Will you forgive me? Chances are you’ve said this or at least heard it before. After all we are all only human and prone to make mistakes! Recently, I had the chance to participate in a group study on the topic of forgiveness and reconciliation. It is interesting that all faith traditions seem to include some form of forgiveness. Forgiveness is necessary for people to get along in any community. It is pretty amazing how many nuances there are; for example, does repentance have to precede forgiveness, can you forgive when the person to be forgiven is not around anymore, can you forgive or seek forgiveness on behalf of someone else, do you forgive to help release the other person or to heal yourself or both, are there some things that are unforgivable, what about forgiving repeatedly, is forgiveness a sign of weakness, are some people unable to forgive, is there any such thing as unconditional forgiveness, do we need to forgive and forget?
No matter where you stand on the subject, it is quite complex. Sometimes we even need to learn to forgive ourselves. I invite you to consider whether there’s something that you need to let go of that could benefit from engaging in a process of forgiveness. Ultimately forgiveness (or lack of it) can have far reaching consequences that affect many different aspects of people’s lives. Even from a physical health perspective, studies have shown that the act of forgiveness can lower the risk of heart attack, improve cholesterol levels and sleep, decrease pain, blood pressure, anxiety, depression and stress. “Please forgive me” is an important part of the Ho’oponopono healing technique, for example.
Easier said than done, right? Fortunately many of us can learn to forgive even if we’re not so good at doing it now. It is no small matter to offer forgiveness. There are many different types of resources that you can find to support you in this, as well as meeting with a trusted friend or counsellor. And my goodness, the world sure could use a bit of forgiveness these days!
What are you doing this summer other than practicing forgiveness? I will be taking some days off in July and then again in August so book your Reflexology appointments now to best suit your schedule.
Have a wonderful summer!
Donna-Michelle Rancoeur is a Registered Reflexologist (RRPR), a Reiki Master and an Indian Head Massage Practitioner.