Reflection by Scott Stoner
There is extensive research proving that chronic, unresolved stress affects us both emotionally and physically. Some doctors estimate that fifty percent of visits to a general physician are connected to stress presenting as physical symptoms. Stress takes a toll on our immune system and on our overall physical well-being.
There are many causes of stress. One that relates to our practice this week is when we are carrying unresolved grudges and resentments. When we do this, we often think we are protecting ourselves or somehow are gaining “the upper hand” by not being willing to forgive and let go of our resentment. The truth is that when we hold on to anger, we are ones who often suffer. When we do not forgive, it hurts us to the point that our physical health can become compromised.
What is true about the possible health consequences of not being able to forgive others also holds true when it comes to not forgiving ourselves, or not being able to ask for someone’s forgiveness when we have hurt them. At the same time, our mental health can also suffer when we are not able to forgive. Clearly, our peace of mind is negatively affected and our lives are diminished if we are trapped by unforgiveness.
Making It Personal: What is your reaction to today’s quote? Have you ever experienced a sense of freedom when you have been able to forgive? Can you think of a time in your life when not being able to forgive someone else, or yourself, had a negative effect on either your physical or emotional well-being?
Follow along with us this Lent season with our daily devotional and engage in discussion in our closed facebook group moderated by The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner & The Rev. Jan Kwiatowski.
In this group, participants will have a chance to share their responses to the prompts in the daily readings, and also the chance to receive additional material for reflection.