucker OUT OF THERE. You know that only by removing it, will the wound heal.
We humans are funny though?we seem to be much more game to suffer for days, weeks, or years with a painful emotion lodged in our psyche. With emotions like resentment, we tend to be very willing to just ignore it and let it fester, or tell ourselves we forgive the other person when we actually don?t, instead of doing the short-term (relative to long, drawn-out resentment!) messy, hard work of healing.
?Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past.??~ Lily Tomlin
Spot on, Lily. The past is etched in stone. Which means it?s kinda silly to walk around being resentful of something that we can?t change. Why not make the decision to work towards true forgiveness instead?
Create Vibrant Health: BodyMindSpirit?.
With love & more love,