We are alive – so at some point, we have all likely experienced some degree of hurt and disappointment. Perhaps a family member betrayed us, a boss exploited us, or a person caused some harm to our loved one. While some hurts are light and relatively easy to release, others run deep, causing some of us to hold anger or even seek revenge. However, some people do choose a different action . . . to forgive and forget.
Lord Buddha taught, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
If you seek revenge, you get trapped in the anger. Then it harms you physically and mentally. Research has proven that forgiving is good for the body and the soul.
Just know this, that forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting or ignoring, nor does it mean approving what someone did. It just means that you are choosing to let go of the anger toward that person.
The Power of Forgiveness
There are several benefits to forgiveness. First, morally, turning your cheek is the right thing to do. It’s a lot healthier and takes a lot less energy to forgive someone than to hold a grudge and remain angry. The fact is, when you’re consumed by bitterness, resentment, and vengeance, your anger gets embodied then may surface later as heart trouble, cancer, diabetes or another serious condition. While using BodyTalk as a therapy, this often is discovered.
Forgiveness does not mean suppressing your feelings or pretending the anger doesn’t exist.
Instead, forgiveness requires a conscious decision to release your resentment and thoughts of revenge. It also calls on you to acknowledge and practice all the emotions that you feel, such as grief and anger toward someone who has hurt you deeply.
That’s tough, you say? It’s important to remind yourself that one of the main reasons to show forgiveness is to benefit yourself. Hate is a cancer on one’s soul. It can cause you to feel helpless and frustrated and trap you in a never-ending cycle of anger and resentment. You may have every reason to be bitter, but you will be compounding the problem by keeping the issue alive. Think of it this way: While they hurt you once, now you’re doing it to yourself repeatedly.
The truth is, forgiveness frees you up from the offender’s grip on you and helps you focus on other, positive areas of your life. The result – you are free to be happy and healthier.