"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase"

Martin Luther King, Jr.



Sunday, November 25, 2012

Forgiveness

During my flight back to Phoenix I found an article that I love so much I had to share one of my favorite parts. It's an amazing story about forgiveness. The story is featured in Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine called The Heart of Darkness.


Forgiveness has, for centuries, been preached by prophets and inspirational leaders. Nelson Mandela popularized one of Khamisa’s favorite quotes: “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

As it turns out, equating resentment with poison isn’t a stretch. Nursing a grudge means holding onto anger, and prolonged anger spikes heart rate, lowers immune response, and floods the brain with neuro-transmitters that impede problem solving and stir depression. In multiple studies, forgiveness has been shown to provide benefits such as lowered blood pressure and increased optimism, says Dr. Frederic Luskin, director of the Stanford Forgiveness Project, an ongoing series of workshops and research projects at Stanford University. Having developed ways to teach forgiveness in various places, including war-ravaged countries such as Sierra Leone, Luskin asserts that anyone—from jilted spouses to widows who have lost husbands to terrorism—can heal.

“When you don’t forgive, you release all the chemicals of the stress response,” Luskin says. “Each time you react, adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine enter the body. When it’s a chronic grudge, you could think about it 20 times a day, and those chemicals limit creativity; they limit problem solving. Cortisol and norepinephrine cause your brain to enter what we call ‘the no-thinking zone,’ and over time, they lead you to feel helpless and like a victim. When you forgive, you wipe all of that clean.”

Click here for link to article

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