What does forgiveness have to do with health and wellbeing and controlling my food cravings?
Carrying bitterness around in the form of unforgiveness will eat away at you, affect the way you feel about yourself and others, and ultimately affect your food choices, especially if you are an emotional eater.
I am sharing my personal story with forgiveness. I hope that some of the quotes included here will resonate with you and guide you toward your own story of forgiveness and movement toward greater health and healing.
Have you ever paid lip service to your faith and your beliefs, no matter what they are, and then something happens that puts them to the test in such a way that you don’t even know what you believe anymore?
In December of 2018, my life as I knew it was shattered. Every belief that I had claimed since I was a child was put to the test. I felt like I was suspended somewhere between life and death.
What I knew before that fateful day:
- I knew that I believed in God.
- My Christian faith stated that I had been forgiven of my sins.
- I knew that I was to forgive others.
What I knew after the fateful blow:
I knew absolutely nothing. I had to start at ground zero and build my faith. How could a supposedly loving God allow this to happen to me?
I felt betrayed and I felt loss. I felt so alone. It’s a feeling that can’t be put into words and you can only know what I mean if you have been through it yourself. I felt scared.
I was supposed to be a kind, loving person, but I felt intense hatred and anger, and it scared me. I picked up my Bible and started looking up the verses on forgiveness, and there are many. One in particular jumped out at me.
“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:15)
In that moment, I questioned whether I was going to heaven or hell, whether I was even a Christian, because in that moment I was incapable of forgiving. Surely God would not expect me to forgive THIS!
How was I supposed to forgive? I tackled this question like I do everything. I started “researching” forgiveness. I collected pages and pages of quotes in my journal that I meditated on daily to help work through this process of forgiveness. I will share some of them here.
“People in general would rather die than forgive. It’s that hard.”
That resonated with me. I just wanted to die. I couldn’t deal with it or bear the pain any longer.
“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” (Corrie Ten Boone)
Okay, I had a starting point because my heart was cold. There was no warmth left in it.
“Forgiveness is not easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.”
I knew I wanted peace. I wanted it more than anything else because I knew what it felt like to not have it.
“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.”
I had to accept that the situation would never change and that I had a choice to make. I had to realize that the situation had nothing to do with me, but forgiveness had everything to do with me.
“The truth is forgiveness isn’t about the other person. It’s always about us. It’s about allowing ourselves to heal, to move on and to let the experience change us in a positive way. There will always be love and light if we open that door. When we allow ourselves to finally forgive, let go and make peace with a situation that cannot be changed, we give ourselves the freedom to love others and love life again.”
“When you forgive you don’t change the past but you do change the future.”
I wanted to be free. I wanted to love again. I wanted my darkened spirit to have light again.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner is you.”
I thought I had known what love was before, but I realized that this was a whole new level of loving.
“Until we have seen someone’s darkness, we don’t really know who they are. Until we have forgiven some’s darkness, we don’t really know what love is.”
“Forgiveness is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.”
I had the head knowledge, but it took time to reach my heart.
“Forgiveness is… a deep process which is repeated over and over and over again in our hearts. It honors the grief and it honors the betrayal. And in its own time, it ripens into the freedom to truly forgive.”
“Forgiveness doesn’t excuse the behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart.”
It took time to heal, but when I could read the following words and have them resonate with me, I knew that I had, by God’s grace.
“An unhealed person can find offense in pretty much anything someone does. A healed person understands that the actions of others has absolutely nothing to do with them.”
What I know now:
- I am not the same person that I was before that life changing event. I am stronger.
- I do more than just believe in God. I have a deep, personal relationship with Him that is the guiding light in my life, not just something I learned from childhood.
- Forgiveness IS important and is the cornerstone of LOVE.
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”(Martin Luther King Jr.)
My health is not one dimensional.
I must take care of each part – body, mind, and spirit. I spent many years working on my body (finding a way of eating and movement that work for me), and my mind (bachelor’s degree, masters degree, research, reading…). I had also worked on my spirit, but this part of me was not where it needed to be. It was put to the test, and its weakness revealed. I now tend to this aspect of me in a more intentional way. I have found peace at last. I hope you are able to do the same as you seek the balance you need for your own health and wellbeing.
Do you need support working through your food cravings and dealing with your whole person – body, mind, and spirit? I can help, regardless of your religious affiliation. Contact me here to book a free Discovery Call.