TIP #26: ALWAYS CHOOSE TO FORGIVE: releasing every poisonous thought and feeling from your mind and body.

“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die!” ― Anne Lamott

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you!” — Lewis B. Smedes

The reason forgiveness has a strong positive impact on our health is because of the serious damage that unforgiveness, anger, resentment, hate, and the desire for revenge cause to our body, especially the heart and the immune system. It also affects our mental health.

Resentment usually lasts for a period of time causing constant circulation of stress hormones and chemicals which degrade the body, raise the blood pressure, encourage “ulcer” formation, weaken the immune system, cause depression, encourage alcohol and drug-abuse, stiffen interpersonal relationships… you are only hurting yourself! Love yourself enough to forgive! It is for your own good.

Truth is, you are likely to act and react the same way the person did if you were in his or her shoes — with the same background, upbringing, personality and life-experiences. Nobody is perfect. Look for an excuse for them; like, “forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing”! Really? Yes, really.

Remember you have wronged someone before, and you were forgiven. Likewise, forgive. We do not ask you to “forget” — that may not be the wisest thing to do. We do not ask you to trust them again — trust is earned and it takes time; we ask you to love yourself enough to stop polluting your psyche and degrading your body with those negative thoughts and feelings. Stop letting people control how you feel! Take control; take charge; let go of every hurt, pain, anger, and shame. Be big; bigger than people and circumstances.
Forgiveness, Martin Luther King says, is an attribute of strong people! It’s a sign of strength, not weakness. Be strong! Free yourself! Love yourself! Heal yourself!

Do something. Say something; like, “I forgive you”. Send a note of love and forgiveness. Pray for the person. Bless the person. Even reach out to the person; give a gift. Be loving. In fact, be love.

And, love yourself enough to forgive! It is for your own good.