We all know that our feelings interact with our bodies, particularly our immune systems, in ways that have a direct impact on our health. In fact, extreme stress can result in a spasm of the coronary arteries. Andrew Weil has written,
“… I advise you, as a spiritual exercise, to try to heal damaged relationships–for instance, by extending forgiveness to someone who has hurt you. My experience is that the act of forgive-ness heals the forgiver, and along with many other components of the body, the coronary arteries might be beneficiaries of the healing energies released.”
Andrew Weil is a physician practicing holistic medicine and a widely known writer on health issues. He proposes that to heal the body, one must heal the spirit as well. Estrangement’ and bitterness cause fractures in the soul. Who have you been estranged from, unable to forgive? How could you begin the process of reconciliation? Perhaps you can write down your statement of forgiveness as a prelude to saying it in person. You do not have to lay blame or to accept responsibility for the estrangement. You can begin with a simple acknowledgment, such as, “I’m sorry that this feud has gone on so long.” or “I’m sorry we quarreled.” or “I feel badly that things took such a bad turn between us.”
Weil, A. 1997. 8 Weeks to Optimum Health. (New York: Knopf).