Healing Your Heart
by David Simon, M.D.
When someone’s actions have created pain for us, it’s natural to engage in an inner conversation of resentment. The mind’s tendency is to replay the story of the offense over and over, which disturbs our peace and makes it impossible for us to be fully present in our lives. As long as we’re holding on to grievance, anger, or regret, part of our emotional and physical energy is tied up in the past.
Forgiveness is a prerequisite for inner peace, and we each have to consciously decide if we are willing to relinquish blame in the service of harmony, love, and happiness. It’s important not to force ourselves to forgive prematurely, yet we ultimately need to let go of our grievances and allow peace to replace hostility. Often this is a gradual process that doesn’t happen all at once, but once we set our intention to forgive, we will be able to release the constriction in our heart that inhibits our ability to love.
We navigate the path to emotional freedom through forgiveness. The first step is identifying and loosening the toxic emotions we’ve been carrying. In the second step, these emotions are released, and finally we fill the newly opened space in our hearts with love. At the Chopra Center’s Free to Love workshops, I have seen participants use this process to heal emotional wounds and forgive recent painful incidents, as well as those that happened many years before. On the first evening of the workshop, the energy in the room is usually fairly heavy and somber, while on the final day, after people have done the work of going within, letting go, and finding forgiveness for others and often themselves, there is a palpable sense of lightness and freedom. Then we celebrate and enjoy the sweetness of being together as the participants begin to write a new, compelling chapter in their lives.
If there is some event from the past that is still causing you pain in the present, I encourage you to find a way to release the emotional toxicity and experience the healing balm of forgiveness – whether through going through the process I’ve written about in my book Free to Love, Free to Heal, attending an emotional healing workshop at the Chopra Center, or through some other path that resonates as authentic for you. No matter what has happened in your life, you have an infinite capacity for love. Please use it, for your own sake and the sake of this precious world.