The following is an excerpt form the book, A COURSE IN WEIGHT LOSS: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering your Weight Forever (by Marianne Williamson). If food is not your “addiction”, feel free to substitute whatever has meaning for you. It works the same for all:
Forgiveness in hugely powerful yet often resisted fiercely. A young man I knew in an AIDS support group years ago once asked me, “Do I really have to forgive EVERYBODY?” to which I responded, “Well, I don’t know . . . do you have the flu, or do you have AIDS? Because if you only have the flu, then, heck, just forgive a few people. . . but if you have AIDS, then yes try to forgive everybody!”
You certainly wouldn’t ask a doctor, “Do I really have to take ALL the medicine? Take the ENTIRE ROUND of chemo? Can’t I just so SOME of it?” Nor would you say, “Doc can I just take the medicine when I feel bad?” No, medicine is medicine. And you respect it enough to take the amount you need.
Forgiveness is more than just a good thing. It is key to right living and thus to your healing — not just to be applied every once in a while, but to be aimed for as a constant. . . .the effort keeps the arrows of attack at bay. Holding on to judgment, blame, attack, defense, victimization and so forth are absolutely attacks on yourself. And you attack yourself with food.
As you forgive others, you begin to forgive yourself. As you stop focusing on their mistakes, you will stop punishing yourself for your own. Your ability to release what you think of as the sins of others will free you to release yourself, putting down that particular weapon with which you punish yourself so savagely.
Forgiveness releases the past to Divine correction and the future to new possibilities Whatever it was that happened to you, it is OVER. It happened in the past; in the present, it does not exist unless you bring it with you. Nothing anyone has ever done to you has permanent effects unless you hold on to it permanently.
For those of you who read my blogs on a regular basis, it might seem like I share a lot about forgiveness. I do . . . because resentments are one of the most common mechanisms that we use to keep ourselves invested in being “right.” We often feel threatened by someone who does not believe as we do, or who might think beyond our own realm of understanding, or who did something to hurt us or a loved one. When we feel threatened, it just keeps us tied to our fears, anger and powerlessness – hence to the extra weight or the effects of whatever compulsive behavior we use. And we do whatever we need to in order to feel in control.
Forgiving is letting go of that need to control and be right. It is allowing ourselves and others to live in the flow of life as it comes.
Have a mind that’s open to everything – and attached to nothing.