Forgiveness is an essential part of healing. When you have suffered a wrong, or even a perceived wrong, the resulting hurt and anger can burrow deep into your heart and energy field and begin to fester. The longer you harbor the resentment and bitterness instead of forgiving the wrong, the higher the chances that those negative feelings will cause discord in your system, creating blocks in your chakras and eventually, physical symptoms and illness. Forgiveness is not easy for anyone. Trust me, I know. If you have experienced severe betrayal or violence, abandonment or abuse, especially from a trusted family member or caretaker, forgiveness might seem like an impossible feat. It does take courage, but you can do it, and your life will improve a hundred times over once you do.
Here are just a few of the reasons to practice forgiveness:
1. Forgiveness makes you feel better. Forgiveness takes the power away from the hurt or wrong and helps you to let it go. As long as you hold on to resentment or anger it can manifest in your life as depression, self-blame, guilt, loss of motivation, revenge fantasies, anxiety, and other emotional and mental issues, as well as physical health problems, especially those related to the heart chakra, including asthma, pneumonia, breast or lung cancer. When you forgive, you take a large step forward in healing yourself. Studies suggest that forgiveness improves the function of the immune system, and research has shown that pain levels decrease when patients forgive inner hurts. This is because forgiveness releases the clouds of darkness those negative emotions create in your field and body, and allows for light energy to fill those holes, which charges and energizes your whole being.
2. Forgiveness is not excusing. I want to make sure you understand that forgiveness is not excusing what someone did to you. There are likely very real betrayals and traumas in your life that are not excusable, and you should not have to feel like you need to minimize what happened to you. What forgiveness does entail is letting go of the residual emotions like resentment, anger, hurt, and bitterness that stem from what happened. Forgiving means you stop feeling hostile, that you let go of any need or desire for revenge or retribution. This is not a weakness; quite the opposite, in fact. It takes a ton of strength and courage to forgive, and if you can manage it, it will speed up your spiritual progress as well as set you free.
3. Guilt impedes your healing process. Guilt is a parasitic emotion. It eats at you from the inside, churning your stomach and making you tense, and not doing you any good. The only potential it has is spurring you to own up to your mistakes as best you can and to learn from them. Then you must move on, which includes forgiving yourself. Self-forgiveness is possibly more important than forgiving others, as you have to live with yourself every second of every day. If you are constantly beating yourself up over past mistakes, that blame and anger can cause blockages in your personal energy field. If you don’t forgive yourself, you put yourself at risk. If you already have a health problem like cancer or another disease, you must remember that it is not your fault! You were working with what you knew at that time, and you cannot control pollutants or genetics or abusers. There is nothing to be gained from wishing you could change the past, and self-blame only does further harm. As a spiritual teacher and energy healer, I encourage students to learn from the disease and then move on by forgiving yourself and letting it go. It is the only way to heal.
4. Forgiveness is for you, not them. The only person who suffers from a grudge is you. Holding onto the desire for revenge, or any other hostile emotion regarding someone who wronged you, doesn’t actually harm them the way you might want it to. In fact, it backfires, and causes you tremendous damage.
When you forgive, you lift a weight off your chest that you probably didn’t realize you were carrying, but you will feel so much lighter and freer once it’s been removed.
If you have tried to forgive and are having trouble releasing your anger or hostility, try journaling about your feelings, which sets them free from your body and energy field and allows for fresh universal energy to fill that space. Lastly, be patient with yourself. Forgiveness can be very difficult, and can take time. But it is so worth the effort to be able to be free of the chains of guilt and bitterness, and move forward in creating the life you want.