“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Letting Go of Old Hurts and Cultivating Forgiveness
Here we are, wrapping up this month, about to say farewell to January and embrace number 2 in this new year. We have set a lot of goals for 2017 and within the list of dreams and “to do’s”, we all have a deeper, inherent desire for peace and joy in our life- and that is truly, the best thing to strive for. Living with harmony is (in my opinion) a top priority.
There are days when it’s not always easy. And, as humans, we do experience the flip side of the coin. Sometimes things are not “falling into place” or we feel wronged by someone else and those hurts are like a thorn in your side, right? I know because I have hurts too. Pain comes in many forms and from lots of avenues- many of which seem out of our control. We become a victim. We accept that the pain is caused to us, and that perhaps we play little to no part in the oncoming of such discomfort. If another person has treated us in a hurtful way, it is easier to blame them for the pain then to take responsibility for our feelings about how they acted.
When pain and anger is held onto, and not properly released we find ourselves full of resentment. A bitterness that never goes away. Then the late night binge eating starts. Down an entire bag of chips. Eat a box of cookies, and drink more caffeine or alcohol than the body wants or needs. Sound familiar at all?
Sometimes we reach for the food and drinks to help distract us from emotional pain. Think about it- have you noticed that there are times when you grab those crackers but you’re not really hungry at all?
Maybe what we’re feeling is lonely. Or sad. Or frustrated. Or anxious. Or something else.
Forgiveness helps you heal
To be our best selves and thrive each day, it is important to find forgiveness. This key can unlock the doors to true healing and well-being. It is a gift you can give yourself, at any time, when you need more self-love. The benefits of practicing more forgiveness are many. These include; lower blood pressure, healthier relationships, increased spirituality, less anxiety and symptoms of depression, improved heart health and stronger immune function – just to name a few.
Today’s Effort- Tap Into the Power of Forgiveness
Try 1 or all of these tips to bring about more forgiveness in your life:
- Belly Breathing – Often we need to reconnect with ourselves and find calmness as a starting place.
Deep abdomen breathing is helpful in two ways; 1) Promotes a “pause” in the busy life and a chance to quiet the mind. 2) Breathing from the belly activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System which governs the body’s ability to restore and repair.
Take a slow, deep inhale through the nose, starting low in the gut gradually filling upwards, expanding the chest last. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly as possible exhale through the mouth, beginning from your chest & moving downward, squeezing the air from the belly last. Repeat several times.
- Visualize the situation that was or is painful, and the reason you feel discomfort. Write down the best words to describe your hurts, then cross out that word and write beneath it the feeling you want to have instead. It might look like this:
- Write a letter to the person you’d like to forgive. You don’t have to send it. Just allow yourself to come to true expression and be specific about the areas you are hurt and want to forgive.
- Understand that you are responsible for your own attitude. Recognize that holding a grudge will keep you from feeling free, open, and powerful in your own life.
- Forgive yourself. Sometimes we can be harshest with ourselves.
Forgiveness is an intentional process. It is different from condoning (failing to see the action as wrong), excusing (not holding the offender as responsible for the action), forgetting (removing awareness of the offense), pardoning (granted for an acknowledged offense by a representative of society), and reconciliation (restoration of a relationship).
Forgiveness is a skill to develop. It takes courage, strength and love.
You are a strong, loving person and the light within you is always shining. Let that come through and give yourself the gift of forgiveness today.
Be proud of yourself!
Join us every Sunday for the next edition of Starting Your Week Strong.
Learn about the benefits of a positive outlook in last weeks’ blog Opt In To Optimism
Are you curious about how to harmonize your health goals and fit wellness into your busy schedule? Contact me today for more information about Today’s Effort Health Coaching.