The Power of Forgiveness
A few years ago, I vowed to forgive everyone- friends, family, former friends, dead family, old bosses, ex-partners, complete strangers, bad drivers, slow people and the list continued. I made up my mind to forgive everything and everyone including myself for all (our) perceived transgressions. It was my attempt to come to terms with what cannot be changed. What happened as a result of my little forgiveness project is I lost weight, my blood pressure decreased, and I started sleeping better. I was able to finally let go of what was, in so many ways keeping me sick, or so I hoped. You see, the act of forgiving is…well…active.
It is easy to say you forgive people if you will never see them again. But the moment they cross your path you may soon realize that even though you thought you “let go”, you did not “forgive” and letting go of something that you have not forgiven is only an invitation for it to come back to you. All the emotions, old hurts, and misunderstandings will all be there if you do not actively forgive. To make things worse, if the people you have chosen to forgive are still a part of your life in some way and have not changed, they will (as sure as the sun rises and sets) do something that will warrant more forgiveness. Therefore, we must practice forgiveness daily.
While attending the “Happiness Retreat” at the Art of Living Retreat Center I learned a powerful truth- “Forgiving others is accepting they did the best they could do at that time”. Forgiveness does not mean it is not going to hurt but it will hurt less and eventually it will stop hurting. On the other hand, if you do not forgive, you will never get to that place. As we enter a new year, and thus a new season, choose to not travel with the old baggage from 2022 and stop inviting things you do not want (including illness) back into your life. Learn to forgive then choose to let go. It’s a much healthier way to live.
©Tasha D. Manigo-Bizzell