Friday, April 22, 2016

Wounds & forgiveness

Forgiveness. It's such a difficult thing to do, isn't it? And no one really teaches us how to go about it. The older we get, however, the more essential it becomes—as we seek to let go of all those things that weigh us down and get in the way of a healthy, happy life. If we don't learn to forgive and let go, we'll be carrying more baggage than a diva headed to Paris for two months!

Forgiving others is tough. It can depend on the type and size of the wounding. Perhaps if we try to care for and nurture ourselves with the woundedness (rather than nurturing the wound itself and the attendant anger), we would be able to heal. And with the healing, we would be better able to forgive—and then let go. Self-compassion and self-care lead us to more compassion and care for others, and such an attitude sets the stage for forgiveness. We know that hurting people hurt others. And caring people care for others.

Forgiving ourselves is even more difficult. Here's the thing: Forgiveness is so good for us. It's restorative. It restores us to health, for when we carry around the guilt and shame of whatever it is we've done, we are in an unhealthy state. And, as we know, sometimes that guilt and shame can actually cause physical illness as well. At the least, our emotional/spiritual state is unhealthy until we can forgive and let go. Once we forgive, we are restored. We're set free from the shackles of guilt, shame, anger and whatever else has bound us in that state of unforgiveness. That definitely is worth all the hard work of healing and forgiving.

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