I am lightweight. It has taken a few years to get to this point. I am speaking about my physical, emotional and spiritual heft. In the past few years I have lost about thirty body pounds and kept them off. I didn't make any major physical or dietary changes for which I could attribute the weight loss, but I did make one big change–a change that took courage and strength, a change that I struggle with everyday: forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the deliberate choice of seeing beyond a person's hurtful action. When we judge something that someone does that we perceive is wrong or hurtful, we are judging from the ego. The ego wants justice, revenge, to be right, to be righted. The ego ignores the fact that what someone else has done to us is a past action, and it is that–action, it is not who they are.
Forgiveness is a choice of our Higher Self which knows that all actions are rebalanced according to right action and right timing. Forgiving allows divine unfolding of ourselves, others and relationships. Forgiving releases emotional burdens that keep our hearts heavy, our minds in the past and our peace disturbed. As we forgive, we not only forgive others, we forgive ourselves and we give way to extraordinary changes in our soul and our body.
Shame, blame, pain from the past, grievance, anger, resentment, bitterness and hostility are all inflammatory emotions that wreak havoc in our body. When we feel these negative emotions, our body produces adrenaline, which keeps us revved up, and cortisol, which suppresses our immune system. Not forgiving causes emotional and physical stress. When we let go of all toxic emotions, we return to wholeness: calm mind, peaceful heart, healthy body.
Everyday forgiveness means choosing not to be angry at the driver who cut you off, at the coworker who talks too much, at the client who makes you wait, at the colleague who talks self-importantly, at the friend who is always twenty minutes late. More difficult forgiveness involves seeing beyond a daughter's lie, a friend's betrayal, a husband's infidelity, a business partner's embezzlement, a mass bomber's actions. We can forgive someone even if that person is not aware that we have, for forgiveness is not about the other person, it is about us. Forgiveness does not mean that we condone wrong or hurtful action. We can forgive while refusing to accept someone's behavior. We can forgive and release that person from our life.
Forgiveness is not easy. We may have to forgive someone more than once before we are finally able to let go of the emotions in our heart. Yet once we are willing to forgive, a shift starts to happen. We are released to love and be loved able to enjoy people, the present, and ourselves.
Today is a good day to practice forgiveness and start to lose weight in our mind, our heart and our body. Let go...let go of the grudges, the toxicity, the heavy burden in our heart, the weight.