This week marks a holy week for millions of people worldwide. It provides a time of reflection and renewal and also a time to consider important and basic virtues we all possess. One of them is forgiveness and the simple act of forgiving can be health promoting. It seems forgiveness, for many of us, however, can be a difficult action.
Most if not all humans have some interpersonal conflict with another. Perhaps our conflict is with a peer at work, a friend or former friend, a family member or other. We may carry a grudge, feel uncomfortable and anger towards this person. Who is hurt by these chronic and sustaining feelings and what does such toxic emotion do to the body?
Research is generally robust on the negative effects of chronic anger and stress. It is far better for us to get rid of these emotions, and even better to recognize their emergence and stop them prior to their taking hold of our interactions with others. We are blessed as humans to be able to say, “I am sorry” and to forgive. This is not hard to do unless we get stuck in pride and other face saving roadblocks.
Perhaps this week we can all forgive one person in our lives who has hurt us. Forgiveness is a cleansing of your body and spirit, it does not necessarily indicate right or wrong judgment. Maybe we can tell someone we have hurt “I am sorry.” If millions of us do this we will not only be healthier on an individual level, we will create a more peaceful planet to live.