Why We Must Forgive

In my book, The Mystery of Miracles, I shared two of the most profound events in my life from which I attribute my present life of joy and happiness. The first was my birth into a dysfunctional but loving family environment and the second was a Spiritual life-changing encounter  in my living room thirty years later. Both of these events involved learning and practicing repeated acts of forgiveness on many  levels.  I came to realize how important forgiveness is while preparing my heart and mind to write my book. While meditating and placing myself in a receptive mode to receive inspired writing, I was  made aware of an area of unforgiveness that needed to be addressed. I couldn’t think of anyone from my past I had forgotten to forgive.

Then suddenly I knew. It was me. As tears flowed down my cheeks I humbly asked for and received forgiveness for all the times I judged and condemned myself, easily on a daily basis it seemed. Yes, the big stuff had been addressed successfully years earlier after I became aware of the need for forgiveness for myself and those with whom I had engaged in hurtful incidents. But I have to die daily to those little things I do outside of perfection. I must let go of anything that would prevent forgiveness so that truth prevails in the form of unconditional love.

It has been on my heart for some time to somehow get these messages on forgiveness to those  incarcerated in prisons across our land. I had thought of placing my book in prison libraries. Then today I came across the Forgiveness Project and checking into it further found that they do have a prison project as well, called Restore. Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, to look into bringing this program to America?  In England it is sponsored and financed by their national Lottery. I have written the organization in England for any suggestions they might have as a way to partner in bringing it to America. We shall see. The article below is taken from their site and this link will take you to an introductive  video by Archbishop Desmond Tutu at  http://theforgivenessproject.com/programmes/restore/


Why We Must Forgive

Unforgiveness is classified in medical books as a disease. According to Dr. Steven Standiford, chief of surgery at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, refusing to forgive makes people sick and keeps them that way.

With that in mind, forgiveness therapy is now being used to help treat diseases, such as cancer.

“It’s important to treat emotional wounds or disorders because they really can hinder someone’s reactions to the treatments, even someone’s willingness to pursue treatment,” Standiford explained.

Of all cancer patients, 61 percent have forgiveness issues, and of those, more than half are severe, according to research by Dr. Michael Barry, a pastor and the author of the book, The Forgiveness Project.

“Harboring these negative emotions, this anger and hatred, creates a state of chronic anxiety,” he said.

“Chronic anxiety very predictably produces excess adrenaline and cortisol, which deplete the production of natural killer cells, which is your body’s foot soldier in the fight against cancer,” he explained.

Barry saif the first step in learning to forgive is to realize how much we have been forgiven by God.

“When a person forgives from the heart – which is the gold standard we see in Matthew 18, forgiveness from the heart – we find that they are able to find a sense of peacefulness. Quite often our patients refer to that as a feeling of lightness,” he said.

Barry said most people don’t realize what a burden anger and hatred were until they let them go.

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