The fact is that, in life, people do shitty things to one other all the time. Sometimes it’s intentional and sometimes it isn’t.
When people hurt us, it’s hard to move on from the betrayal, the anger, the resentment, the humiliation and the injustice of it all. But if we don’t, we risk our own happiness and well-being. Resentment and anger and not comfortable emotions to sit with. Biochemically, we go into fight, flight or freeze mode sending adrenaline and cortisol rushing through the body. If these states are held over time, they can cause physical symptoms such as IBS, high blood pressure and even headaches. As Caroline Myss says, “Our biography affects our biology.”
Being able to forgive is an intrinsic part of wellbeing. And, when you’re unwell, it’s an intrinsic part of healing.
This is because forgiveness is an overt act of self-empowerment.
It involves a shift from the view that we are victims to the view that we are learning and evolving as a result of life’s challenges. In this way, we are able to acknowledge that difficult experiences and difficult people are life’s greatest teachers. Through them, we learn about our boundaries, about our values and about who we want to be in light of the challenges we face. We are given space to acknowledge that resistance makes us stronger and we are able to reflect on our strengths and capabilities.
When we shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset we shift from powerless to powerful.
Forgiveness is about reclaiming our power.
It is not possible to heal when we hold onto resentment. Resentment creates a leak in our energy circuits, channeling part of our energy to the person who wronged us, even though the experience now only exists in the mind.
Just to be clear, forgiveness is not about letting the person who hurt you off the hook. It doesn’t mean that you need to call or email them and welcome them back into your life. It simply means that you acknowledge the lesson and move on. In this way, we are able to cultivate an internal environment that is conducive to peace.
Learn the lesson, cut the cord, give thanks for the learning and move on with a greater sense of awareness and an open heart.