"I am not what happened to me; I am what I choose to become.” Carl Gustav Jung"
When someone you care about hurts you, that pain can be devastating and long-lasting in your memory, if you choose to let it stay there. There are many of us who have been hurt by the actions or words of others. Perhaps you had a parent who constantly criticized you, a boyfriend or girlfriend who broke your heart, or your partner had an affair.
It may be that you've had a traumatic experience, such as being physically, sexually, or emotionally abused by someone close to you. These wounds go deep and can leave lasting feelings of shame, resentment, bitterness, and anger, even sometimes hatred.
But understand that if you hold on to that pain, you are only hurting yourself. But if you learn how to embrace forgiveness, you will begin to see there is a freedom that you never thought you could have. Also, peace and hope follow along the same path. Try to consider how forgiveness can lead you down the path of physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Consequently, I must quickly tell you it will not happen overnight. You have been holding on to this pain for years. Forgiveness is a process that will take time. However, the process is totally worth it because you are worth it. Although there is a lot of information out there on forgiveness, let me share the benefits I received from the freedom of forgiveness. Now, let’s start at the beginning.
What is forgiveness?
We know that forgiveness means different things to different people. But in general, it is basically an intentional decision to let go of resentment and anger. I once heard another definition that said forgiveness is releasing the person of the offense as if it never happened, whether they deserved it or not. The act that hurt or offended you might always be with you. But working on forgiveness can lessen the pain of the memory. Forgiveness can help you take back your power and control of your life.
Understand that forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting or excusing the harm done to you. It also doesn't necessarily mean making up with or doing life with the person who caused you great pain. Remember forgiveness is not for them, it is a gift you give yourself. This gift brings you peace of mind and spirit. It also allows you to focus on yourself so you can feel free to start building the life you deserve. Now, let me share with you some of the benefits of forgiveness.
When you let go of resentment, bitterness, and even hatred you make space for improved health and peace of mind. Forgiveness can lead to:
Forgiveness can help you feel more satisfied in your relationship and friendships. It can help sustain them through hard times, help you set healthy boundaries, and help your relationship function better because you are no longer holding on to the pain of who or what hurt you.
Improved mental health
Studies have found that the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for your health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression, and stress.
Lessen anxiety, stress, and hostility
Forgiveness can help you release deep feelings of sadness and resentment. It can also help you move past negative thoughts that often contribute to stress, anxiety, and depression
A stronger immune system
Studies have shown that hostility keeps levels of the stress hormone cortisol elevated in your body, which can trigger a whole range of bad outcomes, including high blood pressure, immune system issues, and a tendency to gain weight. Forgiveness, however, calms stress levels, leading to improved health.
Giving yourself the gift of forgiveness lets you move forward with a renewed focus on your thoughts and actions. You're less likely to hate yourself later or dwell on the situation. This in turn improves your self-esteem.
We are beginning a new year. Why not start the year out by continuing the gift-giving season? Give yourself the gift of forgiveness. You are so worth it! You deserve to be free. Don’t take the past years of pain into the new year. Take back your power and authority. God has given everyone "freedom of choice". Therefore, the choice is yours. Choose life and make your life what YOU want it to be!
Love and Blessings,
Call to Action: To learn more about how you can begin your "freedom to forgiveness" journey click the button below and schedule a 30-minute discovery call.