Today we consider the 8th of the so-called 'Laws of the Universe' - The Law Of Forgiveness.
Remember that our definition of a 'law' in this series is something defined as universally true for everyone.
If you were raised as a Christian, forgiveness is a central part of life for you, and that it is indeed a 'Law of Life'
Because of that, use of the term outside the religious context needs further clarification.
There are a few different dictionary definitions of forgiveness.
- To cease feeling resentment towards something or someone.
- The tolerance of something.
However, the second definition is only part of the meaning - if we simply 'tolerate' something we are not fully forgiving of that thing. We accept it only partially.
The meaning I wish to convey today is essentially that forgiveness is the total release of a burden - in effect it is the first definition above.
This burden can be guilt (and Catholics are always reminded of this!) or it can be other negative emotions such as anger, depression, etc.
For example, if you had an unhappy childhood and you're always obsessing about it, 'forgiveness' can release the burden. However it's not who you may 'blame' for that unhappiness that you need to forgive, but it's yourself for reacting in that way. Releasing these negative emotions frees you up and makes life a lot more enjoyable!
In this, forgiveness can be considered a healing process. If you are always experiencing negative emotions, then rather than asking 'why' you are getting them, simply acknowledge you are getting them and say to yourself 'it's OK - I release this burden.' Continually asking why repeats the problem over and over again without resolution.
The benefits of forgiveness are not limited to your emotional health - they have physical ramifications as well.
For instance, if you are continuously feeling fear or anger, your body is producing toxic compounds such as cortisol. Cortisol has the effect of increasing your blood sugars and suppressing your immune system, as well as slowing down bone formation. It also interferes with learning and memory.
If you can reduce or eliminate such chronic feelings, both your mental and physical health will improve. Physical exercise is also a good way to regularly release stress - and this will affect your mental attitude positively as well.
Of course there are other ways to reduce both physical and emotional stress.
Another way to reduce stress us through meditation. If you are new to this there are plenty of meditation products out there - some that are 'guided' - you have a voice on the recording telling you what to do - and there unguided tracks that have relaxing or soothing music. You can just dial them up on YouTube, or there are companies out there that sell meditation, hypnosis or subliminal tracks that have affirmations on them.
A further way of releasing negative emotions is through NLP Time Line Therapy™ This technique focuses on emotions that derive from the past. In the process, you are taken back in time to an event in your life when you first experienced the emotion. You're then asked to consider the 'learnings' from that event and project into the future with those learnings. This has the effect of cleaning up the past so you can focus on now and the future.
When all is said and done, however, it's you who creates your reality, not someone else, even if you are unaware of how you're doing it.
Take responsibility for your life and how you create it. When you perceive a wrong done unto yourself you can seek redress, but often that redress is not enough...
You need to forgive - and in particular, forgive yourself!