What is unforgiveness?
Unforgiveness is the inability to extend forgiveness to someone else or oneself. We often hear people say, I can't forgive this person or I can't forgive that person. Worse yet is a situation in which we say, "I will never forgive myself for _______________". To overcome a grievance and develop the power to forgive requires setting an intention to forgive and then doing the necessary inner work.
Why is unforgiveness bad?
Unforgiveness can be one of the most destructive and toxic emotions for the body and mind. The inability to forgive can even be ingrained, i.e. we cannot forgive even when we want to forgive because the pain is too great, too overpowering in the mind. We choose to hold onto the grievance and justify our resentment. We just cannot let it go. We've all been there. Yet, to be healthy, we must learn to let go and forgive. This is a difficult truth to accept, but here it may helpful to recall what the Buddha said, "Anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." Unforgiveness works much the same way. It can be toxic and sometimes even deady.
Why is forgiveness important?
We must understand forgiveness is important for our own health. This is enlightened self-interest. When we are in that place of resentment but we earnestly want to forgive, a useful practice is to energize the mind with this daily affirmation, "It is possible that I can learn to forgive."
How to practice this affirmation?
Repeat this affirmation in the morning and in the evening for 3-4 minutes or as long as your patience allows. Once we convince the mind of what is possible, the mind will do what is necessary to make the possibility a reality. This is the way of the Ayurveda Mind. The power to forgive is within each of us, no matter how great the hurt. Forgiving sets us free.
What if I am not holding any unforgiveness?
Some of us think we are not holding any unforgiveness, but that is very rare. In reality, most of us have buried certain hurtful memories and resentments deep in our soul, in our subconscious mind. We must traverse all areas of the mind to uncover and shed light upon any hidden resentment and unforgiveness that may be hiding in us, in order to release ourselves of its toxic effects. How to traverse the mind? By asking ourself if we are holding onto any unforgiveness and by practicing this affirmation when we find ourselves stuck. Sometimes we get stuck not being able to find a resentment and sometimes we are stuck repeating a grievance. This affirmation applies in both situations.