We were not designed to hold grudges. Unforgiveness is like a cancer that will eat away at your soul until it has completely destroyed you. Thoughts of vengeance, destruction, and bitterness raise blood pressure, cause cardiovascular disease, and even psychiatric disorders. MRI scans have shown that forgiveness,on the other hand, lowers cortisol levels, increases immune function, and can even make you slimmer! No matter what your religious beliefs, the Bible is considered by many to be the authority on forgiveness. The parable in Matthew 18 is about a king who forgives a man of an unpayable amount of debt, yet the pardoned man refuses to forgive another of a debt, is handed over to “torturers” (or jailers, by some translations), which is in my opinion, what living day after day refusing to forgive any offense caused by anyone is equivalent to-being tortured. You not only destroy yourself, but others in the process. How many people in your life are affected by your unforgiveness-your resentful attitude, your bruised ego, your prideful arrogance, the tone, the angry undercurrent (strife), the shortness. An unforgiving attitude reaches far beyond the offended person, who you are hoping will undo what they did to you, which is just not possible. You have to let go of wanting to prove yourself right, making the other person pay for what they did to you, or showing them the hurt they caused, they don’t matter. The only person who is punished by your unforgiving attitude is you, and the people who had absolutely nothing to do with what happened to you.
In your mind’s eye, write down the name of the person, write down what they did to you, feel the pain, then place that piece of paper in a bag, with the word “forgiveness”- then bury it, throw it in the ocean, throw it in a fire, but wherever that bag of forgiveness goes, really let it go there. This is not something you do once and think ok, I’m good now. It’s a continual process, the more you forgive, the more things will come up, from your past, that you have buried so deeply, you’d forgotten it had happened. But studies have shown that continually practicing this radical act of forgiveness can produce the same brain waves as monks who have been meditating for 40 years! Talk about a bio Hack!
You have to stop believing that you are punishing the other person by holding onto your pain. Stop waiting for an apology that is never coming. Forgiving doesn’t mean you let the other person get away with anything, it means you’ve released yourself from being held prisoner by what they did to you. When you can close your eyes, see the person who hurt you, and try for just a moment, to think about why they might have done what they did, what they may have possibly been going through that caused their actions, not as an excuse for their behavior, but just as a way of understanding how it could happen, realizing that something caused that person to hurt, because hurting people, hurt people. Healthy, happy humans don’t go around destroying other humans for no reason. Or look at the situation from the other person’s perspective, did you place expectations on that person that were unmet? If so, then you got hurt because of your unmet expectations. Maybe you were hurt because you felt rejected, neglected, or fearful, which are all feelings that only you are responsible for. You alone have control of your feelings, thoughts, and reactions. So many times, rather than taking responsibility, we place blame. And you have to let it go. Once you can see that person in your mind, see things from where they were in their life, then hug that person, tell them you love them and truly mean it, you have just practiced the highest form of love-radical forgiveness. Grace and mercy. I heard someone recently say that grace is getting what we don’t deserve and mercy is not getting what we do deserve. And again, this act of forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person, you are doing this for you. They say the best revenge is massive success, and to achieve success you have to be free of anything that holds you back mentally, physically, or spiritually. When you let go of the past hurts, you are actually healing, which will allow you to achieve even more in life. Yes, there will still be a scar, but it will no longer hurt to touch, it won’t be sore, or bruised, or tender. The scar tissue will stop building because it has finally healed. But the scar stays as a form of protection, it’s just a place where there was a wound, but that wound that was once a bleeding, gaping hole, has closed, and is all better. Our bodies our designed to heal themselves. When you have a cut on your finger, it forms a scab, it swells, drains out infection, new skin cells grow, and it heals itself. But if the wound is deep, we must first stop the bleeding, or we will eventually lose enough blood to die. That’s what forgiveness does. It stops the bleeding, so you can heal. Heal your mind, your body, and your soul. Healing is a way of rising above your pain, and stepping into your power.
I want to help you live your best life by making great choices, not just food choices, but life choices as well. One of the most important choices you can make in life, is choosing to forgive. If your struggling with past hurts, unhealthy relationships, a poor diet, or feeling sick and tired, then let’s see if we can work through what is holding you back, and what other small changes you can make on a daily basis that will empower you to live everyday to the fullest, and achieve massive success.