A major theme that Gayle focuses on in her seminars and her upcoming feature length documentary, Look At Us Now, Mother, is forgiveness.
Being able to forgive is an extremely important skill to have and a great message to promote. Why you ask? Well, did you know, holding a grudge can cause an enormous amount of physical stress on the body. That’s right, not only can it cause mental symptoms such as anxiety and depression, but symptoms can manifest themselves physically as a serious detriment to your overall health as well. Being able to let go of those negative emotions and forgiving is one of the healthiest things a person can do after being wronged. For more information, check out The Healing Power of Forgiveness
There are a ton of theories on how to forgive, but according to Br. Ryan Howes article Four Elements of Forgiveness, there are four commonalities in the multiple theories of Forgiveness that make up his four elements and must occur in order for someone to fully forgive.
At some point, the person must express their emotions. Releasing the negativity and venting that hurt are extremely important and that person must deal with those emotions in a constructive way. The person must also find some way to come to and understanding of why they were wronged, not agree with the reason, just understand its existence. It is also important for said person to come up with a reasonable way to ensure themselves that they wont be wronged again. This could include creating distance or building up a stronger defense. Once all three are achieved, only then can the person truly complete their final step and let go.
Many people say that they have forgiven someone, but more often than not, it is just denial of the full situation. Saying sorry is sometimes not enough, if the person is still angered at times by the incident (or incidents) or silently holding their grudge or experiencing any sort of stress from it, they haven’t fully let go and therefore have not fully forgiven. This also means they are still suffering!
When someone wrongs us, it hurts, absolutely, but there is no reason to let yourself hurt longer. You can regain control by forgiving and you can end your own suffering. That’s why it is important to spread this message; learn to forgive fully and let go. And that is what you will see in Gayle’s work and her upcoming film.