The word forgiveness can cause a lot of angst in people. How do you forgive and what is the value of forgiving?
I recently read Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt’s book The Gift of Forgiveness. Wow! Reading the people’s journey of forgiveness gave me a great opportunity to reflect on the book my parents gave me when I went to college, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.
Often times in life, we do let the small things eat away at us and pull us down. The daily irritants, the person who cut us off, the person that made a rude remark, the job we didn’t get, the promotion we didn’t get, the time we don’t have, the house we don’t have, and on and on. Our view can easily get clouded by the small stuff that we make into huge storm clouds.
Why do we do this when we have an opportunity to see through the clouds and be so very much happier? Another wonderful friend shared a video of his church’s minister talking about how God does not like complainers. (Here’s the link. Do not Grumble Against One Another The minister starts around the 14-minute mark) I can understand that because when we complain, we really do miss all the great things around us. Anyone who has traveled to another country that may not be as wealthy as we are, will realize how incredibly great we have it. We have choices. We have opportunities. We are allowed to voice our opinions which is just huge!
Yes, we all have struggles in life. No single person can say that all of their life has been easy. There are people who have hurt us, disappointments, traumas, devastations, but there are also triumphs, successes, and whatever you have been through you are still here so you still have a purpose. In reading the Gift of Forgiveness, it dawned on me that if someone can overcome the tragedies of the people in that book, then I to can forgive myself and everyone else for anything that has happened.
Last week, I slept on several very uncomfortable beds and pillows while on vacation and woke up with a kink in my left neck so bad that I could turn my head to the left no more than 5 degrees. Great opportunity to first complain about the bed, lol. Once I got that out of my system, I pulled out my bag of tricks to get my range back and stop the pain. I went for a bike ride without any change. I tilted my head to the right which made it worse. I did gentle circles on my neck and massaged the lymph nodes using manual lymphatic drainage to get out any inflammation. I rubbed my traps. I tried strain counter strained exercises. I applied kinesiotape, which helped to get my range back, but not to decrease the discomfort. Then, I did my pelvic rotation stretch, dural tube, and sacral release remembering that my sacrum and lower back were also bothering me. My neck pain went away 95%. The point of this story: I had a lot of options. The solution was in acknowledging the pain and looking elsewhere for the cause. Often times, when we are hurting and blaming others for our pain, we want them to apologize for what they have done. We stay miserable waiting for their apology that will never come. When we shift our focus to treat another area, in this case looking at ourselves, the heartache will go away. Offer that person forgiveness and bless them.
What is the benefit of forgiveness? You are no longer held captive or connected to the person or event that caused you so much pain. You give yourself permission to be released from the pain. Stop complaining, offer up forgiveness, and sore to new heights with the freedom you have just given yourself.
The world is a beautiful place waiting to be seen. ~You’re Inner Guide
Voyage to HEAL Weekly Task
Last week, the stretch and meditation coincided with Week #5: Chest release, Forgiveness of Yourself. This week, we will focus on Week #6: Neck releases: Forgiveness of others. Here is a video of the strain-counter-strain exercise I did that did help some to gain range of motion.
Stretch: We are going to repeat the dural tube to treat both the neck and the back. Lay on the floor with your feet on a couch or lay in your bed with your knees bent. Place a rolled-up towel or your gym shoe stuffed with socks, sole up and heel out under your sacrum. Now take a rolled-up towel or folded pillow and place it under your head tucking your chin to your chest. Lay here and breathe. Soften. Let go of the bonds that are negatively connecting you to what you no longer want to haunt you.
Exercise: In the same position as the stretch above, try doing 10 pelvic tilts. Roll that pelvis back toward the bed completing 10 pelvic tilts without using your legs. Feel your back imprint on the surface you are laying.
Habitual change: Take note of the tension in your body when you are relaxing. Are you able to completely soften when you are at rest in a supported position? Breathe into the areas that you chronically hold tight. Give your body a chance to be at rest.
Perspective Enlightenment: I offer forgiveness for my benefit and send love to those who need it.
Offering forgiveness may take time. Go at your pace. Be kind to yourself, but do ask yourself, “What benefit is it to me to hold onto this?”. As you hold the stretch above, I encourage you to visit week #6 of the Voyage to HEAL and listen to the meditation. You may also purchase the Inner Peace Meditation CD by clicking here.
Godspeed on your Voyage to HEAL learning Healthy Everyday Activities for Life.