Interpersonal relationships can quickly become a source of conflicts, misunderstandings and resentment. Genetically speaking, we memorize all negative events in order to become more careful, it’s a matter of survival. It was at least the case in the prehistoric era and thanks to that the human species was not extinguished. The thing is that eventhough we have Evolved we still react in that way and we bear grudges easily.
How do you feel when you are angry at someone? I bet it’s not comfortable, am I right? Your face is frowned, your liver produces bile which can result in heartburns. When you see or think about the person you are angry with or when you think of what they did to you, your body switches to stress mode and fights against the surge of cortisol (stress hormone). The immediate result is bad mood, irritability and you can take your frustration out on someone who is not responsible for your state. What’s more, you have negative thoughts against the person, you blame them, maybe you insult and curse them and all of that negativity goes to the universe and will come back as a boomerang. It’s medically proven that people who are constantly subjects to stress are more likely to suffer from severe illnesses (heart diseases, anxiety, depression for example).
Bearing grudges hurts us beforehand, we are the first victims of the damages. Our bodies and our minds are impacted. Maybe you’ll ask « can you forgive everything ? » I’m not sure I can answer to that question, for the human being can be very creative regarding cruelty sometimes. But it is absolutely essential to express our anger in a sound way, letting the person who hurt us know that their behaviour caused us harm and that we don’t accept to be treated that way. Expressing ourselves like that allows us to save our integrity and to maintain our status as subjects in the Relationship and go beyond the role of the victim. I must admit that playing the victim part can be advantageous. People feel sorry for you, they get interested in your story, they want to know all the details. You feel that they have an interest in you, that they take care of you. The problem is that it fuels the anger, the negative feelings and doesn’t help you to go over them.
Forgiveness is not about minimizing what happened to us. It’s asking ourselves what we find in resentment, who benefits from my staying in constant stress. To embrace forgiveness we must remember all the times when we were forgiven. For those who have christian religious references, we can remember all the occasions when God forgave to His people in the Bible, and the ultimate act of forgiveness by Jesus on the cross.
Forgiving means acknowledging our suffering because of what was done, mobilizing our capacity to accept that the others can be weak, awkward, unperfect. It implies to be able to manifest kindliness, taking the others as they are with their flaws. Forgiving is not about agreeing to be hurt, but agreeing to be healed afterwards.
We often hear, « I forgive, but I don’t forget ». That’s a funny way to forgive. What good can come from that, except from recalling the person their mistake and making them feel guilty forever ? When we forgive, we must put what happened behind us, we concentrate on how to go on in our lives with the new scars. When we have been very deeply hurt, it can be impossible to continue to see the person who affected us, it’s then Wise to stop seeing them, without hard feelings.
Forgiveness is not easy, there’s no use to look for the reasons why somoeone did to us or to our loved ones harm, asking why. Apart from sadist, people can’t Always rationally tell you why they hurt you. Forgiving soothes us and saves the relationships we want to keep. It’s a free gesture but it is priceless. Sometimes we can forgive someone when they are still alive, some other times they are not here anymore, forgiving those who are gone has the same benefits. I will end this post by talking about the type of forgiveness without which no other is possible. It’s forgiving oneself. We might reproach ourselves a lot of things, our personnality, our cowardice, our naivety, our past mistakes. Living in rumination and guilt is extremely painful and Dangerous for the mental balance. We too have the right to be unperfect, to make mistakes, to be weak, to have flaws, and we deserve to be forgiven. There’s an adage which states « charity begins at home ».
I wish you to experience the joys of forgiveness for a simple life full of abundance.
Let’s take care of ourselves.
See you around !