Can I Forgive?
Is Forgiveness a “Thing”
In a recent conversation with my yoga instructor, the topic of forgiveness came up. It was clear she didn’t like the concept any too much, and I was intrigued as to why. I’ve always believed that forgiveness is necessary if we are to move forward in life, ESPECIALLY in the game of weight loss.
I’m a strength and nutrition coach in Mississauga, Ontario. I write fitness and nutrition plans for people, do one-on-one weight loss counseling, and offer online courses for weight loss. Learning about how to lose – and maintain the loss of – weight is my passion, and my life.
It turns out that Angela (my instructor) and I are on exactly the same page regarding forgiveness. It’s not that she doesn’t agree with it in principle, her struggle – and mine too – is with how it has been traditionally understood.
Forgiveness is something we’re told to “do,” and that if we don’t “do” it, we’ll suffer inside. Well that’s partially true: to live in resentment and anger at someone is to harm ourselves, not them. But the question is, how do we actually forgive?
Forgiveness isn’t a thing that we can just generate at will. It’s at state of mind that comes about as a result of certain things. Angela and I both don’t like the idea that we need to try and “generate” a forgiving attitude. Good luck with that. We can’t do it.
But there are certain things we can do that lead up to us being able to forgive.
Forgiveness is a Process
If someone has wronged me, it stands to reason that I’m hurt. Oftentimes I may want to hold on to the resentment I feel, kindle it, feed it, make it burn bright. It gives me a sense of self-righteousness and protection: if I remain angry, I’ll keep them away and they won’t be able to hurt me again.
That, of course, is not good for us. But what to do? Can I just decide to “forgive” and be done with it? I’ve never been able to do that, neither do I know anyone who has. Here’s what I believe we need to do.
1.Become willing to forgive. I open myself up to the possibility of – at some point – being able to forgive the person who wronged me.
2.If I can’t become willing, then I become willing to be willing: I ask the Universe, Creator, God, my angels, whoever for the strength and help that I need to be able to become willing to forgive the person who wronged me.
3.I look at how I may have participated in creating the resentment. If I had no part, then I consider what boundaries I might need to set in order to protect myself from being hurt again.
4.I begin to send positive energy towards the person I resent: I pray for them, or practice “Lovingkindness Meditation” towards them; and
5.I WAIT for the forgiveness to happen.
Forgiveness is About Acceptance
Angela said it well: forgiveness comes about when we can accept things the way they are. When we can see the world as it really is, we can accept it. When we can accept, we can forgive.
If you’ve been struggling with losing your weight, you may want to take a look to see if you have any unfinished business in the area of forgiveness. Is there anyone or anything you’re resentful at? You may need to consider letting that go in order to reduce your stress level. Higher stress often results in comfort eating, which is something that’s sure to add pounds to our frame.
Forgiveness can relieve the pressure, and actually help you lose weight.
In my online weight loss course and in my one-to-one weight loss counseling, we work on forgiving and moving past resentments. It’s a key part of the larger picture in being able to maintain a healthy weight.
If you’re struggling with weight loss, and you need help, feel free to reach out. If, specifically, you think you need help with forgiveness and acceptance, I have tools to show you that will help in this area.
I can be reached at 647-677-6025 (text or phone), or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reach out to me if you need to. I’d love to help.