As I approach my 40th birthday, I've been thinking a lot about the past before I move into a new middle aged (good heavens!) present. As is the case anytime you reflect on the past, there are going to be memories of people who hurt you, of people you hurt, and of times you hurt yourself.
Considering forgiving someone, asking for forgiveness, or even forgiving yourself can make you feel vulnerable and scared, but consider the benefits:
According to a Mayo Clinic article, Forgiveness: How to let go of grudges and bitterness, forgiveness can lower your blood pressure, help you with anger management, lower your heart rate, give you fewer depression and anxiety symptoms, reduce chronic pain, improve relationships, and give you a greater sense of well-being.
In her post, Michael Vick, Forgiveness, & Top 10 Reasons to Do It, Victoria Moran of Your Charmed Life points out that if you want to make a clean break from someone, you have to forgive them, "You can divorce the spouse who hurt you and move a thousand miles away, but without forgiveness, he or she is still with you every single day."
Kristin Robertson, author of A Forgiveness Journal and the blog, The Everday Mystic, writes in her post, Forgiveness is Like Chicken Soup: Good for What Ails Ya, that forgiveness can help you to live in the present, "Your spirit no longer is bound to the past, your mind stops reviewing and re-living grievances, and you stop clinging to a victim’s role."
The question is, how do you forgive?
The Fetzer Institute's Campaign for Love and Forgiveness is a, "community engagement initiative that encourages people to bring love and forgiveness into the heart of individual and community life." Their website has a plethora of resources:
- Love and Forgiveness Practices
- Letter-writing ideas
- Love and Forgiveness Garden creation ideas
- Teaching resources
- An online Letting Go Ritual
- Locations of in-person "Let's Talk About It" discussions
- Badges for your blog or website
- Campaign Blog
Cross-posted from BlogHer.com