Last month we looked at the importance and life-changing principles of self-love and having more fun. This month we’ll take on another concept: forgiveness.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
-Lewis B. Smedes
The truth is that forgiveness goes hand-in-hand with self-love and having fun; you cannot truly forgive yourself and others if you don’t feel, deeply and truly, that you deserve the freedom that comes with forgiveness. And you are limited in the amount of fun you allow yourself to have when you are holding onto negative emotions.
Embrace Forgiveness and Release the Past
For many people, there’s a need to release the past and let go of things that have happened (or not happened) so they can have gratitude for what’s going on right now, in the present moment.
I understand it’s not always easy. I personally just released another layer of buried resentment and hurt around my ex that had been wallowing somewhere inside me for years without my conscious awareness. Over the years, I had truly believed that I’d forgiven him 100% and released every angry thought and injustice only to discover another “deep hurt” rise to the surface. I was so surprised and happy to learn of this hidden gremlin that I could now heal and release.
Afterward I felt not only enlightened but lighter AND so grateful for the training I’ve had to be able to let go of this so quickly. It was also a HUGE understanding that forgiveness is not a “one and done” – it’s layered.
And believe me… it is incredibly powerful to let it go! It’s such a freeing feeling, which underlines an important point: the practice of forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re “letting someone off the hook” or “excusing poor behavior.” Not at all!
Forgiveness isn’t for the benefit of others – it’s for your own benefit.
As we forgive and shift the constricted energy around our heart center, we allow love to come in. The anger and resentment, the pain, the defensiveness; all those tough emotions block love from coming in and keep us separate from the people who want to love us.
Forgive others so that you can experience more love, joy and freedom in your life.
How to Choose Forgiveness
Many of us unconsciously hold the belief that our anger protects us – maybe we think if we forgive someone, we’ll be susceptible to allowing that person back in our lives. We might secretly fear that we’ll fall in love with him again or put ourselves into an unhealthy or undesirable situation.
Understandably, that belief creates a barrier to forgiveness. But the reality is that when you forgive someone, you’re just dissolving the negative emotional bond to the person or incident. You’re simply releasing yourself from the prison of fear, resentment and defensiveness.
If you’re ready to shift forward into a paradigm of love, freedom and compassion, here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- What do I get out of holding on to the hurt?
- What is my payoff from refusing to forgive?
- Who would I be if I didn’t feel like a victim in this area?
- By hanging onto the negative emotion, what part of my life am I not taking responsibility for?
Sit with these questions and allow the answers to arise naturally. There’s a lot worth looking at, and when you do, it might bring up some emotions – but trust that there is something very beautiful on the other side.
I’m talking about freedom, my Sparkle Sister. And it’s yours for the taking:))
PS – If you are at a place where you want more freedom – where you know forgiveness, and letting go of resentments and hurts would move you forward into a happier life, take a look at Soul Sparkle Retreat