You may not be aware of the negative impact on your mind, body, and spirit when you hold unforgiveness towards any person or group of people. Human life is filled with moments that cause hurt and emotional or physical pain, and can create a spirit of unforgiveness within our heart. In my homeopathy practice, I often see this spirit of unforgiveness underlying the person’s whole state of being and have a direct impact on their health.
Let’s address some of the negative effects on the body when unforgiveness is long-standing. Unforgiveness can take many forms, from grudge holding, bitterness and resentment to irritability and stress. The anger behind unforgiveness can increase your risk of dying at an earlier age. That ought to be a wakeup call for us.
Anger triggers the body’s flight-or-fight response and overstresses the adrenal glands. The stress hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine, mimic the effect amphetamines would have on the body:
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Depression of the immune system
- Increased risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke
The negative health effects of unforgiveness can also affect the brain. Studies show that even low-level resentment and anger tend to lower cognitive function and problem-solving capacity. Unforgiveness can lead to anxiety disorders, depression and shame.
The bottom line: Unforgiveness is not good for you. It causes unimaginable harm, not only to your health, but also to your capacity to have loving relationships.
What can we do about it? Learn to forgive. Practice forgiveness. Practice letting go of hurtful remarks and situations. Holding onto resentment and unforgiveness creates toxicity in your mind and body. And we are 100% responsible for cleaning up our own toxicity.
I want to share with you an ancient Hawaiian prayer of forgiveness called Ho’oponopono.
I first heard about this at a spiritual retreat I went to several years ago on “The Healing Power of Forgiveness.” The retreat leader told the story of a psychiatrist, Dr. Lew Hen, who was hired to work in the high security ward of a prison. The inmates were the worst criminals who had committed rape and murder. The prison could not keep doctors because they were not able to help any of the inmates.
Dr. Hen decided to accept the position. Over a period of several years, he did not see a single one of the inmates in consultation. He had been taught this powerful cleansing process called ho’oponopono, and all he did everyday was take each one of the inmates’ chart and practice this forgiveness process. Gradually over this time, one by one, the prisoners were able to come out of the isolation they had been put in to protect them from others. Gradually, they all were released from prison, and the ward was empty. Let me share a little about this process.
First, we must understand that our experiences in life come from the data/memories we have stored inside our being. It’s as though, we have a mortgage on our own soul. In order to be “debt” free, we have to clear out the date bank that is running and ruining our life. We have to forgive ourselves so we can forgive others.
Ho’oponopono is a cleansing process that involves 4 steps:
- I’m sorry
- Please forgive me
- I love you
- Thank you
I’M SORRY: I’m sorry for how I have viewed you, how I have judged you and held you in contempt and negativity I’m sorry for that part of me that could ever believe it possible that you could do something to harm another. I repent of my own false beliefs about humankind.
PLEASE FORGIVE ME.
THANK YOU: Thank you for showing me your true, pure self. Thank you for helping me see the truth.
I LOVE YOU: From my deepest soul I realize that we are truly one expression of the divine. I love you and release you from this pain. I love you and give you your freedom to be who you really are.
This is a very powerful process. When we do this over and over again for all the situations in our life that has created a spirit of unforgiveness, we will be detoxifying in a profound way. We will be releasing all the data tapes of painful memories. As we heal ourselves, we heal those around us. When we change the way we look at people, the people we look at will change, too. Forgiveness is the greatest gift of love you will ever give yourself.
Click on this link to hear the ho’oponopono song.