The Relationship of Forgiveness and Inner Peace

January 4, 2010 at 3:45 pm (Benefits of Meditation)

As I was meditating this morning, I came upon an interesting insight that felt useful in understand the physical benefits of forgiveness. We all have people that hurt us, or those who carelessly damage some part of our lives either physically, emotionally  or spiritually.

We are often told to ‘forgive and forget’ and many religious systems talk about forgiveness as a necessary part of the human experience. I have always heard these admonitions in sort of a spiritual way, i.e. If I ‘forgive’ someone who has harmed me in some particular way, then that ‘good act’ will somehow come back to me and I will receive forgiveness.

That may be true, and I have some experiences to talk about that topic in another entry. This entry is about the physical benefits of this practice.

We all know the sick feeling of the knot in the stomach and the fast heart rate, or the chest or jaw tightness when someone insults, offends, or betrays us. We also know that with these feelings pounding away at our brain, it is difficult and sometimes impossible to think clearly.

These feelings can linger on for days and sometimes smoulder for years as festering grudges that we hold for some unavenged or unrighted wrong in years past. We may make unkind remarks or hold unkind thoughts about a person for years and years. Every time the thought or topic of that person or situation comes up, the feelings come like a flood and the hurt or anger is present all over again.

The funny thing is that the person to whom these feeling are directed is generally unaware of our emotional discomfort, anger or the misery that we are feeling again as a result of re-thinking or re-living the long past event. They are not being damaged by these things! Only we are!

If I can truly forgive and forget the offence, then the physical sickness, anger, distraction, clouded judgement, obsession with the old event, etc. all goes away and I am suddenly free to live my life in the full energy of my wonderful self. I am free to be, do, create and live a life of wonder and joy. I am no longer chained by the emotion that continually returns when I savor an old slight or wound.

We can never be at our best mentally, emotionally or physically when we are consumed with emotion and focused in a fog of remembering some old bitterness. How much better to give ourselves the gift of a free mind, a clear heart and relinquish the cold, sorry comfort of an old grudge!!

Forgive those who have offended you and your meditation will be more effective, your heart wil be clearer and your mind and body will be more full of energy!! What a gift to give yourself!!! 

Make a resolution to forgive 10 people that have offended you and remove 10 big rocks from YOUR OWN back pack!!!

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