Hello, dearest friends! As promised, I said I would dedicate more time and space to creating more valuable content that covers a lot of the things I have had to deal with and overcome on my spiritual journey. One of the most trying and rewarding lessons (that I still constantly learning) is the simple act of Forgiveness.
When we think of forgiveness, a lot of us have the religious dogma attached to the actual act and meaning of it. This is why I feel so strongly about speaking about why forgiveness is a healing process that does aid your spiritual development.
I figured I would provide a small (and hopefully helpful) guide with out of the box ideas on how to forgive, let go and get past those things we all need to stop carrying around with us in order to feel peaceful. Have you ever tried so very hard to forgive that indiscretion? How about trying to get rid of all those nasty burdens and bad memories you carry around with you? There are some things that are just too tough to let go of without finding a creative way to do it that works for you. Sometimes, letting go of the past is not as easy and you think but fear not, there is a solution!
WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?
So let us start with a simple question, first:
What is forgiveness?
It is a wild journey. It is spiral. It is this jumbled up mess of processing and feeling. It hurts. It is diving in. UGH. No, but on a more serious note:
How do you define it?
Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.
Just as important as defining what forgiveness is, though, is understanding what forgiveness is not. Experts who study or teach forgiveness make clear that when you forgive, you do not gloss over or deny the seriousness of an offense against you. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses. Though forgiveness can help repair a damaged relationship, it doesn’t obligate you to reconcile with the person who harmed you, or release them from legal accountability.
Instead, forgiveness brings the forgiver peace of mind and frees him or her from corrosive anger. While there is some debate over whether true forgiveness requires positive feelings toward the offender, experts agree that it at least involves letting go of deeply held negative feelings. In that way, it empowers you to recognize the pain you suffered without letting that pain define you, enabling you to heal and move on with your life.
I have had to learn to forgive people who never apologized, were remorseful, or even acknowledged the pain they had caused me with their behavior. I am standing on this side of forgiveness, not forgetful of their actions, but certainly lighter of spirit and soul by not hanging on to the resentment that holding on to that pain any longer.
"YOU HEAL BY RELEASING. YOU DON'T HEAL BY SUPPRESSING."
In fact, I feel like a huge factor in me finding peace is that I can let go and move forward, by forgiving others, once I set my heart and mind to do so. The thing that has aided me the most in healing, is that I always have some experience to draw on and allow me to start the path towards forgiveness - and ultimately healing from the situations.
I have always had a tumultuous relationship with my mother. We are opposites in many ways, but she is my mother and in my culture and upbringing, you are sort of forced to believe that you have an emotional responsibility to and for your parents. Many years, indiscretions, abuses, and things have come between us. I have often had to walk away for my own mental peace. With these two polarizing aspects going on within me (my responsibility to be a good daughter and our constantly damaged relationship), I have had a lot of practice in the art of forgiving.
I have forgiven her time and again FOR ME. Not because she "deserved" or "earned" it, but because the pain she had caused me was disrupting my emotional and mental state. The relationship has been a double sided sword, but I am grateful for the education and practice it has afforded me in learning to forgive when it seems impossible.
So, how do you forgive? The forgiveness conflict is a process of identifying the grievance and then finding a way of forgiving those who have offended, hurt, angered or upset you throughout your life, whether it be large or small. It is highly recommended you include yourself on the list of people you want to forgive because most of the time everyone forgets to forgive themselves and this is a very important step in the process!
HOW TO START FORGIVING
These methods are all ideas that I have either read about in my spiritual research, divinely inspired thoughts received to me from my spirit guides, or ways I have come up with that have worked for me in the forgiveness process. As with all of my advice on my site, please listen to your intuition and do what you feel works best for you personally. These are simple recommendations that have brought me a step closer to my peace.
Healing is not a linear process. It isn't always neat and quick. Sometimes it is like ending up on the other side of a spiral. Honor your personal cycles, be honest with what you are ready to process, and give yourself time. Method #1: Create a God(dess)/Angel/Universe/Spirit Guide Box: Find a special box (buy or create one) where you can lock your worries away and not get them back. Anything you are worrying about or stressing about, write it on a piece of paper and then release it to God and the Angels by locking it in your special Box never to be seen again, trusting that it is being taken care of.
