We all want to live a happy and fulfilling life. Getting it depends on many things but possibly there is one that stands out above the others, forgive. The experts on this complicated subject of happiness agree that we cannot be happy when we have resentment and are confronted or angry with other people or with ourselves.
Happiness is not just a matter of the mind, of feeling good or bad emotionally. All the functioning of our organism can be affected by unhappiness. I remember a veteran surgeon who many years ago told me a very curious story. He said that before putting a patient in the operating room, he would ask a question to see if the surgery was likely to be successful. I was waiting for a person of the opposite sex who was good to see and made the patient a comment like “you’ve seen?, it’s beautiful / eh?” If the patient responded with interest knew that everything would go well. If he did not find motivation in the patient and saw the apathy and depression in his eyes, sometimes he did not operate.
It is very well established today that emotional states are closely linked to the body’s defenses. If we are sad or stressed we will have more chance of getting sick. The easiest example and we know almost all are herpes that come on the lips. These infections are mostly caused by a virus called Herpes Simplex type I. This virus we have almost all humans. The most frequent thing is that from small kisses we receive from our relatives transmit us this virus that rises through the nerves that carry the sensitivity of the lips and hides to live in the body of the neuron. When the body’s defenses go down, the virus comes out of its hiding place and causes the infection in the lip.
If we want to be healthy, we need our immune system in shape and this happens to seek our emotional balance and try to be happy. One of the greatest enemies of this happiness is our negative feelings toward other people who have offended us or done things that have hurt us. There is a well-known definition of hate that sums up very well what I am telling you. “Hating is like taking a poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Hate and resentment are feelings in which we are wishing badly to others and damaging ourselves with the same intensity with which we hate. This damage can kill us. I have been able to see close up situations of people who have lived with this stress due to lasting conflicts by separations and who have died prematurely for cancer.
The solution to this problem is in two points. First we must know how to ask for forgiveness and forgive in our brains. There are many techniques for this. One way is to say to ourselves that we are sorry, to thank and to say that we love that person. With this we change negative feelings to positive ones. If we do the problem is solved as if by magic, we will feel better and our relationship with that person will go through the due path, whatever it has to be.
The second point I wanted to make is that humans tend to take everything personally. When we feel offended we think that everything is intended to harm us on purpose. We are going to put an example. A man is driving a car on the way to work in the morning. He has slept badly because his young son has been crying all night. He also joins with what he thinks will be fired because the company where he works is bad. It is tomorrow he rush to work because he is late and does an undue maneuver by bothering another driver. The usual thing is to see how that driver is enraged acting as if the other person had done that maneuver to humiliate him or to attack him.
Examples like this I see them daily. Who has not seen the protests of the passengers of a plane that is delayed? They get angry with a stewardess who does nothing more than try to do his job. It is not a personal matter; it is the circumstances of others that we take as personal attacks on us. In our hand is not taking things personally and understand how circumstances can confuse us.
In short, we must banish our hatred, ask for forgiveness and forgive to take the first step to our happiness. That way we will find ourselves better and healthier.