The tremendous impact of forgiveness


Umang Chhatrola

Advanced Yoga Practices (AYP) Teacher

The concept of forgiveness sounds very soft and powerless. Yet, we are rarely able to muster the courage to forgive. We often think it is something that we are “supposed” to teach our children but it has little practical value in the real world. However, the idea and the implementation of it has a lot more depth and power to it than we may realize. It can be life-transforming if we are ‘holding on’ to a lot of resentment and anger. Firstly, we have to realize that forgiveness is primarily for our own self. Regardless of what someone did or didn’t do to us, we have to take full responsibility for our thoughts, emotions and actions. Forgiveness is something that not only others deserve but also something that we deserve.

Non-forgiveness is nothing but resistance to the flow of life. If we are ‘holding on’ to self-pity, anger, resentment etc, it means that we have not forgiven. Non-forgiveness is often toward another person or our-self, but it may just as well be towards any situation or condition – past, present or future – that our mind refuses to accept. Yes, there can be non-forgiveness even with regard to the future. This is the mind’s refusal to accept uncertainty, to accept that the future is ultimately beyond its control. Forgiveness is to relinquish our resentment, grief, sorrow, etc. It is an act of ‘letting go’. It is realizing that there is no point in ‘holding on’ to negative thoughts and emotions which can be harmful to our well-being. Forgiveness is nothing but acceptance, not only of external situations but also of the emotions and the flow of life-energy in our body. As we forgive, the ‘frozen life energy’ begins to flow harmoniously in our body. That is why there have been cases in medical science where people have been cured of chronic illnesses (which are often caused by nothing but non-forgiveness) simply with forgiveness.

Non-forgiveness drains us of all the vitality and mental energy. With forgiveness, we can find them coming back. That is why almost all religions preach it.

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