If you could forgive anyone, or everyone (including yourself) who has caused you pain – leaving you happy, joyous and free to live your life to the absolute full – what would you say?
Bring it on?
Well, you’re in the right place, because – I promise you – you to do just that.
Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who find forgiving others relatively easy (although relatives can be very tough to forgive at times!). Or maybe, like me, you have always found it very hard to forgive yourself? I’ve struggled with that for decades, and I know I am not alone. I’ve seen many, many people suffering with it, beating themselves up over and over again.
Every single one of us struggles from time to time, either with forgiving others or forgiving ourselves. For many, the lack of forgiveness can be – and often is – a destructive, dominating, and debilitating force. Many people die through lack of forgiveness. They eat themselves up, constantly chastise themselves, harm other people, and harm themselves.
Unforgiveness (not being able to forgive) can actually make us ill, or contribute to maladies. According to CBN, ‘Of all cancer patients, 61% have forgiveness issues and of those more than half are severe. The first step in forgiveness therapy is recognising forgiveness is not the same thing as condoning what a person did, which is the major hurdle for most patients.’
Cancer surgeon Dr. Steven Standiford says unforgiveness makes people sick and keeps them sick.
‘It’s important to treat emotional wounds or disorders because they really can hinder someone’s reactions to the treatment, even someone’s willingness to pursue treatment,’ he says.
We know that love is what makes the world go round, and yet forgiveness, which is such a demonstration of love, is all too often ignored or denied. The ability to forgive – and accept forgiveness – is a very powerful enabler. And for those who master it, the rewards are wonderful.
If our true nature is permitted to guide our life, we grow healthy, fruitful and happy. Yet 98% of us die before we taste the nectar of our magnificence. Abraham Maslow.
If we all spend just 15 minutes a day, taking the steps needed to attend to our own corners of forgiveness, just think what we’d be doing not only for our families and ourselves but also for the whole of mankind.
Caroline Buchanan, author of The 15-Minute Rule for Forgiveness