What is Forgiveness?
Forgiveness is the cancellation of resentment, indignation, or anger because of a perceived offense, disagreement, or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as 'to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offense or debt'.
What Forgiveness is NOT
• Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is an act. Act of obedience to God.
• Forgiveness is not pretending that you were not hurt.
• Forgiveness is not overlooking a problem or excusing bad behavior without consequences or letting someone continue to treat you badly.
• You do not have to continue to have a connection with the person who you believe wronged you.
Resentment Ties to Cancer
When I was initially diagnosed with cancer, the main question I and many people have is, “What causes it?”. There really is no definitive answer. Just that it is caused by changes to genes that control the way our cells function, especially how they grow and divide.
While on my healing journey, I learned a lot. Not just the typical medical stuff, but also how our emotions, thoughts, and feelings play a big part in our health.
In wholistic health it is believed that all body pain and illnesses are the results of unhealed emotions of our past and cancer is the result of long-standing resentment, especially childhood resentment, which is anger that a child holds against a parent. It could be caused by emotional neglect, physical, mental, or sexual abuse, unrealistic expectations of the child or being critical, and more. Sadly, childhood resentment usually starts at home and can extend into adulthood.
In the book, The Secret Language of Your Body, by Inna Segal, resentment is defined as a deep hurt, that is suppressed and unexpressed and becomes anger. It is usually directed toward a family member or someone close, and frequently comes out when you feel that you have been treated unfairly or taken advantage of.
Oh yes! I have carried my fair share of resentment!
Long-term resentment can create distrust, which causes you to always have a wall up and be guarded. Inna goes on to say that physically, resentment can lead to tumors, syphilis, osteoporosis, lupus, back pain, and more!
How to Let Go of Resentment and Forgive & Steps to Take
• Keep in mind the most important reason to forgive! It is the forgiveness that God has already granted us. Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
• Acknowledge your emotions about the harm done to you and how they affect your behavior.
• Realize the power is within you. You have a choice. Holding on to anger can’t change the past and what has happened, and you can’t control or change others. Remind yourself that forgiveness is a gift to yourself.
• Think about how forgiveness will benefit you. Is it preventing you from being happy and enjoying life?
• If applicable, acknowledge your part in allowing the abuse to occur, forgive yourself for that, and decide to not let it occur again.
• If you can’t forgive, practice deliberate forgetfulness.
• Always talk with a therapist or counselor if you find it difficult to forgive others for any wrong. Honestly, talking with a therapist has helped me with childhood resentment.
Benefits of Forgiveness
• Can lead to a happier and healthier life, and a sound mind. All of which can help you achieve other goals in your life.
• A stronger immune system and improved heart health.
• Improved mental health.
• Better and healthier relationships.
• A deeper sense of purpose and self-worth and a feeling of connection to others.
Listen to the Navigating Cancer TOGETHER podcast Episode titled, Talk with Talaya - International Forgiveness Day Why It's Good for Your Health.
Podcast Episodes that touch on the topic of emotional healing:
• How to Heal, Speak to Your Soul, and You’re your Ego in Check with Lads Talk Health, https://www.ontheotherside.life/navigating-cancer-together-podcast/episode/f96bd968/how-to-heal-speak-to-your-soul-and-keep-your-ego-in-check-with-lads-talk-health
• The Benefits of Brain Spotting for People Impacted by Cancer with Maren Mittal, https://www.ontheotherside.life/navigating-cancer-together-podcast/episode/b970b71c/the-benefits-of-brainspotting-for-people-impacted-by-cancer
• The Emotional Pillars of Healing with Crystal Greiner, https://www.ontheotherside.life/navigating-cancer-together-podcast/episode/393aa1c9/the-emotional-pillars-of-healing-with-crystal-grenier
• Emotional Freedom Techniques, ETF, a Self-Help Tool for Cancer with Deborah Miller and Stephanie Marohn, https://www.ontheotherside.life/navigating-cancer-together-podcast/episode/27f054d4/emotional-freedom-techniques-eft-a-self-help-tool-for-cancer-with-deborah-miller-and-stephanie-marohn
• Healing and Why What’s Really Going On Under the Surface Matters with Debora Wayne, https://www.ontheotherside.life/navigating-cancer-together-podcast/episode/1adcbfdf/healing-and-why-whats-really-going-on-under-the-surface-matters-with-debora-wayne
• How Insight and Changing Our Signal Can Lead to Inner Peace and Healing, with Ann Hince, https://www.ontheotherside.life/navigating-cancer-together-podcast/episode/396d4e71/how-insight-and-changing-our-signal-can-lead-to-inner-peace-and-healing
• Many others! Coming up in October, I will also be talking with Vishnupriya Aristo, the founder of Zero Point Healing about cancer, resentment, unhealed emotions, how holistic health can help, and more!
Books on Forgiveness:
Is unforgiveness affecting your physical or mental health?
Is there someone that you need to forgive so that you can move on with your life and live your best life?
If you answered, "yes", to either of these questions, I hope the information that I have shared will encourage you to start your healing journey. Let go of the heavy weight of resentment and unforgiveness!
It is for you! You deserve to have peace of mind, health, and happiness.
Let's keep Navigating Cancer TOGETHER!
Talaya, The Cancer Doula
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