I recently attended a workshop on Emotions & Essential Oils. One of the oils discussed was the Young Living Forgiveness blend. I needed to know more, and am sharing what I learned with you now. :)
I once heard someone say “We forgive, not for the other person, but for ourselves.” This is so we do not have to carry around the heavy burden that holding onto wrongs done to us can bear. And this burden takes a toll on our health, as science is now proving.
Psychologists and neurologists have been researching forgiveness and have concluded that the act of forgiveness is health-promoting for the forgiver. On PubMed, the National Library of Medicine’s website, there are nearly 100 scientific studies showing the healing power of forgiveness. From the earliest 1969 study titled “Morality, guild, and forgiveness in psychotherapy” to the June 2006 study called “Effects of a group forgiveness intervention on forgiveness, perceived stress, and trait-anger,” researchers have found that forgiveness has important health benefits for the forgiver.
How Forgiveness Benefits Our Health
Researcher A.J. Clark, of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona, describes the biological and neurological components of forgiveness:
Memories of the hurtful act arouse fear stemming from the amygdala, the brain’s center for fear and trauma. This fear then activates the fight-or-flight response in our nervous system, flooding our body with the stress hormone cortisol. Under appropriate circumstances, the frontal cortex interrupts the pattern and quells the fear response in the amygdala. The resultant relaxation of muscular tension signals the cortex that forgiveness has occurred. The memory pathway from the rhinal cortex and hippocampus to the amygdala is thus inhibited. A tangible act confirms that the memories no longer stimulate the amygdala and the pattern of anger and stress does not recur. (A.J. Clark, “Forgiveness; a neurological model,” Med Hypotheses. 2005;65(4): 649-54.)
Psychologists developed the Heartland Forgiveness Scale (HFS) to measure the positive effects of forgiving. People who forgive experienced the four components of psychological well-being. People who didn’t forgive experienced lack of trust, feelings of vengeance, and hostility. (L.Y. Thompson, et al., “Dispositional forgiveness of self, others, and situations,” J Pers. 2005 Apr;73(2):313:59.)
Another research study showed that people with high levels of forgiveness and frequency of prayer had lower cortisol levels. (J. Tartaro. et al., “Exploring heart and soul: effects of religiosity/spirituality and gender on blood pressure and cortisol stress responses,” J Health Psychol. 2005 Nov;10(6):753-66.)
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and then discover that the prisoner was you.” ~ Lewis B. Smedes
How To Harness Plant Power To Help Us Forgive: Young Living Forgiveness Essential Oil Blend
Using essential oils, such as Young Living’s Forgiveness blend, has a direct influence on the brain because the sense of smell is the only sense directly wired to the brain. Olfactory nerves transport the aroma of essential oils to the limbic system and the olfactory sensory center at the base of the brain. The impulses are passed next between the pituitary and pineal gland and move to the amygdala, which is the memory center or fear and trauma. Healing and forgiveness can then take place.
The Young Living Forgiveness blend contains soothing and uplifting essential oils that may enhance the ability to release hurtful memories and move beyond emotional barriers. It includes melissa, geranium, frankincense, rosewood, sandalwood, angelica, lavender, lemon, jasmine, Roman chamomile, bergamot, ylang ylang, palmarosa, helichrysum, and rose in a base of sesame seed oil.
How To Use Young Living Forgiveness Blend
Forgiveness essential oil can be used topically or aromatically. To use it aromatically, place 8 drops in a diffuser or inhale directly from the bottle.
To use it topically, apply 1-2 drops around the navel, behind ears, on wrists, neck, temples, navel, solar plexus, or heart.
A lovely practice is to rub a drop clockwise around your navel at night before you go to bed, while saying this simple but powerful affirmation:
I forgive and release everyone and everything that is negatively attached to me.
(Possible skin sensitivity. If pregnant or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Dilution not required; suitable for all but the most sensitive skin. Generally safe for children over 2 years of age.)