Remember back when you were in grade school. You were on the play ground waiting to be chosen for a team to play kick ball. You waited as each child was chosen for the team. You waited and waited only to be chosen last. How did that feel? Whether you experienced this first hand or not you can certainly understand the emotional pain that child experienced. Emotional pain is one that grows deep within you and many times the most difficult to let go.
We all experience emotional pain in our lives. However, some are able to move past the pain while others are deep seeded and unable to move forward. Deep seeded pain can become toxic. This pain can easily turn into anger, hate, revenge and resentment. Many people will hang on to this pain and live truly miserable lives. But there is hope for those who don’t want to continue feeling this emotional pain. There is a remedy for this pain that will set you free from the toxic environment. This remedy is called forgiveness.
Forgiveness when given and received is essential to your overall wellness. Forgiveness in its simplest form is letting go. Letting go of the pain and sorrow and coming out of the darkness. Its important to recognize what forgiveness is NOT before you can move forward.
- Forgiveness is not denial.
- Forgiveness is not saying that a negative experience did not occur.
- Forgiveness is not saying that an experience was not painful.
- Forgiveness is not saying that everything is okay.
- Forgiveness is not easy.
In order to move forward with the remedy of forgiveness, you must understand that it involves two people to reconcile. You must also accept and understand that there is a higher power. This higher power is the only one that can change your heart and that of the person who caused you pain. You do not have control of the other person but you do have control over your emotions. Forgiveness means letting go. Letting go of the negative and toxic emotions in your heart.
When you are able to release and let go of the negative and toxic emotions, you will then be able to receive positive thoughts. Letting go of the painful memories will create room for new and beautiful memories. Letting go of old and hurtful relationships will enable you to enjoy new and loving relationships.
Letting go will allow you to live a happier and healthier life. Living a happier and healthier life does not simply involve eating healthy foods and exercising. A happier and healthier life involves the connection of your body, mind and spirit. Forgiveness will allow this connection to occur.
Some helpful tips to get you on the right track:
Release your painful story – Sharing your painful story will help in releasing it and letting it go. Here’s the trick though, once you have shared your story you must refuse to share it again. Retelling of your story only engrains it and solidifies it in your emotions. Every time you retell your story, your blood pressure rises, your adrenaline increases and anger soon flourishes which is something you are trying to avoid.
Create a new story – Once you have released your painful story, create a new story. This new story will have what you want in your relationships, your hopes and dreams and a new beginning.
Forgive your ‘self’ – As difficult as this may sound it is truly necessary before the true healing will begin. Release the painful memories and release the guilt that you have placed upon yourself. Release yourself from the prison you have placed yourself in.
Avoid the negative people – This is another tough one but one that is necessary for your growth process. Understand that you do not have control over the emotions of others but you have full control of yours. In order to continue the healing process you must remove yourself from negative people and situations.
Health Benefits of Forgiveness
Reduced stress – When you are stressed you will experience increase heart rate, increased blood pressure, tense muscles and increased sweating. All of these symptoms will be eliminated when you practice forgiveness.
Increased heart health – Just as your symptoms of stress are reduced your heart health is increased with forgiveness.
Positive emotions – Releasing the negativity and toxic thoughts will make room for positive emotions. Laughter and a sense of relief will be more evident with forgiveness.
Increased immune function – When you are depressed, angry, frustrated or simply sad, your immune system goes into overdrive and is weakened. Unhealthy hormones and chemicals are released during these times of ‘flight or fight’. Keeping a calm and happier outlook will help your immune system flourish and strengthen and work at its optimum levels keeping you healthy.
Understand that forgiveness may be the remedy but it is not something that will occur overnight. Forgiveness is a process but one you can commit to. Commit to this process today and start living a happier and healthy life.