One of the simplest and most profound ways to heal your body is by learning how to forgive.
As a medical intuitive healer, I often find myself teaching forgiveness mantras to my sickest clients – the ones who have seen every possible kind of traditional and alternative healer and who still struggle with chronic pain and sickness.
One woman I worked with was on every possible prescription medication as well as natural healing remedy, had spent years in therapy and worked with a team of traditional and alternative healers but could not let go of the guilt and resentment she felt for giving birth to a special needs child.
No one could touch her mental or physical pain, so I encouraged her to practice daily forgiveness mantras to slowly but surely release what the drugs, supplements, therapists and coaches could not touch.
What is forgiveness?
Forgiveness is the simple act of letting go of all judgment, bitterness and resentment.
When we forgive, we acknowledge that because the universe is actually a friendly place, whatever happens occurs for the highest good of all.
Many of us have read the Bible verses encouraging us to forgive (“Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.” Luke 17:4), but we struggle with layers of emotion whenever we recall past events.
Every time you think a thought or feel a feeling, you have a whole body response.
You either create positive, life-giving body chemistry or you release stress hormones and neurotransmitters that send your health down the tubes.
This is what is meant by the phrase, “You can’t afford the luxury of a negative thought.”
For most of us, forgiveness is a process. We let go layer by layer, thought by thought, feeling by feeling, day by day, minute by minute until all that’s left is peace, love and understanding.
My favorite simple way to forgive is by using simple mantras.
You could use Ho’oponopono:
Please forgive me.
I love you.
Or an even simpler mantra:
I love you.
You love me.
I forgive you.
You forgive me.
Hold your hand over your heart as you repeat your forgiveness mantras and feel yourself letting go of waves of emotions.
You may need to repeat your forgiveness mantras every day, every hour, and that’s O.K. Just keep going.
You will know you are done with forgiveness when you can think of the person, place or event without triggering any negativity whatsoever.
When we feel we have been wronged, often the first step is to recognize that forgiveness is good for us.
When you forgive, you don’t change what happened, you just heal your body at very deep levels.
As you forgive, you heal four major organs in your body:
- Your heart. Anger drives up your systolic blood pressure – the number on the top (if your blood pressure is normally 120/80, your systolic pressure is the number on the top, 120). Franz Alexander, co-founder of the journal of Psychosomatic Medicine in 1939, was among the first to point out that suppressed anger is a primary emotional factor in hypertension. A Nova Scotia Health Survey found that anger increases your incidence of coronary heart disease. Learning how to forgive has been scientifically proven to lower your blood pressure and overall heart rate. Why take high blood pressure medication or even go under the knife when you can simply learn how to forgive?
- Your liver. If you study energy medicine, you will learn that your liver processes the chemical effects of your anger, rage, wrath and resentment. Often your liver does not need so much as a green juice cleanse (however helpful that may be) as a break from processing all your anger. The stress hormone cortisol stimulates gluconeogenesis (the making of new glucose) in the liver, using amino acids, lactate, glycerol, and propionate. That’s why chronic stress may make you fat around the midsection. Learn to forgive and change your body shape without endless hours of ab work.
- Your large intestine. According to Harvard Medical School, chronic stress makes your GI inflammation worse. A review of 13 studies showed that patients who tried psychologically based approaches had greater improvement in their digestive symptoms compared with patients who received only conventional medical treatment. When you study the emotional correlations of your large intestine, you will find that letting go of grief, guilt and depression takes major stress off this important organ. Yes, you may indeed have food sensitivities, parasites or bad bacteria affecting your gut healthy, but why not save yourself from strict eating regimes or endless rounds of lab tests by simply practicing forgiveness?
- Your brain. Loren Toussaint, a psychologist at Luther College in Iowa conducted a study of 1,500 Americans. He found that people over 45 years of age who had forgiven others reported greater satisfaction with their lives and were less likely to report symptoms of psychological distress, such as feelings of nervousness, restlessness, and sadness. Another study of 347 people showed that those who had learned to forgive were simply less depressed.
If this doesn’t convince you, let me point out that Loren Toussaint found that failure to forgive completely could actually kill you.
You may be going to church, exercising daily, taking prescription drugs and a handful of supplements, but are you forgiving yourself and all others?
“Conditional forgiveness of others remained a significant predictor of mortality after controlling for religious, socio-demographic, and health behavior variables,” Toussaint concluded.
What is healing? Healing happens when we learn how to forgive.
My most sincere thanks for a no nonsense approach to forgiveness. From my own experience I can attest to the fact that hatred, which is the no nonsense alternative to forgiveness, not only serves to “ruin” the hater’s life and health but those around him/her.
After a lifetime of hatred, resentments, and ill health—the peace, well being, and confidence to live that comes directly from forgiveness is staggering to say the least.
And I find it interesting that the Christian (my Christian) faith is built on the premise of forgiveness, yet does little as a whole to promote the idea. Once I understood the positive effects that forgiveness was having on my being on earth, it never takes me long to remember the ill effects of non forgiveness.
Dear Mike, Thank you so much for reading my blog!
It’s people like you who set the example, who lead the way, who make all the difference in life.
Yes, our Christian faith does encourage all of us to forgive.
Most of us need greater information about how to do this.
