Self-Love Rehab: Step IV Free yourself...the rest will follow
What is the magic of forgiveness? When we hold a grudge; harbor resentment; or cling to bitter anger or judgment, our whole body, mind, and soul collectively experiences it.
Everything that we think or feel registers within our being. Lack of forgiveness harms us gravely.
The magic of forgiveness is its power to dispel dark clouds within our consciousness, its ability to free our whole being.
On the other hand, just wanting to forgive doesn't make it happen. We all have witnessed, for example, a peace agreement on paper, that has failed to become a reality in everyday life. Forgiveness is a process that starts with the intention and desire to release bitterness and expand compassion.
And, while we're talking about peace processes, for that matter, just as the intention is the first step in forgiveness, individual forgiveness is the first step in achieving global peace. The remaining steps need to follow.
I have spoken to clients who have declared that they have forgiven their parents or siblings; but, as their emotional work unfolds, we find that bitterness is still there, and it is unfairly projected onto others.
Wanting to forgive and actually forgiving are two separate things. Sometimes it takes a while to truly forgive. First, we need to feel the anger, sadness, and/or bitterness that is blocking our forgiveness. Acknowledging these feelings and processing them constructively helps us achieve forgiveness. We can start by following these few simple steps:
1. Choose three incidents in which you are unable to release anger or offer forgiveness.
2. Select a person connected to one of these incidents, and list all the feelings that surface when thinking of that person and incident.
3. Acknowledge the hurt underlying your lack of forgiveness. Here's where you give yourself the love and understanding to empathize with yourself and appreciate your own feelings.
4. Consider what you would say, if given the opportunity, to the person who hurt you, from a place of authentic vulnerability. Jot down your statement as if you were face to face with that person.
5. And finally, consider the other person's point of view for doing or saying whatever it was that hurt you.
If you follow these initial guidelines, you will be well on your way to true forgiveness. There are more steps in this process; but this is a great place to start.
Self Love Rehab Step IV