If this seems cumbersome or silly, I sometimes like to envision a box that I can mentally leave things with my guides and Angels. Anytime I feel troubled, I just leave it in my mental "God Box" and feel as if I am one step closer towards processing and moving forward in my healing.
Method #2: Create a Letter Box: Write a letter to a person or several people whom you need to forgive and pour out your feelings to them in this letter. Be very specific and get everything out. Then "mail" it to the person by placing it in your special box and asking that person's Angels to see that they get it so they are able to move on from the situation as well. I have also done this online in an anonymous forum. It has helped me a lot to move past blocked pain.
This has been a really helpful in my healing. I could just purge out all of my anger, hurt, frustration, and even bewilderment (in certain cases) without passing on my hurt to someone else. It has given me a solution that allows me to express myself freely but without having to be dismissed or feel like I emotionally contributed to someone else being hurt by my pain.
Like the saying goes: Hurt people hurt people. I don't want to be a part of the cycle, and by not wanting to continue, I can be aware and rise above it.
Method #3: Write a letter to a specific person's guardian angels or spirit guides and tell them exactly what you are upset about, why you feel this way and that you would like to release these feelings and the situation into their hands so that they may help their charge forgive and move on as well.
This method is very similar to the step above, but instead of focusing on the specific person who hurt you, you can focus on speaking with their higher self, Angels, and/or guides. By addressing this aspect, you give yourself permission to move forward and also not look back to see if the other person is still upset or hurt, as well. You start a healthy cycle of forgiveness and letting go so that you can begin to release the pain.
Method #4: Seeking a healer, therapist, counselor, or other trusted mentor to assist you. If the first few options aren't your cup of tea, this suggestion may help. There is a wealth of information, assistance, and also trained and experienced professionals that can aid your journey. They can offer you tools that may be out of your current knowledge and experience.
I have been in and out of therapy for the last 20 years. It sounds like a long time, but I always know when to reach out for help when I am not capable of helping myself. Developing a relationship with my healers has also been instrumental in my healing and being able to get the best help that I needed.
I have received Reiki healing, spiritual guidance, astrology readings, and psychic assistance when it felt right. I have done release ceremonies and other similar things that felt right for each situation. I have also been very aware of when I needed to see a therapist to help me. I was very lucky to have met one that aided me with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Working on each peace together has helped bring me wellness of mind and spirit, so that I could process the emotional parts of myself that were ready to be healed.
There may be a lot of shame with finding someone outside of ourselves to assist us with our mental, emotional, or spiritual help - but I have learned that in order for me to be physically functional 100% of the time, I need to take care of myself - and sometimes those other aspects of myself also need caring attention from a professional. Much like I would visit a physician for an infection, or a dentist for a cavity. In order to fix (and heal), I need their medical intervention.
Method #5: Radical Forgiveness Worksheets: The Radical Forgiveness book by Colin Tipping has been an amazing treasure to have stumbled across on my journey thus far.
Real, true, forgiveness is the cornerstone for a loving heart and a peaceful life. As long as you hold resentment and anger about things that happened in the past or that continue to upset you now, you won’t find peace. Try their easy worksheet (you can find it here) to understand what is locking your hurtful feelings in place, and then begin to transform them to find the love that waits for you underneath.
Radical Forgiveness has almost nothing in common with traditional forgiveness. It doesn’t require you to pretend that you’re not hurt or angry. In fact, you’ll honor your feelings more than ever, and then experience an authentic shift in your consciousness to help you release the pain and suffering.
The link above also will take you to their other incredible free tools to help you transform and heal. The Radical Forgiveness Worksheet worked wonders for me. It was suggested by a Reiki healer I met some few years ago. I actually recommend the form to many of my clients who are in the process of forgiveness and feel better about being led through it, but also want to work on it on their own.
It allowed me to focus my energy and intent on certain things, while allowing me to open up about certain things that I wasn't sure how to express. The forms are a great starting point when you are trying to understand your own motivations, or some of the layers that need to be addressed as well.
"FORGIVENESS IS A GIFT YOU GIVE YOURSELF."
