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A Lesson In Grace

A Lesson In Grace

Someone hurt you and you’re holding a grudge. You feel a well-deserved sense of righteous indignation. You’re in the right. That someone was wrong. You have every right to feel the way you do. Anyone who heard the story would take your side.

Maybe she abandoned you.

Perhaps he betrayed you.

She broke your heart.

He molested you.

She criticized you.

He withdrew love.

She beat you up.

He failed to protect you.

There are countless ways people can hurt us. Not one of us is immune, and it’s only natural that we build walls to protect our broken hearts.

But when we let our hearts get tainted with resentment, we impede the flow of love out of our hearts and poison our inner space, resulting not only in damage to our relationships but also illness in the body.

Forgiveness As Medicine

Every time you think about someone who has wronged you, the amygdala in your lizard brain lights up and activates your “fight-or-flight” response, stimulating your adrenal glands to pump out cortisol and triggering your sympathetic nervous system to go into overdrive. Next thing you know, BOOM. Your heart races, your respiratory rate increases, stomach acid gets pumped out, and – worst of all – the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms get flipped off, putting you at greater risk of everything from heart disease to cancer.

Even the Mayo Clinic acknowledges that forgiveness is good for your health. So does Oprah.

But It’s More Than That

Health aside, forgiveness is a fundamental part of living a happy, balanced, joyful life in alignment with your Inner Pilot Light. If you believe in quantum entanglement like I do, then you know that every time you spew negative thoughts at someone else, they land back on you. Resentment contaminates the soul, distancing you not only from other beings, but from Source.

Forgiveness, on the other hand, is an offering of grace – and with that grace comes emotional freedom, liberation from the downward spiral of negativity that resentment breeds, and an opportunity for personal redemption.

Take A Chance

Maybe he doesn’t “deserve” it. Maybe she’s unrepentant.  You’d certainly be justified in digging your heels in. Everyone would understand…

But what if you chose to do something wildly radical, and in choosing forgiveness, you opened a door into a paradise so full of grace you can’t even imagine what might lie on the other side? What if this opened other doors, and suddenly, the phone rang with that good news you’ve been waiting for? What if the person you love opened his heart to you? What if that illness you’ve struggled with miraculously disappeared? What if a huge check unexpectedly appeared in the mail?

I can’t prove it, but I’ve heard enough stories to believe that this is how the Universe works.

Resentment prevents miracles, while love and grace foster them. And when you’re operating from a place of radical love, molecules rearrange themselves, time and space reconfigure, tumors disappear, miracles happen…

Grace isn’t something that can be earned. It’s an act of unconditional love and faith – and every single one of us has the capacity to grant it, no matter how heinous the crime.

Do You Have The Courage To Forgive?

Who do you resent?

What payoff are you getting for holding onto that resentment? Is it your righteous anger? Your sense of superiority over someone less “right” than you?  Your attachment to punishing that person? Your stand for what is moral and good?

Who might you be without that resentment?

What might happen if you decided to finally let that go?

What might you do to forgive that person?

How could you invite grace in?

Please share your stories of forgiveness and grace.

With faith in love,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Creator of the health and wellness communities and, author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013), TEDx speaker, and Health Care Evolutionary. Join her newsletter list for free guidance on healing yourself, and check her out on Twitter and Facebook.


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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.  She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.  Lissa blogs at and also created two online communities - and She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


+ add your own
12:23AM PDT on Oct 22, 2012


10:28AM PDT on Oct 21, 2012

You can forgive anyone, that does not mean you have to like that person.

9:23PM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

Reminded me of when I was going through my divorce. Sat across the kitchen table, and I said "If I've ever done anything to hurt you, forgive me". Now, this was a man who beat me, was cheap and controlling. Waited for him to ask my forgiveness. Big fat nothing. Said nothing. Just sat there staring at the floor. So glad he is out of my life. Have forgiven, but so hard to forget the many years of abuse. Moved on, and contented. Do not hold a grudge. It's like taking poison, and hoping the other person dies. So, forgive and move on.

7:39PM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

Thanks for posting. Forgiving is very important to our own health. Equally important is to move away as to move on. I have yet to see the point in forgetting. When we forget we allow that person(s) to hurt us again. We must remember the situation and make sure we learn enough not to be in the same position again, and we learn to deal with it without allowing ourselves to be hurt.

Repeat hurt make people either close their heart/themselves.

4:42PM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

Lissa, thank you. To decide to forgive is difficult but then the process is easy. And the reward is emotional freedom. I like to be free.

3:09PM PDT on Oct 20, 2012


2:56PM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

It depends on how bad you have been wronged, in my opinion...

2:48PM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

It may be easy to tell someone to forgive but our natures can make it hard.It does not mean so much to forget but learn and do the right thing...right because if we do not forgive,we take the full burden of the wrong done to us and pay the penalty. Kristine H gives a good example of this because she knows she has done the right thing.To harbour hurt an ll-feeling only harms ourselves.An so often,forgiveness can bring surprising results

1:16PM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

What do you do when you are willing to forgive, but the other peron isn't? This is hard when it is a family member. :(

1:06PM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

I think it is about learning to cope and be productive ..... not everybody want to forgive or long and you don't carry that garbage around .....learn to make yourself happy and make your own new path.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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