Have you heard the term “gut wrenching pain”? Or maybe you have experienced this in your life?
When you read that statement where do you feel it? Probably in your gut.
When we have been wronged by someone or we feel that we have wronged someone, we feel it in our gut, don’t we?
It starts as a tightening in our diaphragm and abdomen that then gets tighter and tighter where we feel like we have a huge fist or knot in our stomach. We can’t really eat much or breathe very well.
All of my life I had stomach issues. No one really thought that much about it because it was pretty common. Which is unfortunate. Because in the forgiveness work that I do, that means something is definitely amiss.
Did you know that in Aramaic, forgiveness means to “untie the knot”?
I was amazed when I discovered this years ago in doing research on forgiveness because that resonated so much better for me (and my clients) than the dictionary definitions.
After My Divorce
This research came after my third divorce that really took a lot out of me. That marriage was chock full of lesson after lesson for me (which I didn’t know until later). I was thinking that he was the one to blame because he was the one that had the anger issues and infidelity issues. Not me. Oh, was I in for a really exciting journey of recovery.
On My Knees
One evening after the painful decision to leave that marriage, I was on my knees, hunched over in gut-wrenching pain. In that emotionally deep pain. Sobbing. That deep gut sob. I was tired. So tired of the pain. I cried out,
God, Angels, Universe, anyone. I can’t do this anymore. Listen…if you are there and you’re listening, if you are truly there, then I need you to take me right now or heal this pain, I can’t do this anymore. It hurts too much.
It wasn’t that I wanted to die, I just wanted the deep pain to stop. In my gut and in my heart. Have you had that feeling?
Within a few minutes, I felt like I was being hugged and this warmth came over me.
The pain in my gut started to subside as I was able to breathe deeper and my heart started to feel warm and my sobbing started to ease up and then I heard the words, “Breathe, I got you.” I never had anybody tell me that before.
What I Learned
What I learned from that experience is what led me to the research where I found that wonderful definition of what forgiveness means in Aramaic and the Radical Forgiveness work that I get to do today. It helped me heal my gut and my heart. The breath work is a huge part of our healing. It is called the breath of life for a reason.
Do you have gut issues? Is that where you hold your tension? Have you felt that knot in your stomach?
Process for Untying the Knot
Here’s a great way to start on a process of “untying the knot”.
First, it’s important to become aware of your tension. Where do you feel it? What does it feel like?
Second, when you notice the tension in your belly, breathe.
Take a breath through your nose down into your belly. Fill your belly up with air, extending it out through your sides and back. Then release that breath through your mouth, pulling the belly back in towards your spine. This actually helps calm the Vagus nerve which is vital for our well-being.
Are you doing that right now? It feels good, doesn’t it?
Do several of those. It is so worth the couple minutes.
Third, ask yourself how you want to feel. When we get some clarity around how we ourselves want to feel instead of focusing on the hurt that happened, it brings our power back to us.
Then you can bring in some affirmations or an intention or prayer around how you do want to feel. You can start with something as simple as:
- I am willing to feel peace in my stomach and heart; or
- I am willing to feel at ease in my body
- I am willing to release the heavy burden I’m carrying
- I am willing to feel lighter and freer
Forgiveness doesn’t start with forgiving the other person. It starts with us taking care of ourselves.