Opening Our Hearts
Forgiveness, whether it is us forgiving others, being forgiven by someone else, or forgiving ourselves, is one of the most difficult things in life to approach and navigate. Regardless of which side of the equation we find ourselves on, being on either the giving or receiving end of forgiveness can leave us feeling vulnerable and frightened. However, in order to grow, we can’t allow ourselves to stay stagnant or wallow in past pain and pity. Forgiveness is the key to unlocking the chains that bind us to our pain and makes our continued growth possible.
The Process of Forgiveness
Should we find ourselves in a position where someone asks for our forgiveness, the first step is to reflect on what happened, determine our current feelings, and express to them what about the situation was not okay. Once done, speak with a therapist, close friends, or even a psychic for their opinions about the situation.
Second, make a promise to feel better and not to dwell
on past mistakes. Many times, holding onto pain and negative emotions can
stifle our growth and hinder our ability to forgive or accept another’s
The next step is both the simplest and the most
difficult: admitting that we either did something to another person or
accepting the overtures of someone who has hurt us. It takes a lot of courage
to allow ourselves to be honest and vulnerable, which is why this is such a
hard part of the process. Graciousness is a valuable trait to encourage during
Remember that forgiveness is a personal act. Forgiving
someone for hurting us does not mean that we have to reconcile with them.
Ultimately, it is about finding peace.
Another thing to keep in mind is that living a life
well-lived is truly the best revenge. When we focus on our wounds and pain, we
are still allowing the other person to have power over us. No one can change
what happened in the past, but we definitely have the power to create a life in
which we are in control of the outcome. The past does not have to dictate the
present or future.
Sometimes, You Can’t
When the apology of another can’t be accepted, write down the reasons for holding onto that anger and pain to see if you are justified. If the reasons are petty then some heavy soul searching may help to let go of what happened.
Affirmations are an effective tool for mindfulness, and a way to bring us back to the moment when our thoughts or emotions are taking control. The use of a worry stone for a tactile aspect can also be helpful. Here are a few affirmations to use in those moments:
- I am not perfect and make mistakes. That is okay.
- Self-hatred does not serve me and only holds me back from living.
- I will no longer allow judgment, guilt, or shame to have power over me.
- I will not allow my experiences to make me a victim and I take full responsibility for my choices and actions.
- I accept myself for who I am and grant myself unconditional love.
- I release all tension and stress.
- I am a good person and am worthy of forgiveness.
- I deserve love and forgiveness, both from others and myself.
- I release all negative beliefs and paradigms.
- I deserve people who love me for who I am.
- I am worthy of compassion.
- I will not take anything personally and will forgive those who do not know better.
- It is not my responsibility if others choose not to act out of integrity.
- I will forgive those who have wronged me so that I can live a life of love, peace, and joy.
- Everyone that I meet has something to teach me.
- My happiness is more important than holding a grudge.
- I will feel compassion for those who act out of integrity.
- My feelings may be hurt and my heart wounded, but I will never stop loving.
- I bring love, gratitude, and joy into the world.
- I am grateful for the ability to forgive and be forgiven.
However we ultimately choose to live our lives is of course up to us, but we owe it to ourselves to live a life that is serene and affirming. Forgiveness releases the poison and gives us a clean slate to move on to the next chapter of our lives without regret or pain.
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