When you hear the word forgiveness what do you think of? There are many forms of forgiveness. It can be an art and a gift to both ourselves and others. Forgiveness can bring us great peace, joy, and freedom. Imagine feeling that no one can truly do us “wrong,” that at the core level of existence, we are all connected with a universal energy called by the name of Spirit, Source, Truth, God, or many others. Simply consider this as one possibility in the infinite pool of life.
Forgiveness is a necessary aspect of our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Dr. Stone emphasizes the relationship between the body, mind, emotions, and spirit in his book Health Building (1985). “Health is not merely of the body. It is the natural expression of the body, mind and soul when they are in rhythm with the One Life. True health is the harmony of life within us, consisting of peace of mind, happiness and well-being. It is not merely a question of physical fitness, but is rather a result of the soul finding free expression through the mind and body of that individual.”
How does forgiveness fit into our sense of well-being? When we do not forgive someone or some situation, we store that energy as a block in our bodies. It may affect us by creating constant tensing in that part of our bodies. We may also have feelings of being victims of other people or situations that will be continually triggered. These feelings can affect our current relationships and peace of mind. Not forgiving will also likely influence the way that we believe the world to be. For example, if someone feels mistreated as a child, he/she may view the world as being scarce in love and goodness. Learning to forgive is not something that we are often taught in school or by our parents.
There is much information that people are discovering and offering to others because of the great importance of learning to forgive. Many religious people have focused their energies on forgiveness, reached wonderful levels of peace, and in these states can offer great inspiration to us. When Mahatma Gandhi was shot, he looked at the person who shot him, said God’s name, and placed his hands in Namaskar, or prayer position, indicating his forgiveness towards his assassin. According to chosun.com, the Buddhist monk Beopjeong once said, “Look past others’ faults and forgive in lenient tolerance. To forgive instantly purifies a person and fully opens the door to love and understanding.”
In addition to the wisdom offered by religious leaders throughout the ages, the importance of forgiveness is also being noted by medical researchers and psychologists. Discoveries of what “not forgiving others and situations” can do to our health are arising and giving people something to think about. Colin Tipping states at iloveulove.com, “Research clearly shows that holding onto resentments and old hurts leads to cancer and all sorts of physical illness, not to mention depression, addictions and dysfunctional behavior.” In the twelve-step programs of recovery, forgiveness is often considered to be the most transformational step. Why is it, however, that many people find it so hard to fully let go of their stories of pain and forgive themselves, others, and past situations? How can we come to a place of forgiveness and acceptance?
This is an excerpt from one of the many elective courses available in the University of Metaphysical Sciences curriculum.