- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Monday, November 1, 2010
The Healing Found in Forgiveness
It has taken me much of my life to understand why it is important to forgive in order to feel healthy and whole. I always felt that if I forgave someone for hurting me in some way, that I was letting them off the hook so to speak. That is very far from the truth of forgiveness.
If we are to understand that "nothing is ever personal", and I do believe that, then anything that another person does or says to us that is painful or hurtful, would be coming from their own hurt and dysfunction and not about us. Forgiving is letting go of any personal attack on us, because it is never personal to begin with.
Forgiving allows us to move on and be free of any abuse that has been perpetrated upon us. Forgiving lets you heal, and has little to nothing to do with the person you are forgiving, except for to set them free of any responsibility in having control over the process of your life. Forgiveness liberates you, and frees you from being a victim. Forgiveness gives you your power back where it belongs.
I have heard stories where a man and a woman have lost their child to a murderer, and were able to forgive that murderer. That is the ultimate forgiveness. I hope I never have to experience trying to find that kind of forgiveness, but I am in awe of anyone who can. Without that kind of forgiveness, a parent would have a very difficult time living a life with an open heart, or having any resemblance of happiness.
I have written quite a bit about child abuse, and how that can destroy a entire life. Without the ability to forgive, even if there was severe abuse, that child can not live a healthy, happy life. At some point there has to be forgiveness to move forward. Otherwise that child will live in an adult body feeling victimized, and can often continue the cycle of abuse. Whether it is in abusing ones self, or abusing others, one must forgive to be able to find a path to healing and healthy living.
I have been focused on forgiveness for myself, and for others in my life that have hurt me in some way. Forgiving yourself is just as important as forgiving others. I can recount many times in my life that I have hurt someone, or have been out of integrity. I realized that I need to forgive myself for these situations, or I would not be able to be healed of the pain it causes me. Forgiving yourself is many times harder than forgiving others, but no less important.
So if you are holding on to resentment, anger, or pain that someone else has caused you, learn to forgive them, so that you can be healthier and live a happier existence. Holding on to those negative emotions will only create more sadness and unhappiness for you. You can not move forward in life if you are tethered to the pain of past abuse. Forgive yourself and others so that you can "Live" and "Thrive" in a life that is waiting for you.