Why do I want to forgive?
There's a quote that says "Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." When we hold on to our anger and resentment, it only hurts ourselves. Most of us have a story that we've told about a situation. We've retold it a thousand times. We have it memorized. We can tell you exactly what the other person did wrong, and exactly how we aren't to blame. When we keep the story alive, we are only solidifying our feelings and energetics in such a way that they can't shift, grow and change. It prevents us from seeing our piece in the equation - other than that of victim, and allow healing to take place. Many of us ask for healing, but can't quite let go of our addiction to our story. We're used to telling it.
True healing comes from being able to throw away the story and look underneath or behind it to what's really happening.
Have I treated another the way I've been treated?
Is the other in pain acting out of that pain?
Am I treating myself like they treated me? (Is this a form of self-punishment that I'm attracting?)
When we ask ourselves these questions, it's not condoning what another has done, or saying that it's ok for someone in pain to cross a boundary. But it can bring clarity and compassion to the situation. Compassion always brings healing.
What are we even doing when we forgive?
When we forgive, we're beginning to set ourselves free. Free from expectations that things should have been different. Free from expectation that we shouldn't be hurt. Free from the idea that others need to take care of us. We begin to take ownership of ourselves, our actions, and our healing. We begin to drop the heaviness of the past to step into the joy of the present.
How do I forgive?
Forgiveness begins with a willingness to look at yourself in an honest way. For many of us, we can hide behind the hurt that others have brought because we feel safer not opening ourselves. Our hurt can offer a sense of protection, and prevents us from having to open up. Asking yourself questions about the hurt can begin to unravel a bigger picture, and we can trace it back to it's origin.
Rituals like burning letters, or lighting a candle for ourselves or the other can bring closure, or a reminder of the work you're unraveling.
There are several meditation techniques that can help with forgiveness. Allowing yourself to get stirred up with anger or hurt, and then dropping the story gives you a chance to work with the hurt stored in the body. This can give you information for letting it go.
Working with the Heart and Forgiving Yourself
Sitting with the heart can allow the compassion to soften your edges, and begin to bring down some of your walls. Bringing loving kindness towards yourself and the other brings an opening for you to look at both of you with love. With any forgiveness, there is an element of forgiving yourself. Whether it be shame or a feeling of stupidity, we need to allow ourselves the mistakes of the past in order to see the beauty of the present.
Trusting that life is unfolding just as it needs to, we can then see with clarity what our next steps are, whether it be to set a boundary or simply let go and move forward. I invite you to free yourself from the past stories and allowing healing into your life.