“The hatred you’re carrying is a live coal in your heart- far more damaging to yourself than to them.” ~ Lawana Blackwell
I have found the word forgiveness has come up again and again in the last few months. As a society we are evolving. We are beginning to see that fulfillment and happiness comes from a deep place of spirituality. In order to evolve this aspect of ourselves we must release from the past and shift to the present. One key component of this is forgiving others as well as ourselves.
Often when this topic comes up with clients there are a few things that happen. Often there is the denial of thinking- I have moved on, I have let that go. Next, our resentful side of ego comes out and we begin to think- they don’t deserve our forgiveness. We get angry at even the thought. Lastly, the pain begins to come up and the defensive walls we cling to begin to rise. As we continue to dig deeper one key message that I continue to state is- “not forgiving is hurting the other person far less than it is hurting you.” This is especially true with those that have passed on or we don’t speak to anymore. Our grudge isn’t affecting them in the slightest. But it is affecting us. We are continuing to punish ourselves for others actions. When it is looked at in that perspective; it seems insane. Someone hurts us and we do more damage by holding on to the pain and not forgiving. That tension in your neck, the fearful reactions you have, the frustration you are holding in your heart- all symptoms of needing to forgive and set yourself free.
Regardless of the pain it may cause, we struggle to forgive. Our anger and ego keeps us focused on the fact that they don’t deserve it. Regardless of what was done to you, forgiveness is possible. It is something you can choose and work on so that you don’t continue to hurt yourself.
Here are some simple exercises you can use that will help release you from this pain:
Journaling– Sit and write. Just write. Think about the situation or person and write whatever comes to mind, without judgement. This will help to energetically release the pain.
Write a letter– Write down everything you want to say to that person in a letter. It doesn’t matter if you send it, it is getting it written so you can move through the process of releasing. If you chose not to send it, burn it to avoid the temptation to revisit.
Meditation– So much of our emotions can be handled by living it out in our minds. Envision yourself saying to that person everything you want to say. If it is a childhood trauma, picture yourself as that child releasing everything you have held on to
Affirmations– This is an easy and powerful technique that allows you to affirm your intent and shift the focus of your energy. Examples may be- “I forgive those that hurt me and enter into a state of peace” ; “I am a being of forgiveness and send love to those that have hurt me” ; “I love and forgive all around me without reservation”. Say your affirmation to yourself often throughout the day. If you can’t remember leave it written in places you will see it often or set reminders on your cell phone.
All of these techniques allow you to release and forgive without involving the other person. It is necessary in times when the person isn’t around but ideally talking it through is the most effective method. All these methods can also be used to forgive yourself. Although it may be temporarily painful to visit this memory- it is much less damaging to yourself than if you continue to move through life with the negative energy attached to grudges.