However you define your success and wealth, one thing is for certain, you can NEVER achieve it if you are not grateful for the present and have a clear vision for your future. A vision without current state gratitude only leads to anxiety; and gratitude without a vision for the future inevitably leads to stagnation and general apathy.
What does this have to do with forgiveness?
You cannot practice gratitude and have a beautiful vision for your future if you are hanging onto past grudges and regrets. You simply cannot. Gratitude and vision can only be effective if they are ‘felt’ in your body. If your body is filled with pain and blame there is no room to feel gratitude for the present and excitement for the future. Therefore, you need to release yourself from the prison of your past.
Whatever affects your emotions affects your body. Your body holds onto emotions and this is often reflected in posture and ‘tight’ areas such as the neck, jaw, back and hamstrings. Here are more insidious symptoms:
- Anxiety and stress
- Quick to get angry
- High blood pressure
- Poor sleep
- Lower immune function
- Increased risk of depression
- Significant decrease in energy levels
When you let go and forgive something or someone (including yourself) from the past, the reversal of these symptoms can sometimes be instant.
How do you practice forgiveness?
Forgiveness does not mean showing weakness or condoning wrong doing. We can forgive someone without excusing their behaviour. Forgiveness is not the same as reconciling; reconciliation may follow forgiveness, but we can forgivewithout re-establishing the relationship. Forgiveness is not based on the other person apologising, it does not mean forgetting or pretending it didn’t happen and it doesn’t mean trust either. Trust needs to be earned.
There is one powerful practice you can learn that can completely release you from your past. It is founded on the principle that forgiveness is not about changing the past, it’s about changing the future.This practice needs to be communicated by a trained professional; it is not something you can coach remotely or on a YouTube tutorial. It is highly personal and based on your genetic propensity; your unique emotional state and what you need to let go of. In other words, forgiveness is something that needs to be practiced.
Dr Guy Winch is a New York practising psychologist who will be speaking about how to practice forgiveness at the event of the year called, Upgrade Your Life, 2019. He will also be talking about rebuilding trust in a relationship. Dr Guy Winch’s viral TED Talk, Why We All Need to Practice Emotional First Aid, has been viewed over 6 million times and is rated among the top 5 most inspiring talks of all time on TED.com.