When a familiar, safe everyday life takes a new turn, and things go completely differently as you had thought, we often find ourselves in an uncomfortable area. A change, a new situation can be scary, but facing the fear liberating. I have had many situations in life where I have been against my own will, but afterwards felt gratitude for all the things I learned from them. One such experience occurred years ago when my beloved dog was beaten by our then neighbour.
The incident triggered a strong emotional reaction in me and I shook for hours afterwards. I love animals, and do not accept trampling on the rights of them, let alone violence, and when this happens to your own family member, I felt filled up with anger. I was boiling inside. Don't know if I’ve ever felt as much anger, rage, injustice and disappointment as felt then. For many days I spoke with my relatives and friends about what had happened. Criticised my neighbour and sowed my anger around, to whoever would listen it. The event was in my mind and I couldn't let go of it. Every time I saw a glimpse of the neighbour I felt anger again in my thoughts and body. Some weeks later I felt very sick.
The lymph nodes in my neck were swollen, vision blurred and the muscles in hands and feet were sore and powerless. Chest felt heavy and I couldn't breathe properly as it was light shallow breathing, which caused dizziness. I felt myself so weak that it was almost impossible to climb the stairs to the second floor. I was powerless, in pain and completely confident that I'm seriously ill. My doctor stated that the lymph nodes in neck were swollen, however to my big surprise, there was nothing abnormal found in the laboratory tests. The same day I received my blood test results also received an email with an important attachment from a friend. This shook me awake.
I woke up from my angry driven hypnotic state and remembered a theory had learned earlier, that the body's symptoms are messages. I now realised concretely that I didn't have symptoms because of fate or coincidence, but they were reflecting my mental state. The lymph nodes were swollen because my mouth was speaking words of anger. I was poisoning my self-expression channel, the throat chakra, with my talking. Vision was blurred because I was “blind with rage”. Hands and feet were sore and powerless because I was holding on to what had happened and didn't move on. Breathing difficulties symbolised my paralysed state and fear. After looking at symptoms more consciously, I saw the cause clearly. I knew in every cell that I had caused them by carrying anger with me. I also realised that I would have to make a full turnabout of my attitude, otherwise my condition would get worse and anger would eventually manifest in blood tests. The email attachment I received gave me an answer before I even reached time to ask. I understood what I should do. I didn't have to accept the violence, but to heal I would have to accept what had happened and forgive.
Forgiveness fought against my moral sense of justice, but I still knew in my heart that it was the only way to liberation, that it was important first and foremost for my own sake. I didn't need to go to the neighbour to say that I would forgive his violent behaviour, and probably it wouldn't have interested him at all. It was enough that I just read the forgiveness practice I received. There was no way I could put a genuine feeling into it, so I recited it blindly over and over again, many times a day. I also recorded the text using the voice recorder of my mobile phone and listened to it with my headphones while walking with my dogs in the woods. I was really focused on this practice because I wanted to heal.
Within three weeks the symptoms were completely gone. However, I kept on doing the practice, because still felt a conflict inside me towards the neighbour. Surprisingly, however, it began to change and anger turned to pity. I looked at the neighbour's stooped appearance and wondered if he was happy. What kind of childhood had he had. Whether he had received love. Slowly pity changed to a neutral attitude towards him, and finally I could feel gratitude for what this man had come to teach me. I had experienced very concretely in my own body, how I had hurt myself with my thoughts and emotions, but also how quickly body healed as I focused on the positive message. Today I can think back the incident only as a story without any emotional bond. I've been able to forgive and I am free from its effects on my life and my health.
I share this story because I have frequently experienced the importance of forgiveness and seen it help others in many different ways. With it one can free oneself e.g. from the ballast, emotional ties, negative feelings and interpersonal relationships, fears, illnesses, illusions, old patterns of action and karma wheel. We don't even know always that we may carry negative emotions or thoughts in our bodies. They are poisons that hurt us just as we would eat poison. They weaken our health and change our personality, our whole lives. We may think, as I did with my neighbour, that our displeasure, anger, bitterness, doubts and fears are legitimate and justified, but at what expense! Even if we had experienced hell because of another person's deeds, we can continue this spiral of evil by ourselves, because of our thoughts and emotions. In the end, we only hurt ourselves. This is also true when we are, for example, criticising and neglecting ourselves or demanding too much from ourselves. Or when we live against our own truth. Then also we are weakening our vitality and narrowing our potential.
Forgiveness does not mean accepting a violent act, nasty behaviour or insult from another person. It means that we are not getting caught in it. Everything can be seen from a broader perspective and only when we have truly forgiven, we may find that the thing, person, situation, our reactions, etc. came to teach something about ourselves and perhaps our outdated thought patterns.
In the forgiveness practice I received, one will be forgiving virtually everything. For all, at every level, also for oneself, which is very important because we cannot rationally know what is affecting in us and what we should forgive in order to be whole and harmonious. Often we also think we have already forgiven some issues, but we may still unknowingly carry wounds inside, which in one way or another consume us at our foundations.
I am convinced that forgiveness is the key to get well and improve. It gives us a new perspective on things and makes our lives lighter. It helps to let go of the past and enables a new kind of life. Forgiveness is the way that allows us to find tolerance and love within us. When we find them inside of us, we can encounter them in our external reality also.
The forgiveness practice I received can be found here.