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How My Cancer Diagnosis Taught Me to Forgive

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I talk a lot about how my stress and poor diet lead to a devastating cancer diagnosis. But, the more time passes, the more I see the root cause of my cancer was my inability to forgive. I used to hold a grudge like it was my mission. If you wronged me, I was never going to let it go.

What I didn’t know was that by not forgiving, I was keeping all that anger for myself. Every piece of rage I held onto was slowly metastasizing in my organs. I thought that being angry would hurt the other person, when really it was poisoning ME!

Resentment is cancer, anger is cancer, holding onto a grudge is cancer!

Once I got slammed by the cancer diagnosis, I had to take a cold, hard look at what I’d been up to for so many years. For the first time, I started going to therapy.  I came to learn that years of resisting forgiveness had been doing me in. Even the idea that I wasn’t taught to forgive was making me angry. I had to learn to workout my forgiveness muscles.  I began to forgive even the people who I thought I’d never make amends with.

Supporting this process by changing my diet and making cancer free lifestyle changes, I slowly started to let go of past resentment.  In the midst of battling cancer, I was becoming more whole than I had ever been.  I was starting to like who I was becoming. I became lighter in spirit.  I felt less stress and anxiety.

I was given a clean bill of health, and I walked away a cancer survivor committed to forgiving with these key principles to forgiveness and healing that changed my life:

Give of Yourself Without Expectation.  Giving with expectation of getting is a set up for resentment.  Give freely without the need to get anything in return and you’ll be amazed how The Universe conspires to give to you ten fold.

Forgiveness Breeds Strength.  I used to think that by forgiving, in some way I was the weaker party.  But, I learned that in forgiving I actually gave myself freedom and choice. Granting forgiveness does not mean you cannot address boundaries or implement healthy consequences, it opens the door for them, and in fact it’s extremely healthy to do so!

Forgiveness Doesn’t Wait For An Apology  I waited years for apologies from those who I thought had wronged me.  I actually thought they were still aware of how they’d wronged me years later.  I was keeping myself sick, while they went on with their lives. I learned that waiting on an apology does not serve me. My choice to forgive and let go serves me much more than a choice to remain a victim.

A Grateful Heart Wants to Forgive.  Cancer makes you take stock of your life, and as my heart became full of gratitude, I became more naturally inclined to forgive.   My cancer helped me focus on the ways I was blessed.  I was able to focus on the ways I was blessed, the lifelong friendships I have, and most importantly the love I had in my life.  In becoming more attuned to what I did have, it became easier to let go of petty things.  Nowadays when those feelings of resentment start to creep in, I know I need to focus on gratitude and the darkness will be dispelled.

So, I want to know about you….where do you find it hard to forgive? Who are you not forgiving?

Let me know below and let’s support each other in bringing more forgiveness to the planet that so needs us now more than ever!

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