I am a firm believer that Forgiveness frees us from past events, situations and relationships. In my opinion, hanging onto resentments and not being in a state of forgiveness is like drinking poison.
I also believe some forgiveness work requires taking it one step at a time and that you may need assistance from a professional to help you through this.
Our decision to forgive is a process. The first step is being willing and being gentle with ourselves as we go through the process. This is not something that you should rush through as we can get caught in the false forgiveness trap. We say we have forgiven them, however, if we run into them, any angst or uneasy feelings return. That is an indication of false forgiveness. True forgiveness is feeling that peace within ourselves. This does not negate what has happened nor saying what was done was right. Its’ about you finding that peaceful freedom so you can move forward in your life.
There may be someone who you just can’t ever seeing forgiving. Maybe it is not the right time in your life. If we can’t forgive someone at this time, and we feel that we ‘should’ maybe it is ourselves that needs the forgiving. Self-forgiveness is always harder than forgiving someone else.
If we can understand that the majority of people are doing the best they can with what they know, it is not an excuse but it can put things in perspective. The person who hurt us or behaved badly, must be in a lot of pain to act in the manner in which they did. This brings compassion into the picture. By stepping into that higher wiser part of us and stretching the canvas and seeing the big picture, we may have feelings of compassion for the individual. Not to get this mixed up with feeling sorry for them or pitying them. We then get an understanding of what we need to do for ourselves to move forward in our life.
Doing some breathwork before you do this is suggested. Some slow deep breaths to center yourself. After doing the forgiving remember the deep breathing as well to keep you calm and centered.
When I work with clients around forgiveness. I suggest using the mirror. Light a candle, grab a box of tissues and look yourself in the eyes and start talking to yourself. Think of all the things you want to forgive yourself for and keep going. It will be emotional, however, it is a great release and you will feel a lot lighter and freer.
When you are ready to forgive someone else, you can use the same method of the mirror as if they are standing there. This is an easier method and helps to clear up the energy you hold with this person. You can also write them a letter and then read it out loud and burn it. I would make sure you use words “ I wish you peace” or I wish you happiness and success” or “I wish you well” .
Take your time with this work. You will know what you can and cannot do. Its all about progress not perfection.