Embracing the rhymes of each season, I truly believe that is the way to go. There are seasons to every part of life. As we enter December, instead of spending time wishing or waiting for something new to come, it’s the time to slow things down, reflect and look within.
Autumn is said to be the perfect season for letting go and releasing things that have been a burden, and I think winter is the time to exercise the art of forgiveness. Forgiving ourselves or others unblocks an enormous amount of energy that can move us forward to the kind of positive life we desire. It’s good to start treating forgiveness as one of your important self-love muscles that you want to strengthen.
The word, forgiveness, has different meanings for different people on an energetic level. It ranges from guilt, shame, bitterness, regret, sorrow, resentment, anger, revenge, hate… All these emotions are energies that are keeping us stuck in the past as we subconsciously relive our past every minute of every day. For many of us, forgiveness is a hard process. As we go through life, it’s inevitable that we’ll come across people who wrong us in one way or another.
To forgive does not mean that whatever happened is ok. It doesn’t justify anything or anyone. It doesn’t mean that you need to like the other person involved. It certainly does not mean the persons involved can get away with it. The resistance to letting go of the past often comes from the idea of “if I forgive and let go of this, then she/he would get away with it.” This comes from the need to punish the other person. But in reality, this is self-punishment.
To hold on to these emotions, it’s like injecting poison every day and expecting the other person to die. Say, if we choose to hold on to them, what would be the consequences 10 years from now? 20 years from now? What is really the point?
Our hearts are yearning to be freed, but in our heads, we just insist on why there’s a reason to continue walking the hill upwards with a backpack filled with 300 pounds of stones from the past.
To forgive is not about the other person or the situation, but it is about ourselves. In many cases, the person who wronged you might have acted completely out of character for some reason, and they might truly be sorry. It’s also possible that they don’t even know they did anything wrong!
A way that I often use is to write a NO-LONGER-IN-MY-LIFE Letter. It’s an easy and powerful process that helps uncover the lessons from the past events to support releasing the attachment to the negative feelings. I used this for a couple of my breakups in the past, which helped me tremendously.
Note: This is not a letter that you ever send or share with anybody. It’s just for you.
Set aside some sacred time to write this letter. Light a candle before you begin and set the intention for healing, clarity, and grace (or anything else that you’d like to experience.) Handwriting this letter rather than typing it because through writing with your hand, access more to your right brain where your emotions and intuition are stored.
Use the following 3 paragraph starters for your letter:
“Dear (name of the person you’d like to forgive), I am saying goodbye (or I’m letting you go) because…
(then next,) I learned from you that…
(And finally,) Thank you for…”
Write as much as you can and don’t edit. Only let it flow and allow whatever comes forward to come. You can continue to add this letter as you see fit, your No-Longer-In-My-Life letter will be one of your key resources to how much you can extract the lessons that this relationship is teaching you.
Of course, if no lesson learned is the case for you, feel free to rant all your major hurt on paper (to the person who has wronged you) and set up a safe place to light the paper on fire and watching it burn.
You don’t need communication with anyone (including your ex’s) to have closure. This is 100% you can do on your own.
You will feel refreshed and peaceful after going through this process.
In life, the person you spend the most time with is yourself. You are always in your own company. But, sometimes the hardest person to forgive is ourselves. If someone else makes a mistake, we’re more objective about it, and we can see that they really did the best they could. When we make the same mistake, we are our worst critics, even though other people might say it’s OK.
When it comes to forgiving myself, again, writing a I-LOVE-ME Letter is a great tool that I often use whenever the inner bully shows up. It helps detoxify the inner house where our spirit lives in and create new space for positive energy by letting go every major and minuscule thing we’re holding against ourselves.
Set up a sacred time for yourself during the week (mine is usually Sunday morning) to dump the dead weight of toxic feelings that you’ve been carrying around that you’d like to let go of. Simply by starting the sentence with:
“Dear (your name,)
I forgive you for (grudges you’ve been holding on to)…
I’m sorry …
I thank you for…
I love you.”
“Dear Jen, I forgive you for being so judgmental and harsh on yourself all the time for not measuring up to others.
I am sorry to make you feel very hurt inside. I thank you for always being patient with me while I learned all of these lessons. Thank you for continuing to work and thrive despite the obstacles that I have put you through… I love you.”
Allow emotions to bubble up and tears to flow but keep going until you’ve exhausted yourself from releasing the energy that’s not serving you. Drink a lot of water and rest to replenish afterwards. You will feel so much lighter and grounded, I promise! :))
Of course, using guided meditation is another way to help release any stuck emotion or negative energy that you’ve been carrying around.
Forgiveness begins with ourselves. It is safe to forgive. There is so much love and power in our heart center that we can heal not only by forgiving ourselves but also by forgiving others. Let’s let go of the unneeded emotional baggage so to welcome the fresh new energy to our life as we approach 2017!
“Let the past go. Forgive yourself and allow peace to enter in. Life is a process of learning and we are all works in progress.”
― Eileen Anglin
Sending you lots of love, joy, peace and happiness,