On this Day of Atonement, we repent for our sins to the Almighty.  More importantly, however, may be asking forgiveness not only by the divine but from our friends and family.  We say

“Do you forgive me for the sins that I may have committed to you knowingly or unknowingly?”

The thing is, in forgiving others and asking for forgiveness, we may in fact be prolonging our lives. The scars and wounds that we endure from being criticized or hurt by those we care about, leaves anger, bitterness and resentment. Letting go can improve our well-being, both spiritually, but also physically and emotionally.

Benefits of Forgiveness

  • Helps you focus on the positivity in your life
  • Promotes peace
  • Provides stronger relationships
  • Decreases stress, anxiety and hostility
  • Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
  • Diminishes depression
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Increases self-esteem

Ask yourself, “Am I the one that needs forgiveness?”

Take a look at yourself objectively.  Evaluate whether you have committed wrongs to others and what the outcome of that was. Acknowledge and own up to it.  Saying you’re sorry or have regrets without making excuses for your actions will go along way to help others. You can’t make someone forgive you but it will help yourself.

Reflect on times others have hurt you and picture it from the other person’s view point.  Why did they react that way or say the things they said?  Would you have done the same in that situation?  Atonement and Forgiveness is an ongoing process, a commitment to change for the better. Choose to forgive any offense you have experienced.  It transitions you from being the victim and relinquishing control of another person over you, giving back power to your own life.

They often say, you cannot change what other people say and do to you.  You cannot change bad experiences that you may have endured.  But you can change how you react to them. As you let go of the hurt and pain, you will no longer be defined by it.  Instead, you will find peace, hope and meaning in your life.

So, “Do you forgive me for the sins that I may have committed to you knowingly or unknowingly?”  More importantly, Do you forgive yourself?  We are all merely human.

May you and your loved ones be inscribed for a year of good health, much happiness and personal fulfillment – and may this year be one  of peace for all good people everywhere.