The Fitness Herald

How Forgiveness Works

Forgivness is important because unforgiveness imprisons the person who holds it and affects them emotionally, physically, as well as spiritually.

It’s important to think about how we get to the state of UNforgiveness in the first place. Usually what happens is that someone does or says something that hurts us, injures us, or carries out some kind of injustice against us. They may or may not be aware of all of this. It may have, or may not have been deliberate. Almost always we have “good” reason to be angry, upset, fed up, bitter, and offended. The challenge comes when we think about forgiving someone who has wronged us in any way. They are in the wrong! They should pay! Somehow!

So you’re asking me to let this person completely off the hook after what they did?

“Are you out of your mind?” you ask.

Yes! No matter how wrong they are. You need to forgive them. Yes, YOU NEED to forgive them. Your body, heart and soul will thank you when you do.

To forgive is to release them from your constant vigilance of hoping for some kind of revenge, repayment that satisfies, hoping that they’ll “get theirs” very soon. Or we want them to realize on a core level how very much they have hurt you. Most of the time they have long since gone on and have forgotten what happened. You are now the one left holding the stinking “garbage” that’s now rotting on the inside of you.

Unforgiveness is a constant energy leak, quietly robbing you of your life’s energy and physical and emotional health and well-being. It takes a lot of effort to hold offense. Wouldn’t you like to use that energy in a more productive way?

It’s vital that you know that in reality, You, my friend are the captive in this matter! Who gets angry all over again when you think of the situation, or see that person again? YOU do! Until you can think about it or see that person without your emotions being stirred up in any way, you have not fully released or forgiven that person. The person holding the unforgiveness pays a dear price in the body, with diseases, cancers, arthritis.

In our minds with anguish, depression, rage, anger and bitterness of soul, i.e. a lack of inner peace and tranquility and a sense of personal power. It is now well known that there is a link between thoughts, emotions, and our physical and emotional health. You hold your own health hostage by holding on to unforgiveness.

The longer you hold the unforgiveness the deeper the effect on your emotions and body. Every year that goes by it gets buried further and further, and pretty soon people just say about themselves, you know “I’m just an angry person.” No, that’s not the truth. The truth is that you are not generically angry, you are angry about some very specific things that have happened, but the details have gone underground because life has covered it over with time and distance. Life has just gone on and what you carry with you is the essence of the unforgiveness which is residual and what remains is a globally angry person.

In criminal cases it doesn’t even seem to matter what the legal system does, even if they set punishment to the full extent of the law, it will never fully satisfy, it will never make the wound go completely away. We are going to have to forgive to find inner resolution which brings peace and quiet on the inside of us.

Forgiveness is letting go of your need to be proven right, and your need for them to admit their wrong.

Forgiveness is done from the heart, not just with words. Your body and heart know the difference.

At some point you have to accept that what has happened has happened and it’s happened to you or it’s happened to your family, or children, and you must reconcile with it. You must find a way to release what you feel about this person, or persons, or organization, or system, or country for what they have done.

There’s a fascinating story of two cancer victims. One was the boss, the other a subordinate. I’ll call them Bart and Sam They didn’t get along well and they made life totally miserable for each other. They had tremendous bitterness and offense against each other. After a period of years they both came down with cancer and retired. Sam did all sorts of cancer protocols, traditional and non-traditional. He tried everything. Nothing seemed to be working and he wanted desperately to live, so he started to find and interview cancer survivors, asking them this question. “What caused your cancer to turn the corner and your health start to improve?” “What made the biggest difference?” “What caused you to be a survivor and an overcomer against cancer?”

The one thing they all had in common was they told him that they learned how to forgive. They learned how to release how they felt about it all from the heart (the emotions), and release their specific offenses they held against specific people.

So he searched his heart for every source of offense and unforgiveness and began the process of release from the heart. One by one found as a person would come to mind, Sam made the release from his heart. His biggest offense was with his former boss Bart. He decided that this one needed to be done in person.

He went over to Bart’s house and knocked on the door, hoping they would let him in. When Bart’s wife came to the door he quickly explained why he was there. “I came to ask forgiveness, and to forgive. I’ll be here just for a minute if you would allow him to see me.” Sam went in and he cleared his heart, he told his former boss, “I was wrong in how I treated you, I was wrong in the resistance to your leadership, please forgive me. And I forgive you for everything that has happened between us.” Bart began to issue his own forgiveness, so they both forgave each other. Sam went back to his car with a huge sense of relief. He began to weep. He wept with deep heaving sobs and tears sheeted down his face like a fountain of waterworks. He wept like this for some 30 minutes. He was finally able to start his car and drive home. The end of the story is that he did overcome the cancer. He joined the many others that he interviewed who say that the turning point of their physical crises came when forgiveness and offense where released and their Unfinished Business was finished.

There are many ways to find this release. Only you know what will bring complete release and resolution for you. Hmm..that sounds like the “Experiment of OneTM”!

Do you need to talk face-to-face with that person? Or write a letter and then burn it? Or call them? Or work with a professional counselor? Or walk through this with a trusted friend? Or use a punching bag. Or shout it out.

Only you know. Trust your gut feel about this. If you listen to yourself, you will find what is right for you. It may be a combination of things.

Sometimes the person who has so wounded us is no longer alive! You can come to complete resolution all by yourself. You don’t need that other person around at all.

If you feel you must do a face-to-face or phone call, I recommend you come to complete resolution within yourself first, then re-consider if you need to do anything else. If you still feel that a personal contact is necessary, then remember, don’t expect them to reciprocate or admit any part of wrong. You are doing this for you. They don’t need to reciprocate. Though that would be an extra bonus, it’s not necessary in order for you to find complete resolution and release. Do your part regardless if they do what you hope they will or not.

Though there is no right or wrong way to do this, there are components that help make the process more complete and effective.

Steps to Forgiveness

1. VISUALIZE: Picture yourself in the event if you can.

2. EXPRESS: Since unforgiveness always carries with it the anger and frustration about what happened, find a way to fully express your anger in a way that works for you.

Some just begin to express what you feel (or some neutral party). Expressing all that is in your heart. How you feel about what happened, why you are angry, what disappointments you have carried, what bitterness or hatred and why.

Keys: Express everything in your heart about it no matter what it sounds like. Totally unload all the emotions that are a part of this, however you have chosen to do it. Typically there is anger, rage, bitterness, hatred, anguish, hurt, sadness, sorrow, disappointment, helplessness, hopelessness, confusion, regret. As you express, other emotions will surface. Stay tuned into your heart and express what comes up.

At each pause ask yourself, “What else?” “Is there anything else?” “Is there anything left that is uncomfortable or not resolved?”

Go through the event frame by frame looking for different aspects of the offense until you can think through what happened with a sense of total resolution. Check your heart at each point of your story.

3. RELEASE: Now Give it away. Let it go. Give your mind and your body permission to let it go. Others will burn the letter that was written, symbolizing the release. See yourself cutting the chain that connects you to the person or situation. Visualize what you need to see the release.

Remember to forgive yourself for your part of things. This may be the hardest part for some.

Finally, when we forgive others- it is we ourselves that is “off the hook”. Essentially we are doing ourselves a favor.