Do you forgive? Why it's good to let it go.

   

forgive.We can all learn and grow from our past. Sometimes experiences have left us hurting in some way. Although it can be tough to forgive people who have hurt us, it is possible and in fact it is the healthy thing to do. Every day that you do not forgive, you are hurting yourself - and literally your own health. It reminds me of the saying that it is like drinking poison thinking it will harm the other person.

 

Of course the mind and body are connected and should not be separated. Many studies have shown that holding grudges is bad for both your mental health and physical health. When you continue to hold a grudge, it causes inflammation internally, keeping you tense and stressed. (It also makes you more likely to develop symptoms of depression or anxiety.) I have talked in previous articles about how high levels of cortisol from stress - chronically - are horrible for your physical health. Holding grudges will eventually manifest in the form of an illness. Your overall wellbeing improves once you let go of any resentment.

 

Forgiving also gives a sense of empowerment as once you forgive you step out of the victim role and mentality. Choose to not let the other person control you. In the words of Gandhi, "Nobody can hurt me without my permission." (I think Eleanor Roosevelt also said something similar. :))

 

So how is that grudge serving you? Make the decision to move forward. You'll feel so much better when you do.

 

What to do? Become aware of what you've learned from that situation, accept your feelings without judgment and consider how holding the resentment is affecting your life. Accept the past, make the decision to move forward, put it behind you and let go. Wish this person (or people) love and light and move on. It’s not personal…how people react is a reflection of their own inner workings. Although forgiving does not justify what anyone has done, people do the best they can with what they have and in their current state of consciousness. Treat yourself with love and compassion; do this for yourself and your health. Journal, meditate and do anything else you feel you need to do to release your feelings. Ask for a miracle. If you feel you need to reach out for professional help, contact a mental health provider, pastor, healer or other helping professional. Visualize the feeling of inner peace you'll feel once you let go. You can do this, I promise. :)

 

What are your next steps? Be sure to share your insights on the below as your input can help others as well!

 

Who is the Dalai Lama's Hero? (The answer may surprise you.)

   

 

On October 8, 2013, the Dalai Lama arrived on stage to his awaited audience at the Gwinnett Arena, in a suburb about 30 minutes north of Atlanta. Right off the bat upon arriving on stage, the Dalai Lama saw a man in the front row and he  -- the Dalai Lama, being the informal person that he is – stopped what he was doing and suspended his talk in front of the arena full of people to suddenly walk off stage in order to greet the gentleman on the floor. At this point, we were all wondering, “who is this man who His Holiness is so excited about?”

 

Mr. Richard MooreThe two men exchanged embraces and expressed genuine excitement to be in the presence of one another. The man touched the Dalai Lama’s face and he remarked, “the same nose!”  The Dalai Lama laughed. We did not know that the man was visually impaired at that time.

 

Turns out that the man who was personally greeted by the Dalai Lama is Mr. Richard Moore, who is indeed an inspiration. In 1972, at the age of 10, Mr. Moore was shot in the forehead by a British soldier in Ireland, which in turn caused him to lose his eyesight. On his way home from school, within a quick moment, his life was changed forever as he was literally “caught in the crossfire.”

 

What makes Mr. Moore so inspiring is that he CHOOSES to live a life of gratitude and service. He could have chosen different routes, such as wallowing as a victim or living an existence filled with bitterness.

 

The Dalai Lama shared that this man is his hero because he in fact does not show signs of anger or resentment.

 

As an adult, Mr. Moore even tracked down and met the man who shot him with the rubber bullet and has forgiven him. From what I understand, he is actually friends with the man now!

 

Forgiveness truly does set you free.

 

Mr. Moore has turned his experience into a way to help others. He created a foundation called, “Children in Crossfire” and has earned prestigious awards for his work on an international level. His foundation helps children in need (particularly in developing countries) by creating programs and initiatives surrounding children’s’ rights, healthcare, education and advocacy. He truly makes a difference in the lives of others.

 

We all have a story. What have you (or perhaps family members) overcome that you can help others with? Are there feelings of resentment that you could let go of?  If so, what are they? Awareness is the first step.

 

What are your next steps? Be sure to share your insights below as your input can help others as well!