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



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!