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Hi, I’m Beth Misner, and I want to welcome you to episode 9 of the Abundant Health podcast.  

I’m glad you’re joining me today, and I do hope you’ll come back over and over. In my weekly podcast, I tell stories, share strategies, and practical information about creating abundant health.  

My focus is three-fold: body, mind, and spirit. I believe abundant health needs all three of these areas to be working together, they are like a three-legged stool! Without any one of the legs, the stool is going to fall over.  

 I’m bringing over 35 years of experience in health and wellness to this podcast series. My experiences and the things I have learned along the way will benefit YOU so you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did.  

The topic of today’s episode of the Abundant Health Podcast is what to do when you are having trouble forgiving a person in your life. I don’t think for a moment that I am the only person on the planet who has come up against this struggle. And I hope that what I’m going to share with you today will be helpful. 

I also don’t think for a moment that every one of you who listens to my podcast will find my perspective helpful. I’m aware of that . . . I know your situation could be quite different from my own. But I have to believe that what I am going to share will be helpful to enough of you that it will be worthwhile for me to share this perspective. 

I was talking with one of my friends today who asked me point blank if I’ve ever had trouble forgiving anyone in my life. Here’s what I told her: 

I believe what is written in scripture that everything happens for the good, and so when something has happened that seems to not be for my good, and I become wounded to the point that that person needs to ask my forgiveness or I harbor unforgiveness in my heart for them, I have a competing commitment. I either believe that passage in the Bible, or I believe what has happened to me was detrimental. Which is it going to be? 

I’ve lived enough life now that I can clearly see how the things that were hurtful in the past have forged some of the strongest parts of my character; they’ve opened my heart in the most powerful ways; they’ve changed me . . . and that change HAS been for the good. 

So what is there to forgive? 

The idea that I need to forgive them or they need to ask my forgiveness can become a foreign concept. 

Now that is not to say I have no bad memories of ways people have hurt me, but I came to a point when I fully understood how the concept of “everything happens for the good” means even the worst things . . . not just the good things. It doesn’t say every good thing happens for the good.” It says “everything . . . “

So what am I supposed to do with the painful memories, with the hurts (and there are wounds in my life caused by others, for sure), and with the sense I may have that I cannot forgive some things? 

I realized over the past few months that I can absolve these people. There is a different energy for me when I think about absolution in contrast to forgiveness. It somehow feels deeper, more freeing than simply forgiving. 

But here’s where things go even deeper . . . with the absolution comes a surprising sense of gratitude. You heard me right. I can identify some pretty amazing things about me that are present BECAUSE of what the person I may struggle to forgive has done. These qualities are present in me BECAUSE of what I have had to overcome as a result of the emotional wounds inflicted.

This is how absolution turns into an act of grace. By absolving the person who has wounded you, you are not only cancelling the debt you may have perceived they owe you, you are able to expand the experience into a sense of gratitude that is so deep it can only be known as grace. 

And coming to this experience with the painful memories and injuries of the heart is such a freeing place to be. It is, in a tangible way, a practice of decluttering my mind and my heart. Most of us have painful memories we dwell on . . . we rehearse the situations over and over in our minds, we pull them out from time to time and polish them, shining them up and making sure we don’t lose any part of the memories because they have been so defining. 

But being able to absolve those who are responsible for these memories can help us with disarming the pain these memories hold. And once we’ve been able to disarm the pain, pulling the memories out so often to relive the experiences becomes, frankly, less and less interesting or even useful. The whole story changes because the end of the story is now different. I owe some of the best parts of myself to those experiences and memories. 

I’d love to hear from you regarding how this approach feels to you, especially if you try it on to see if it fits for you. How does it feel to consider not needing to find forgiveness, but rather seeking to give absolution? How does it change your story? How does it change your heart? 

I hope you enjoyed the Abundant Health podcast today, I want to thank you for being with me on the 8th episode. I would really love to meet you back here again next week!  

Until then, may you experience Abundant Health.