Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Healing Emotional Wounds with Forgiveness

Dr. Gabriella Kortsch shared a deeply meaningful article, “Can You Forgive?”—in the most recent State of Appreciation issue, that included powerful comments such as…

“You remember what happened with a great deal of emotion, almost as though you were reliving the painful incident.”

“What I'd like you to think about is this: by remembering, by bringing it back into your mind over and over again - even though you only do it once a week or once a month - you maintain the freshness of the pain. Reliving a painful situation in your mind is tantamount to reliving it in reality ... have you not noticed how the tears can flow again and again, or the red-hot anger can flare over and over ... even though decades have passed?”

And this powerful comment…
“It is at this point that you can begin to take cellular responsibility for yourself, i.e., you will no longer be harming your body in all senses of the word by keeping that negative power in the past.”

Gabriella’s words reminded me of something I wrote in an article once, to the effect that forgiveness asks us to “FOR goodness sake, GIVE yourself a rest from carrying this.”

There’s a difference between an emotional wound we feel from an experience that’s happened recently and one we continue to irritate long after the original event occurred. As Gabriella stated, we influence our very well-being with our thoughts about such moments. Stuff happens that upsets us or hurts us deeply—depending on how we perceive what happened and what we tell ourselves about it, initially and long-term. We are affected the time we live it and each time we relive it. We know this; but until we seek and do what helps us heal these wounds, we suffer over and over. (Dr. Kortsch provides valuable information about this in her article.)

I’ve watched people repeat stories of past hurts—long past in some cases—as though they just happened. I’ve watched them make themselves ill, send their blood pressure up, and more. I’ve done it to myself a time or two.

Dr. Kortsch’s compelling, informative article is available in its entirety on the State of Appreciation Guest Articles website page until Aug. 12, 2011, at http://stateofappreciation.webs.com .

Is there any lingering past hurt you continue to tug at—from someone else or that you feel the need to forgive yourself for? One you re-wound yourself with over and over? What do you want to do about that? What will you do about it?

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