“Forgiveness: It is about fact and fiction”

forgiveness

Forgiveness; it does not change the past, but it sure does change the future. Some people get so caught up in the grip of forgiveness that is paralyses not only who they are but also who they ought to be. A full fruitful and happy life is not possible without forgiveness.

Anger, unforgiveness and bitterness are the three things in life that will stop you from living a full, happy and free life. To live our lives to the fullest we need to deal with these “three giants” sometime in our lives, that is if we want to be free.

Have you ever heard of the medical term “Rigamortis”. Well, I am not going to get into the medical explanation of this, but basically it refers to muscular stiffening following death and it can last for up to 5 or six days and then decomposition of the body begins. You might think, what on earth does this have to do with unforgiveness? Well, let me tell you.

When we are hurt, when our trust is betrayed or we are hurt spiritually or emotionally in any way, while nothing has physically been done to us, our brain literally tell our body the pain is real and that is why we sometimes experience that pain so intense. In a a medical study it was also established that the area of your brain that lights up when you’re hurt physically is the same area that lights up when you suffer “social rejection.” That makes the term “heartbreak” so much real doesn’t it.

Recently I had to deal with this, the act of real and honest forgiveness. Friends, believe me when I say, this is tough. If you want to do it right, if you want it to be lasting and not just a habitual act, then it is tough. In John 20, verses 22 and 23 I found the very foundation of forgiveness. Jesus breathed on the disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit!” His next instruction was about forgiving people, when He said, “If you forgive the sins of anyone they are forgiven [because of their faith]; if you retain the sins of anyone, they are retained [and remain unforgiven because of their unbelief]” (Amplified Bible) Friends, only through the work and the help of the Holy Spirit is this action possible. We have to depend on the Holy Spirit to help us with this because it is so hard.

I did a lot of reading and Bible study about forgiveness because I knew in my own power this was not going to happen. I remembering thinking one day that forgiving in itself felt more painful than the hurt I suffered, but was also reminded about the fact that there were not going to be any peace without forgiveness. I was blinded by anger and feelings of betrayal and at time I found it really hard to even read about this and what is expected of me, yes “me”, not the other person. I was reminded that forgiveness was not really about the other person; the act of forgiveness does not in any way justify the other person’s actions against you, but it sets us free. We do it for ourselves, to get well and to move one, to create that moment in time where we create the opportunity and space for new beginnings. When we talk about forgiveness, it means letting go, not excusing the other person or even reconciling with them or even condoning their actions or behavior, it is just an action, a moment in time, where you decide to let go of your own suffering.

I got all this. I was ready to take that step of faith and let the Holy Spirit guide me through this, but this was where I had one of those aha-moments. I knew what I was experiencing, I knew what I felt in my hart and I also understood why it was so hard for me to move on, it was not only because of what I knew, but more about the stuff I did not know. When we can pin point an issue or a incident it is easier to address it, but it the uncertainties in our lives that the devil use against us. God clearly show me that forgiveness was not only about what I knew, but it was also about that which I did not know. Thát is where I came up with the statement, Forgiveness is about fact and fiction, in other words, “fact”, what we know, “fiction”, what we think we know. Fact is based on true happening whereas fiction is based on imaginative happenings.

The latter is dangerous because we have no concrete evidence or basis for this, it is just something out there, and we can change our mind and interpretation of what we think we know as often as we want and to whatever we want, fact remains, it is a non-truth, unfounded. The devil will continue to use these fictional thoughts and ideas we have to try to convince us that they are true. It consumes our minds and start to poison our whole being. Just think about the multitude of bed time stories out there starting with, “Once upon a time”, what followed that was fiction. Sometimes parents will change the story as they go along. Fiction.

So, God clearly showed me, when you forgive, forgive for both what you know to be fact, but also to what you think you know, and this is what I did. I repeat, Forgiveness is about fact and fiction”.

Friends, this conscious action of forgiveness, when you do it right and for the right reason(s) will set you free and give you the ability to start afresh and begin to shape a better future for you. It is however important to know what forgiveness is and why it matters, and for this there are endless resources available. One thing I can tell you is make sure that you exercise the act of forgiveness when you are ready, don’t just do it because it is demanded from you. The Greek word for “forgiveness” literally means “to let go” and when you do this, letting go, you need to be sure that you are willing to leave behind “fact and fiction” and move on.

One last thought. Ben Greenhalth wrote these powerful words, Forgiveness is a sign that the person who has wronged you means more to you than the wrong they have delt.”

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Freeze athletes, Cryo Therapy is here !

I had my first Cryo recovery session today. Let me start with this, this is absolutely no spa treatment. The word cryo or cryos is a Greek word that means “icy cold” and believe me, this water is icy cold.

