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How much does forgiveness weigh?

This may sound like a bizarre question, but the more I ponder it the more I realise it is an extremely useful question to for me to answer.

I was walking along the beach on a winter’s day in Tasmania with the sun beating down on my skin and I started to become very connected to the moment. I decided to check in with my heart to see how I was tracking. I have become very aware of my learned preference to live most of my life in my head and I now make a conscious effort to listen to my heart more, which, I find, is where my intuition lies.

So I tapped into my heart space and did an emotional scan of my body to see what may be lurking and requiring my attention. What jumped out at me right away was forgiveness. Despite living for over 40 years, I still had not let go of anger I had towards a couple of people from my childhood years. In this space, with an open heart, I felt compelled to forgive and truly let go of the past injustices.

There is a great quote I remember hearing that goes something like,  “…to refuse to forgive is like taking poison yourself and expecting the other person to die”. Since I came across this quote it has always resonated with me. While I know it is one thing to embrace the theory, it is quite another to implement this approach into our own lives. I could feel a stubborn streak in me that had been stoically resisting forgiveness, but now felt ready to relent.

And so with an open heart I declared forgiveness to those I needed to forgive, and then I continued to declare forgiveness for other more minor transgressions. Then I got to myself and realised there was an opportunity to forgive myself for not living up to the extraordinarily high expectations I have set for myself through my life.

As I peeled off the emotional layers, and let them dissolve to my heartfelt forgiveness, I began to feel different – lighter, taller and like I had shed a huge weight. I thought about this and tried to equate the weight to physical measures. Once I did I was certain I had shed over five kilos of emotional weight.

By the time I had hit the halfway point of my walk and turned back to my destination, I felt like a different person. I was struck by how powerful, yet simple, a process I had just carried out. The effects have been far-reaching and positive in both my personal and professional life.

Do you have anyone you need to forgive? Or something you need to let go of? Do you need to forgive yourself for something?

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