Forgiveness comes easily for some, but for others of us, it's not easy. We tend to hold onto the hurt, hard feelings, and maybe even start to question ourselves and our identity. "Am I really a bad person?"
But the fact of the matter is, holding onto those feelings won't punish anyone but yourself. And that's not to say that the person who did you wrong should get off the hook and not have any consequences. In fact, forgiving someone may mean setting boundaries so they can't hurt you again. That's situational and may need some advice from a counselor to decide what's best.
What I want to share today though, is how harboring hard feelings affects your health.
High blood pressure is an epidemic in our high stress society. And doesn't that line just say it all? I think most of us realize that stress causes high blood pressure. But instead of working on ways to decrease stress, too often, covering up the symptoms is the go-to "treatment" method of choice. The modern medicine sickcare model prescribes drugs, imaging, surgery, and so forth to combat symptoms or a group of symptoms (called a diagnosis), that just covers up the problem or relocates it to another area. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is no exception.
Turns out it's not just any kind of stress, but a tendency to harbor unforgiveness that can be a major contributor to high blood pressure. Not only that, but not forgiving someone and holding onto feelings of hurt and anger, is also linked to decreased immune function, increased inflammation, anxiety, depression, restlessness, heart disease, etc.
So, if you're someone who is experiencing any of those things, ask yourself if there's some hurt you've been holding onto. Is there someone you need to forgive? Someone who may not even admit they've done wrong. And perhaps you can just release them from holding that power over you, even if it means moving on without resolution on their end.
On this day, the "day of love," let's choose to forgive and move forward so we can experience the deep healing only forgiveness can bring. And you just never know what beauty can spring forth out of that healing process.