“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”. –Gandhi
The mind-body-spirit connection has been known for a long time. Negative thinking can zap us of motivation and energy while a positive outlook does just the opposite. Holding a grudge is negative thinking and therefore has serious implications for our mind, body and our spirit.
Information from the Mayo Clinic indicates that the process of forgiving affects our physical and mental health profoundly. It can result in lower levels of stress, blood pressure, anger, and depression and can improve immune function and cardiovascular health. Spiritually, forgiveness opens us to relate more fully to others and to allow God to act more fully through us.
Forgiveness is an oft-discussed topic and has powerful positive effects on us but what, exactly, is it? Derived from the Old English word forgiefan, “to forgive” means to renounce anger and punishment against someone. It means to change your thinking and let go of your desire for revenge and anger. It does not (necessarily) mean reconciliation, forgetting, condoning, or excusing what happened.
It is our choice to make. Definitely not an easy one, but well worth the effort. The mental, physical, and spiritual benefits are powerful inspiration, but perhaps the most compelling reason is that each of us is forgiven by God and are called upon to pay it forward. Certainly, this is time in which we need more forgiveness.