We have often heard that forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, not for the other person. Even though that is true, it is not always an easy thing to do. How do you forgive someone that has hurt you?
It is important for our personal and spiritual growth that we move beyond the pain and hurt that can sometimes hold us back or keep us stuck in the past. When we release the pain, anger, and disappointment we relinquish the hold that those feelings have on us. Then we can move forward.
Nothing can affect us, unless we allow it to. With that being said, it is sometimes difficult not to feel we are affected by angry words or someone hurting our feelings, whether it is intentional or unintentional. Our ego or mind self tells us that we should feel bad, that those are the appropriate feelings. If we begin to see things from more of a higher vibrational space, a spiritual place (our true, authentic higher self) instead of from that lower vibration of our ego mind, we will begin to see things from a much different perspective.
When someone judges you, or says harsh words to you or hurts you in some way…it actually has NOTHING to do with YOU! They are reacting that way due to the place THEY are at; these are usually feelings that they have about themselves that they project onto someone else. A lot of the time it is the person or persons they feel closest to or most comfortable with.“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending”. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Every experience we have is an opportunity for us to learn and grow. We do not have any control over the things that happen in our lives. What we do have control over is how we react to them.
It is when we have “expectations” and others do not live up to our “expectations”…that is when we experience disappointment. ..and that is at a “human” level. We have to move beyond that…to experience life from more of a spiritual place. When we do, we experience life with unconditional love and we no longer come from a place of expectations.
When I was doing some major spiritual work, I felt an enormous need to look back over my life, my relationships, people that I felt had “failed” me. Those that had hurt me, or taken me for granted…even if they didn’t realize they did. Here are the steps I took to acknowledge and release those issues that were still affecting me and holding me back in life.
“When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive” ~Alan PatonFollowing in an excerpt from my soon to be released book “Metamorphosis: A Journey of the Soul”. It is a simple exercise that I developed to heal myself from the pain of past hurt. It worked amazingly well. I know it will help you heal your hurt, and your heart too. “Examine your life and your relationships, past and present. Acknowledge those that you feel caused you any harm or pain. Situations you did not heal from, or have closure to. Every situation that ever caused you pain…that you have not resolved…from the high school bully to the significant other that broke your heart. Remember to include yourself as well. Often it is more difficult to forgive yourself than it is to forgive another person. Think of the times you have let yourself down, done things to disappoint yourself, times you may have intentionally done something to hurt someone else…remember all of those things. Write a letter to each person, from your place of ego or mind. Express your anger and disappointment in the way you felt you were treated. Get mad!!! Yell at them…tell them what they did and how it made you feel!!! You will feel a lot of emotion arise out of this exercise. It may take you a few minutes, a few hours, days or weeks to complete this. That is perfectly fine. It will happen as it needs to and as you are ready. You have many years of relationships and events to remember. It is important to remember ALL of the relationships that you feel caused you pain. You are still hanging onto that pain and even if it has been suppressed, it is the cause of your issues today. You need to clear all of it out so you can fill that space inside you with unconditional love for yourself and you can move on. Once the letters are written you are ready to complete the exercise. Read each letter aloud, one at a time. Then read the following with their name inserted. You are coming from a place of ego mind in confronting this pain, but you will be forgiving and releasing it from a place of spirit or your higher self. Once it is released, you will feel much lighter and these things that once caused you a great deal of pain will be a mere memory. They will no longer affect you and you will be free to move forward in your life. (Person’s name) You have hurt me in this lifetime. You have left a crack in my heart with your actions. I choose to move on and let these things go. I choose to heal my heart and move on. (Person’s name), I will no longer let the pain you caused me in the past cause me pain in the present. I release this pain, anger and hurt. I heal my heart and I move forward. (Person’s name), I know that the things you did that hurt me…was about YOU and not about me. I forgive you and wish you the best that life has to offer.”
When you acknowledge and release all of this…you release it from a place of ego mind since that is where it took place. When you forgive and let it go, you do it from a place of love. You empty that place of hurt deep inside you and fill it up with unconditional love. Then the healing REALLY begins. You will feel lighter, more joyous, you may even begin to remember things that had been buried or covered up by your pain. Happier memories will begin emerging surrounding these people and situations in your life. And the most amazing thing to me…the current issues in your life that had been caused by not dealing with your past issues…they begin to fade.
“Forgiveness means letting go of the past” ~Gerald Jampolsky