This is a sensitive topic because those of us with physical medical conditions work so hard to prove it is not in our head. The truth is, even though our pain is very real emotional baggage can not only make your chronic condition worse but for some it is the actual cause. What I know from the years of talking to people with chronic conditions (especially fibromyalgia) there was some sort of trauma before they became ill. When I say trauma this includes Physical (like a car accident), emotional (like abuse), or some sort of infection (like mononucleosis).
We are not just physical beings and Western medicine has stepped away from treating our body’s as a whole. Just treating the body physically and not emotionally leads to a path of deteriorating health, chronic illness, and pain that is not managed properly. Studies show a direct relationship between unresolved anger/resentment and physical illness so it is not something that should be ignored because the body responds to chronic emotional issues physically hence making you more ill.
Why is it so hard for us to forgive and let go if we know that it is unhealthy for us?
Some of you are going to DISLIKE my answer but that is okay. I am not running a popularity contest here. I would rather make a few people upset with me then paint something that is black and white with bright colors to make everyone comfortable. The reason it is so hard to forgive and let go is simply our own pride and ego. Holding onto something that happened in our past does not hurt the person that wronged us at all. They are out living their lives not thinking for a second of those thoughts that are torturing you and causing you emotional pain. Our pride and ego makes us believe that if we hold on to our anger, resentment, or any emotional pain that it serves some kind of justice for those who have hurt us. This is the biggest lie the ego tells us and it has very real physical consequences. To forgive does not mean we condone the act that hurt us because we can only forgive someone that has hurt us or has wronged us so forgiveness contradicts that belief. Through forgiveness, the wrong is released from its emotional stranglehold on us so that we can learn from it. Forgiveness is something you do for yourself it has nothing to do with the person that has wronged you. It is a gift that you give to yourself and one that can alleviate a lot of physical pain.
“I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note–torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.”
~ Henry Ward Beecher
“I can forgive but I can never forget!” I hear this one all the time and it makes no sense to me. It is like saying you are going to go take a shower without getting wet. You will know that you have truly forgiven when you recall those who hurt you and feel you can wish them well. It is a process but well worth the time and effort because the emotional and physical health benefits in itself are worth the precious gift of forgiveness that you give to yourself. Being angry and resentful about something or someone is an emotionally exhausting task that requires a lot of energy. Energy you can be using for other things that will bring you joy. Anger and resentment robs you of the positive things and good things in life that you deserve and robs you of the joy you deserve. You can not move forward in the past. As Alexandra Asseily quoted “Forgiveness allows us to let go of the pain in the memory and if we let go of the pain in the memory we can have the memory but it does not control us. When memory controls us we are then the puppets of the past.”
I am going to leave you with a post that one of my amazing Facebook friends posted last night. It shows the true power of forgiveness. When you forgive you start to see those that wronged you with a new perspective and it opens your heart fully to those that deserve your love and compassion. Emotional pain, anger, and resentment does not just take away from you, it effects everyone around you as well. You can not fully give love and compassion to others when you are holding onto someone that has hurt you. Forgiveness is not just a benefit to you, but also to those that you love. Please enjoy this powerful post my Facebook friend Jen Wrote! It shows the true power of forgiveness!
Choosing to revisit and experience my past and the present moment through new eyes, deeply enhanced the quality of everything that my thoughts and ultimately ALL of life delivered to me. I gazed upon the fragility and vulnerability that existed in what were once viewed as the monsters in my life – and suddenly, I saw with clarity and felt empathetic. Rather than perpetuate the illusions that accompanied holding others responsible for the various facets of lack that I believed existed in my life, I allowed myself to change my perspective. By identifying and healing all that limited me from valuing and respecting myself and others or remaining fully present….without feelings of self victimization, hostility or judgment – I felt the wheels of change within – gain momentum.
Lovingly and compassionately healing the source of my pain required the rewiring of my thoughts as well as consciously and lovingly building a new foundation for my belief system that reflected authenticity, and most importantly – honoring my interconnectedness with ALL. When thoughts and situations obstructed my flow, I identified them as such, thanked them for helping me to develop awareness, then let them go.
Exercising my power of choice by consciously identifying and releasing that which no longer served me, showed me that although everything felt so very real when I maintained a belief system that supported lower vibrational frequencies such as guilt, shame, blame or lack, my determination to bring closure to what once was – created a beautiful shift that supported actualizing all that I desired to experience in the present moment. Changing the way I viewed my inner and outer worlds helped me to recognize that while my perspective tainted many of my experiences throughout my life, self limitation was nothing more than an illusion.
In love and heartfelt gratitude, Jen Wichard
owner and founder of www.zententions.com