I’m glad my article was helpful and appreciate you for being a like-minded person. Love and light, Catherine Carrigan
I discovered I was carrying decades of anger, and did not know it.
This revelation came about through a simple exercises I recently discovered by accident:
To write 3 pages without pausing immediately after waking; whatever comes to mind.
I was shocked to see angry words fill the first few days of pages.
But I kept writing, pouring out my feelings.
After a week, the venom trickled and now there is barely a drop in my daily writing. I have moved on.
What I learned: I was a stuffer, believing that forgiveness meant no complaints or gripes.
Writing opened up a channel to release emotions I did not know existed.
Fortunately, I am in good health, but who knows what may have happened to my body had this hidden rage continued.
Your post flows like a story. Good job!
Dear Michael, Thank you so much for reading my blog! You just described an excellent way to release our stuffed emotions – writing! Last year I spent a lot of time by my fireplace with a large unlined pad of paper just releasing deep-seated emotions, writing it all out, not reading what I wrote and throwing the paper into the fire. Thank you for being a great example of a healthy person who is willing to face his own emotions. This is essential to our health. As we acknowledge and release our emotions we make ourselves more and more bullet proof to emotions like anxiety and depression and less susceptible to addictive behaviors. Love and light, Catherine Carrigan
I read this with much disbelief. Sorry to say but I think your on drugs I have very bad health and no forgiveness is ever going to take that away I can assure you of that. So please stop filling people’s head with hope of nonsense just to make money from it. Disgusting if you ask me. Get a real job like the rest of us and give us a break. Forgiveness my eye.
I’m sorry you have been so unwell. Please forgive me for not addressing your specific issues in this article, which was intended to describe my observations on the healing power of forgiveness. I love you for taking the time to read and research different perspectives. Thank you for reading this article. For the record, as of this writing, I am 60 years old and am not on any drugs legal or illegal. I have worked full time in natural healing for 26 years. It is my experience that when we address all aspects of ourselves – physical, energetic, emotional, mental and spiritual – we can experience profound transformation in our health. Your comments beg a few questions. One, what do you truly believe will make you well? Two, is it working for you? If your approach is not working then you may do better by considering a bigger picture. That’s what I do every day – I look for unseen, overlooked factors that could make a major improvement in your total well being. If you would like to read a book that gives my overall perspective on how to get out of pain naturally, I encourage you to read my eighth book, The Difference Between Pain and Suffering: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0989450635?pf_rd_p=f3acc539-5d5f-49a3-89ea-768a917d5900&pf_rd_r=HK5KZPZED96JV7EQCFQP
I wish you well on your healing journey and I pray that you will find the answers you are seeking. Love and light, Catherine Carrigan
I like the article overall, I’m reading it at a time when I feel hurt by my boyfriend. What I’ve also read elsewhere, which u don’t mention, is that u should forgive, but not let people continue to harm u. I think there needs to be a balance. I tried the mantra, thinking of my boyfriend, and cried,..so it helps to release some sadness. My health is v fragile, and I cant afford to harbour negative emotions..they make my health worse. But so does being done wrong by someone u love. I am generally quite a forgiving and understanding person, I would say.
Dear Claudia, Part of being healthy is learning from all our life’s experiences. This comes from inner reflection. No matter what other people have said and done, it’s always about us – how we can make better choices moving forward, who we need to allow into our inner circle and who we need to set boundaries with. Forgiveness sets you free. You let go of the old hurts that have kept you imprisoned in pain. When we stay in our power we can forgive ourselves for putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations and resolve to surround ourselves with love and light moving forward. A great affirmation to say at the beginning of every day is, “NOTHING COMES IN AND NOTHING GOES OUT BUT UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.” Forgive yourself for feeling hurt -we all feel that way sometimes! Sending you love and light, Catherine Carrigan
I wanted to add,isn’t there a story in the Bible(forgive me if I don’t remember exactly), where Jesus overturns some tables (at a market?)in anger, about some peoples wrong-doings there. I think there is a time and place for anger sometimes it is necessary if done in an ‘intelligent’ way. U shouldnt just stand by and watch injustice .. Lest u r condoning it, to a degree.
Indeed, all our emotions serve a purpose. There is so much energy behind anger it can lead us to profound transformation. In Chinese medicine, anger clogs our liver. When we use the energy of anger to change what needs to be changed – whether that be our attitude, our partner, our job, etc. – we can let go of what no longer serves us and find our way back to kindness, creativity and happiness. Hope that helps! Catherine Carrigan
Thank you so much for posting this. I have been working on self healing physically, spiritually, and emotionally for the past 3 years, undoing years of resentment and unforgiveness. This article helped me piece more of the puzzle together so I can continue to let go and forgive and continue on my healing journey!
Hi Lauren, Thank you so much for reading my blog! I say practicing forgiveness is like vacuuming. I vacuumed my house last week but a little dust has gathered since. As we bring the light of awareness to our inner dialogue, we can identify when we are playing the role of victim and seeing others or even the world at large as perpetrator. Stepping out of that limited mindset into a broader understanding of what’s really going on with each of us at the soul level can empower us to bring the power of compassion to all our relationships. Hope this helps! Love and light, Catherine Carrigan