Have you ever struggled to forgive someone?
I mean someone who hurt you bad. A friend, a family member, a lover… They lied to you, they betrayed your trust, they left your emotions torn and tattered.
Sad to say, but we’ve probably all been deeply, profoundly wronged at some point in our life.
But here’s something that might surprise you: Forgiveness isn’t just about mending your heart and spirit; it can work wonders for your physical health, too.
Medical studies have shown that the act of forgiveness is a heavy-duty healer. It can bring profound, lasting rewards for your health. It’s not just about waving the white flag; it’s about alleviating stress, taming blood pressure, and even safeguarding yourself from heart attacks. Forgiveness can improve your cholesterol levels and enhance the quality of your sleep, simultaneously easing pain, anxiety, and depression.
Think of resentment as your body’s drama queen. When you hold onto that anger, it’s like having your emergency alarm blaring 24/7. Anger puts you in the famous “flight or fight” mode, with changes to your heart rate, blood pressure and immune response.
“Fight or flight” is crucial at saving your skin at the right times, but it can be deadly if you hold onto it too long.
Forgiveness is the escape route.
So, if you’re wrestling with the notion of forgiving, don’t lose heart.
- Try to be compassionate toward the other person, realizing that they are flawed and makes mistakes just like the rest of us.
- You don’t have to tell the other person. But if you do, let go of expectations that they will apologize or offer any reaction; your happiness doesn’t rest on someone else’s actions.
- And cut yourself some slack, too. You’re worthy of forgiveness as much as anyone, regardless of the details of what happened.
Look, I’m not saying the hurt wasn’t real or that you should welcome this person back into your life.
Forgiving isn’t always easy, and it’s not a one-day thing. If you need help, then chat with someone you trust; try prayer, meditation or journaling; and keep nurturing yourself in every way.
Remember, forgiveness isn’t a free pass for hurtful actions. It’s a gift to yourself – a chance to breathe easy, to heal, and to let your whole being flourish.
I’m here for you,