One of the spiritual messages we often hear talked about is the importance of Forgiveness.
And, although we are all (at least theoretically) aware of the importance of opening our hearts in this way, it is often very difficult to do this.
When we feel hurt or attacked by another it is so very human to pull into ourselves and view the person involved in this interaction as the enemy.
To break out of the grip of this fortress we have built around ourselves we need a very compelling reason which can connect strongly with the life view we hold.
To find that reason, let’s look backwards at the situation and stop focusing on the person who has “offended” us and look instead at ourselves and what is happening inside us.
It is very clear that when we harbor anger or resentment there is a massive toll exacted upon our bodies. Depression, anger, heart issues are only some of the physiological price tags for holding these emotions in our body.
The critical question to be asked here is: Why is anger so damaging to the body?
The answer to this question, I think, is this:
The state of anger and resentment is not our natural state…not where we are meant to be. This state is an interruption in the harmony of the innate stature of the soul. It is a disturbance, an impediment to the very simple and authentic state of LOVE which is meant to govern and direct all of our actions.
That is exactly why the body rebels when this beautiful state is disrupted…when we are disconnected from our true nature.
How do we then find our way out of the resentment, anger and hurt we are feeling?
From the time we are born…whenever we are affected by frightening or jolting situations, the memory of these moments is housed in the amygdala, a part of the limbic system of the brain involved in processing these difficult emotions.
Whenever something upsetting triggers a memory from the amygdala we go immediately into a state of fear or aggression.
The hippocampus, another portion of the cerebral hemisphere, can help us modulate the emotions coming up by helping us gain perspective and view the big picture of what is going on in the situation.
It seems to me that our INTENTION is a very important part of helping us do this work. And that intention must come from our realization that life…what is happening in front of us, around us, and in us…is much bigger than what we first perceive.
There is truly a soul view involved in every experience and we must desire to grasp and understand what that picture is.
Elements of that picture include the following:
Negative behavior comes from pain.
Everyone is on a unique path of unfolding and discovery which includes moments of failure, doubt, and hurt.
Everyone is doing the best he is capable of at any given moment.
Messages delivered to us may not be the messages we receive because of our own experiences and conditioning.
Our greatest joy comes from reaching out with understanding and compassion.
We must first give that understanding and compassion to ourselves and then we can extend it to others.
When we aspire to becoming aware of the big picture (soul view) of life experiences we are poised, I think, to override the jolting effects of the amygdala and set in motion a new default for dealing with upsetting and distressing situations.
Our soul view is based in LOVE and when we consciously aspire to come home to that LOVE our bodies feel the harmony of this intention and express this with a sense of peace and contentment. We approve of our choice of how to navigate the difficult moments.
Forgiveness. A return to vibrant health and the LOVE which graces and informs our souls.
originally published July 1, 2011