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Two brave boys in a 6’c water bath !

If you are a runner, I think you will know how amazingly soothing it is to get into a cold pool or just submerge yourself into a cold bath after a tough race. Well this is the ultimate cold pool experience you can hope for, or not. As part of the booking confirmation I also got instructions on what to bring with, apart from the obvious like a bathing suit of some shorts and a towel, it also tell you to bring a long a whole lot of bravery, and believe me, this you should pack first, because the water is not just cold, it is icy cold. We were lucky I believe because we caught it at around 6°c.

Pieter Venter went with me and we both decided to save this appointment until today so we can go there with tired and maybe sore legs after the weekend’s back to back races; the PwC Half Marathon on Saturday and the Garbie 32km yesterday.

When I got to Cryo Recovery in Old Farm Road Office Park, Altie Clark explained what we can expect from getting into this cold bath for the first time and she was clear, “Survive the first two minutes and you will be okay.” and she was right.

I was first. I got changed and then the fun started. I gathered all my bravery an without overthinking it I just climbed into the Cryo bath and oh boy, it was freezing. A minute or so in, I started to feel dizzy and almost off balance, but I decided to hang in there, stepped forward and held onto the sides of the bath. This feeling lasted for a short while, but then, when the first two minutes of torture were over, things dropped to a point of “bearable”. It definitely helps to chat and focus on other things while in there because I think if you are in there alone, one will rapidly reconsider the craziness you got yourself into.

While in there Altie shared some testimonies of people who have benefited from this treatment and also shared some info in other studies they did overseas on the whole idea of low temperature treatment. Very interesting.

The journey to Comrades 2017 started and naturally this means a general increase in training and obviously in kilometers on the road. The kilometers increase and time for proper recovery decreases. Unfortunately, long runs also come with their own set of hazards and the main one is that we as runners risk injury and this usually results in unwelcome time off from training. One simple way to offset this risk is what we as runners know as an ice bath, but be honest now, how many of us go through that whole process of actually doing this. Right, not happening. Well, this is where Cryo treatment will be the answer to your needs.

Basically what happens, while you are in this bath, is that the cold water, together with the added pressure of the Epson salt, plain salt and aerated water, makes your blood vessels smaller and decreases metabolic activity, which reduces swelling, possible spasms, inflammation and tissue breakdown. Once you get out of the bath, the underlying tissue warms up again and trigger faster blood flow, which helps return the by-products of cellular breakdown to the lymph system for efficient recycling by the body. So the ice bath does not only reduce inflammation, but it also help to flush harmful metabolic debris out of your muscles. Quite nifty hey ?

I also suffer from piriformis syndrome that can sometimes really hurt, especially after long drives of flights and when piling up the kilometers on the road, running, like this past weekend. So Altie challenged me to sit on the upper step in the bath with my lower body totally submerged, and I did. That was pushing the envelope, but I thought I am already half way there and can just as well try it. Yes, it took a little extra bravery to do that, but so what, if there is a possibility that it will help, why not.

Well, finally ten minutes was over and I was allowed to get out. When I stepped out of the pool, I could hardly feel my legs when I started to dry myself off with a towel, in fact, it felt like drying off someone else’s legs. It was just kind of numb. A rather strange feeling. The pain in the piriformis was gone, like in totally gone and my legs felt marathon ready. After a few minutes, as the underlying tissue started to warm up again, there was a strange but pleasant sensation in my legs. I also felt cold after a few minutes, like when you shiver in winter, but it came from within.

Later in the afternoon I started to feel the pain in my piriformis again, but not half as bad as before I got into the bath. I also had a spinning class this afternoon, maybe that was not a good idea, but I did it, and right now, as I type this blog, I am feeling fine. My legs are feeling okay and I can honestly say that it does not feel like I did 53.1km in races this weekend and that is a good thing.

So, with all that said, the experience was not that bad. Yes the water is cold and it is not a very pleasant experience while you in there, but you definitely feel revived afterwards. So if you want to shorten your recovery time post exercise, get faster healing of soft tissue injuries, reduce fatigue, lower the risk of new or recurring injuries, treat muscle or joint soreness and fight off inflammation or just boost your neutral and cardio vascular system recovery, then maybe you should also pack a big bag full of bravery and head over to Altie for your very own Cryo treatment session.

You will find Cryo Treatment at 881 Old Farm Drive, Faerie Glen, inside the Old Farm Road Office Park. You can also visit their web page at www.cryorecovery.co.za or email info@cryorecovery.co.za

Disclaimer : This is just a write-up of my own experience and anyone doing this will do so at his or her own risk. Some medical conditions might also exclude you from being a suitable candidate to try this so check this first.

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