After all, the Bible says in I Corinthians 13 (most famously known as the Love Chapter), that loves keeps no record of wrongs. Read the chapter here.
This seems pretty self-explanatory to you, right? But, for a few of you who may be a little blind to your own ways, I can explain it further: If you are keeping a mental or emotional list of wrongs, offenses, hurts, mistreatment, pain, etc. done to you (real or imagined, intentional or accidental) by one or more persons, you are not operating from a place of love. Ouch. Yes, I said that. But lest you get all offended (see there you go again!) and think I am getting all preachy here, please read on.
I’ve always kind of prided (ugh – pride, that’s a different post!) myself on the fact that I don’t hold grudges. Or at least that’s what I told myself. I don’t seek revenge or plot to harm and manipulate others. If I were hurt by you, you would never know because I try to treat everyone the same and act fairly. I believe in second and tenth chances and I believe we all hurt others – often unintentionally and unknowingly – we are flawed people, that’s what we do. The Bible reminds us of this also:
“Do not pay attention to everything people say; otherwise you might even hear your servant cursing you. For you know in your own heart that you also have cursed others many times.” (Ecclesiastes 7: 21&22)
If you had asked me if I was a forgiving person I would have responded confidently: “Yes.” Then I went to my first acupuncture appointment.
Something I’d Never Tried
I had lived with chronic migraine for close to 30 years, with the last few years getting noticeably worse in frequency and intensity. Yes, I’ve tried everything, I mean everything: diet and exercise changes, essential oils, massage. physical therapy, chiropractic care, beta blockers, magnesium, Feverfew, niacin, Butterbur, saunas, detoxing pads on the feet, blah, blah, blah. A recent migraine landed me in the ER (again) and I made a vow (again) to find something to rid me of this debilitating condition.
A few friends had mentioned acupuncture. I decided I had nothing more to lose and made my first appointment. Nervous, apprehensive, but ever hopeful that THIS would be the answer, I felt my heart leap when my acupuncturist told me that of all the ailments she treats she has the most success with migraines.
During the first treatment, I felt a real physical release flow through my body, but it was the emotional release that caught me off guard. I had a profound and enormously, overwhelming desire – yes desire – to “forgive everybody for everything”! That’s exactly what went through my mind. No person, in particular, came to mind. No situation of grave offense. No big trauma that I had let simmer. Just the little offenses over the years, the record of wrongs, so to speak. I hadn’t really thought I was keeping a record of wrongs – maybe just a small Post-It note tucked away in my nightstand drawer. But, there is was: forgiveness. I needed to let it all go.
I always believed our mental and emotional well-being has a direct impact on our physical bodies, but the last several months have shown me this connection in a tangible way. I’ve continued with acupuncture treatments and the evil migraines have diminished in both frequency and severity. I no longer live in fear of getting hit with one while traveling or alone or in a place where I can’t get to medicine. I no longer limit my lifestyle out of worry that something will trigger one. Of course, I still eat healthily and take supplements that I need but I don’t have to avoid situations that used to trigger an attack.
Life is still full of potential hurts and offenses but I am not willing to give room to them in my life. As a friend so eloquently put it when I told her my experience: Letting go of unforgiveness made space in my life for healing.
What are you holding onto that is taking up valuable space in your heart?
On a Side Note:
If you suffer from migraines and just need someone to talk to, contact me below in the comments section and we can set up a chat of some sort. I know how hard it is to live with a condition that some people may not understand and how debilitating it can be.
Prayers to you and don’t give up looking for a solution – your body and spirit want to heal!