By using various modalities (often together), I have found that I can really work through some complicated feelings, resentments, and also memories that used to keep me stuck. Am I all healed up and ready to go? No!
Healing and forgiveness feel like life-long battles. I am on a spiral of healing. Trying to keep moving forward and sometimes feeling like I am back at the same spot, but actually just a bit higher on the spiral. Same, but different. As long as I have a heart and other people are involved, I run the risk of being hurt and then needing to forgive them. But, I do have the power to do as much healing as I am ready to process. And I am learning amazing processes to assist me on that journey.
Now, for some of us, we harbor more resentment, anger, or even hurt in certain situations that will take a little more effort to work through. So, here are a few extra things you can try and a method that I have found successful in allowing me to move forward at my own pace. I also couple this with a few of the methods above and really focus my attention on how I feel as I complete the steps.
To accomplish this exercise, choose a quiet but comfortable place where you will be undisturbed and free from distractions. This may take up to an hour or two to complete from beginning to end so allow yourself plenty of time. Step 1: First of all make a list of all of the names of people who have hurt, upset, offended, angered, irritated or betrayed you and put their grievances next to their name if you feel this is necessary. Include people who are of the spirit world now as well, this is very important. Go as far back as your childhood if you need to but make sure you get everyone's name on the list! You can also list these things for pets and add your own name to the list or make a separate list for forgiving yourself. Step 2: Go through, one by one, and forgive each person on your list. As you are doing this close your eyes and imagine the person standing before you as you do this. You may use your own words however, as a personal choice, I like to use Doreen Virtue's words, "I forgive [name of person] and I release you. I hold no unforgiveness back. My forgiveness for you is total. I am free and you are free."
Another that has helped me, as well: "I release you of any bonds that have caused me hurt, pain, or confusion. I forgive you and you forgive me. We are both free of the situation."
If you feel that it would be better suited for you to come up with you own words, then please do so! Always follow your own intuition and what feels comfortable for you.
Allow yourself to feel this burden lift from you and float into the air as you release the grievance as well as the person. Visualize yourself letting this go and truly being happy about it. Do this for each and every person on your list. Step 3: Notice any feelings, sensations, or thoughts that you may have and write those down as well for a complete learning experience. After forgiving the last person sit and close your eyes, ask yourself how you feel and write about it.
I like to be as honest as I can, since no one else should be seeing your notes. Release all of the emotions you have and be frank with yourself. Step 4: Finally, express your gratitude that you are able to let these things and people go and feel your spirit soar free now that it is not so burdened down!
After this, I like to either burn the paper and imagine myself being released from the bond to the other person, but if you are not comfortable with that, you can also shred, tear, or just throw away the notes. I prefer to not keep to much of these things as I feel that it leaves me emotionally tied to the hurt I express.
For me, healing has to be a proactive choice on my behalf. Sometimes I feel like I can only forgive certain things, and that is what I work on. Once I feel like I can address other issues with a specific person, situation, MYSELF, or memory - then I can move on to working on my healing and forgiveness.
As stated above and throughout - move at your pace. Trust your intuition and focus on what you feel would work best for you.
Healing can be a long and arduous journey, and as I have discovered - there may be other things that need to be addressed and worked through as soon as you start diving in. Be gentle with yourself if you feel that you are not ready to forgive certain things, but please know that at some point (in order to maintain your emotional health), you may have to actually do something about the hurt you carry. Once you start the healing process, you will realize how heavy the burden was, and how much more freeing life can feel when we don't harbor pain that is ready to be healed.
"TO FORGIVE IS TO SET A PRISONER FREE AND DISCOVER THAT THE PRISONER WAS YOU."
This guide is not comprehensive, but it is just that - a simple guide. These are tips and helpful points that have aided me. I constantly have to take a step back from life and forgive, re-forgive, and add another splash of forgiveness to my life. Knowing that I can be pro-active, as opposed to reactive, gives me back the power in the situation.
I hope you move into 2018 with an open heart, a healed mind and soul, and that you start living your best possible life. If you are ready to heal, I hope that this guide helps. If you have found other healing methods, please let me know!
Thank you for being here and I wish you the most success in this life. No matter what you do or how you do it. I wish to see you at your highest and best self!
Know that I love you. All ways. Always.