Forgiveness – The biggest gift you can give to yourself.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you”
Lewis B. Smedes
We are only human, therefore making mistakes is hardwired into our DNA. I have found through experience in my life that holding on to grudges and resentments is one of the leading causes of disease. But forgiveness, from the depths of one’s being can set you free. We usually forgive for ourselves says S.N. Goenka of the Vipassana tradition, the technique used by the Buddha to achieve enlightenment, clearly states that whatever we hold on to harms us first. The seed of anger or resentment is usually sown within us first; and does not stem from the outside. Forgiveness allows us to not give any water to this seed, so that it grows.
Forgiveness allows you to achieve the following –
- Live in the present moment and not hang on to the past
- Makes you centered in your own strength and not give that up to an external force
- Releases you from all negative emotion and keeps you positive
- Enhances your mental health quotient
- Focus on the persons positives, instead of dwelling on his/her negatives
- Releases serotonin, the feel-good hormone
Communication and visualization have helped me a lot to forgive. I usually air out my grievance’s and let the other person know why I was hurt, but also allows me to transcend my anger to a state or level of forgiveness. Visualization exercises have also helped me a lot and here is one that I have used very often in the past –
- Visualize yourself standing opposite that person you need to forgive
- See a white light enveloping you and the gap between you and the person
- See the gap becoming smaller as you walk towards that person
- Hug this person and see the white light envelope you both
- Repeat: I forgive you for what you have done knowingly or unknowingly, as I know you forgive me as well. I love and acknowledge you.
Forgive someone today!