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The Healing Power of Forgiveness

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"He ruined my life."
"I've tried to forgive her, but I just can't!"
"That person doesn't deserve my forgiveness."
"I'll never forget what they did to me."

If any of these phrases sound like things you may have said to yourself or to others, you're certainly not alone. All of us tend to carry a certain amount of unforgiveness toward others in our hearts. What we often don't stop to consider is what that unforgiveness is costing us, and the price of that grudge in terms of our health can be surprisingly high.

Holistic healing is about getting to the root causes of physical problems. Sometimes those root causes may lie in genetic tendencies we've inherited or in the foods we're eating. Very often root causes can be traced back to emotional and spiritual issues that need to be dealt with before long-term healing can take place. Those issues may be things that we've buried deep within us and we aren't even aware are holding us back. Until we're willing to allow those emotions to surface and deal with them, we may never be able to find the physical healing we're seeking.

Most of us are keenly aware of the mind/body connection. Mental stress can lead to a sore back or a migraine headache and can weaken our immune systems to make us more susceptible to colds or flu. But that's only a small fraction of the power the mind holds over our physical well-being. The bitterness that accompanies grudges, for instance, may have a link to physical illnesses including obesity, arthritis, cancer, fibromyalgia, and countless other problems.

So how do you start the process of healing? The first thing, of course, is to acknowledge that there is a specific person that you feel has wronged you. You may even think that you have already forgiven that person for their offense, but try this test: if you can't encounter that person or think of her without feeling anger, fear, or any other strong negative emotion rising inside you, then you haven't truly forgiven her. Now let's deal with each of the statements from the opening lines of this article.

"He ruined my life." The next step is deciding to forgive that person. Why should you do that?

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.