Pretty much any holistic-minded health practitioner will acknowledge that there’s something foundational to physical health in mental health, and that the two influence each other intimately. My body proves this out over and over again. From the toxicity I feel in my joints pouring out into my incapacity to think positively when I’ve had a bad exposure, to the mental toxicity of difficult relationships “draining” me physically, and requiring healing and recuperation time afterward, my body knows this basic, Natural Law.
TaNaK is full of references to this phenomenon–
A cheerful heart makes good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 18:14 A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?
So… if interpersonal conflict affects us physically, then what do we do about it? Surely we weren’t designed to suffer endlessly without remedy…
The people I need to forgive most often are the very people who are continually hurting me. How do you forgive when you know they’re going to hurt you again? So I went to the original word. A lot of times we lose the original concept in translation. What I found there makes a world of sense, but it’s not an easy road to implement. Forgiveness isn’t turning a blind eye to danger, bracing yourself for the next injury, and trying not to be angry about what they’ve done and will do.
It’s building a safe place.
The Original, Ancient Hebrew Pictograph:
Samech: the Ring of Thorns that the Shepherd used to build on top of a low wall out in the wilderness to protect his flock, while he slept with them, keeping them safe from predators.
Lamed: The Shepherd’s Staff: Teaching / Instructing, Leading, Pointing the Way
Chet: The Tent Wall: Protection, Separation from the elements
Forgiveness acknowledges the danger of being hurt, and constructs a protective wall to keep out the savage animals. Forgiveness finds the Teaching and Instruction in the Natural Laws, and uses them to build safety within the home, giving the safety of the Natural Laws to anyone who will learn them. It separates the safe place (home) from the wild beasts outside. When we’ve built a safe place inside, we eliminate the source of animosity toward any wild beast –they can’t hurt us anymore.
May we one day know a world where the whole Earth is safely invited home.
I’m no doc, and don’t pretend to be one. I am therefore not legally licensed to diagnose, cure, treat, prevent, or otherwise mitigate any disease, and neither is the stuff I generally choose for healing… but then, I’ve not been
educated indoctrinated by boards with big pharma reps on them, either so do your own research and find what works for you
For more info on the pictographs, see