Further sangoma musings - this time on forgiveness
Forgiveness is key to healing. Guilt is a central factor in aggravating illness and perpetuating misery. Many people who are sick believe they do not deserve to be well because of the guilt they feel, for whatever reason. We need to forgive ourselves and others in order to heal completely. Neuroscience is now showing how guilt, shame and self condemnation put our brains in lockdown mode, stifling personal growth and also inhibiting our immune systems. AIDS patients who forgave the person that gave them the HIV virus live longer and have higher T cell counts than those that don't. It is better to give absolution before someone who has wronged you moves off into the spirit realm. Often we wait until it is too late. We should take the skeletons in the family and other closets out and deal with them with reconciliation According to African belief it is never too late to appease, and the spirits can be released from their remorse in the beyond although this is more difficult and may require shamanic intervention. Self-Condemnation has adverse spiritual effects as well.
The Bible says; "Honor your father and mother that your days will be long upon the earth." Africans extend this principle to the grand parents and great grand parents as well. As children, no matter how difficult, we should take the first step to absolve our parents and grandparents from blame and heal past wounds, even if we were the ones to suffer from them. If not, the wound may be carried down through our own progeny. This may occur not only because of the perpetuation of unskilled parenting but also because
a troubled unforgiven spirit may be reborn into the same family, and an identical dysfunction will recur.
Pardon will help prevent the same affliction from being passed down from generation to generation. The Native Americans believe that anything we do will affect the next seven generations which concurs with the Biblical principle that “the sins of the fathers (and mothers) are visited upon the children unto the fourth generation.” We tend to be reborn back into the same bloodline with our un-rectified or unforgiven dysfunctions. Forgiveness will release the spirit from that particular karmic sin. Fortunately unhappy, intrusive family spirits that create dysfunction can be appeased with rituals embracing forgiveness. There is nothing good about being haunted by an intrusive spirit. Although not necessarily intentional, their energy can interfere with our auric field and create; bad luck, anxiety, depression, "dis"-ease with headaches and other physical manifestations.