There are many different aspects to healing work but I really feel that forgiveness is one of the most crucial.
With forgiveness we can free ourselves and anyone involved from the heaviness that comes from holding onto any negative emotions like; hurt, anger, resentment, guilt, regret, or other forms of disharmonious energy.
I decided to dive head first into the world of forgiveness recently as I’ve had some experiences in the last couple years that have been great teachers for me.
Not too long ago, I acquired an injury in my physical body. The injury ended up being pretty severe, however, it wasn't from some major catastrophe, but simply just appeared (or that is how it seemed anyway). It was a loud enough pain that it only took a short while for me to realize that there was more to this pain than just physical. There was something I wasn't fully looking at that my body, mind and spirit were not going to let me ignore any longer. I had pushed down these lingering negative emotions long enough that it had built up this huge wall of pain in my body.
As I began to face the pain and see what lesson it was trying to teach me, I realized that, for me, it had to do with forgiveness.
It’s amazing how much unresolved negative emotions can lie dormant in our bodies for a good chunk of time. Just waiting for the perfect moment to release themselves from their hiding places. Negative emotions are typically not seen as our most striking and therefore we end up attempting to push them back down instead of facing them head-on. If only it were a simple process of release and let go, but often we fight these emotions when they come to the surface. This tug-o-war can go on for a while until we either surrender or until these emotions can end up taking on physical form in our bodies.
Often when there are circumstances where we have been unjustly hurt by another person, it can feel like we are giving our power away to forgive them. Like somehow we are making what they did, alright. I too have struggled with that way of thinking in the past, but I have really learned to see it differently… from another perspective entirely. Because the truth is that other person may not ever know that we have forgiven them, necessarily (especially, in cases where that person is no longer or not a part of our lives) and therefore it is OUR power that we are taking back by releasing the pain that we were burdened with. Holding onto un-forgiveness, actually means that we are continuing to feed the pain. Reminding ourselves that we always have choice and we can choose how to feel about any situation whenever we want can help to bring us back to a place where we feel empowered. Sometimes we need to forgive people who are still in our lives and the same rules apply. Whether words of forgiveness need to be spoken to another person or we simply do it in our own time, it will release the energetic hold or blocks and relationships can be restored (if this is the ultimate goal).
The Ho’oponopono mantra is a great forgiveness tool. It is a clearing prayer that actually helps to dissolve the disharmonious energy between yourself and another person on a soul level. “I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.” Repeat it to yourself three times with that other person in mind, as often as you feel the need.
The other aspect to forgiveness, is self-forgiveness. This might be easier in some cases or even harder at times. This is where I struggled. The forgiveness that I needed to do that the physical pain was showing me was around self-forgiveness. I found that I was judging myself for allowing someone to hurt me the way they did (in a past situation). Didn’t I know better? Therefore, coming to the place where I could realize that, I did the best I could with the information that I had, at that time. As we all do. And as much as sometimes we might wish that we could go back and do things differently… that’s typically not how life works and I do still believe that everything happens for a reason (even though I questioned that belief more then ever with this situation). And as I fumbled my way through it, I still came out the other side appreciating… maybe not appreciating exactly how this person treated me or even appreciating that I let them… but I appreciated that I made it through that and I came out wiser, stronger and with an even greater sense of compassion for myself and others.
There is always a benefit from the hurt we go through… even if we don’t recognize it until years later; it is always a part of our great master plan. I believe it to be true, that every person that we have a connection with, even if it is brief in the grand scheme of life, is a soul-mate, here to teach us something that we intended to learn or face in this life and it goes both ways. Like an agreement that we came in with. When we remember that, forgiveness becomes a lot easier.
On a soul or karmic level, we never really know what other people might have to go through for their own forgiveness, and it isn’t for us to figure out or decide. All we can do is forgive/release those who have caused any pain and forgive ourselves. It allows us to be set free and our freedom is always worth fighting for.
Through this journey I have learned greater depths of forgiveness and also to remember to always listen to my body. Our bodies are here to guide us to further healing and the subtle or sometimes not so subtle clues could just be friendly reminders to do some inner work :)
I would like to close with a great affirmation for forgiveness… something to do every morning and night while looking in the mirror.
“I, (your name), now forgive everyone and everything that has ever hurt me. I now forgive myself and I am forgiven. I, (your name), now love, respect, accept and approve of myself just the way that I am.”
(By: Anne-Marie Evers)