Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me may be a common rhyme from childhood, but it is definitely the exact opposite of the truth.
The words and actions of others can often cause wounds and sting deeply whether it be intentional or unintentional. Forgiving someone who has wronged us can feel very strange and unnatural. However, holding onto the hurt and negative emotions can over time cause us more emotional injury and lead to depression, physical illness, and bitterness. How do we take that deep hurt that we feel and forgive someone?
Foremost, forgiveness is not reconciliation nor is it forgetting the harm that has been done.
It is simply the releasing of the anger, pain and negativity from controlling your thoughts, emotions and actions.
Using relaxation techniques such as meditation can help us refocus our thoughts towards gratitude, positive thinking, or our own blunders. Practicing equanimity can help us to forgive.
We don’t initially forgive others for their sake but for our own. Holding onto the hurt binds us to the past and prohibits us from living freely into our future. Remember, we all make mistakes daily. We must learn to love compassionately those around us even when they don’t deserve it; for our well-being as well as theirs.
Blog post written by Wellness Contributor Dawn Rayburn, EDS, NBCT, LPC for Embrace Candles.