I recently came across a Weston A Price article that lists 20 dietary guidelines for better health. Twentieth on the list is the habit of practicing forgiveness. While this is different than the guideline to eat whole unprocessed food or full fat dairy, carrying around negative emotions can impact our health just as much. Harboring a grudge or carrying around anger can make us ill and hold us back from finding happiness. While being able to forgive is difficult to master, it can be learned if practiced over time.
Let’s face it, people are not always nice. Sometimes it is by choice and sometimes it’s not. Our first gut response to any type of pain, emotional or physical, is to protect ourselves. On the emotional level, this can be exhibited as placing blame, trying to get even or just carrying around a slow burning anger toward another person. Overtime, this negative energy will affect us physically, emotionally and even spiritually. In Buddhism, they compare being unforgiving to holding onto hot coals to throw at someone else. This is a perfect analogy in my eyes. Who is going to hurt more? Plus, this puts some serious stress on us mentally. To be unforgiving can cause hormonal imbalances and depletion of the chemicals we need to be happy. This long-term stress impacts our immune system as well as our cardiovascular system thus shortening our lifespan.
All of us have been hurt at sometime in our life, and while it’s difficult to forgive here are a few ideas to help get you started:
Forgiveness doesn’t only apply to a person. It can also apply to corporations, religions or any other number of things. Most commonly, it is on a person-to-person level that we encounter these offenses and thus harbor these feelings. This will take time and effort to work through so just take the first step and get started practicing if you are carrying around this heavy load. Free yourself to improve your health and live a long, happy life.