If you are looking for inner peace and harmony, then learning how to forgive is vital. How can you feel joyous and energised when you are hanging on to all the toxic emotional baggage of anger, hate and resentment.
Even though you may not be aware of it, it's highly likely that you have stored many negative emotions over the years that could be acknowledged and released by learning how to forgive.
Just think about someone you know, for a moment. Your father perhaps (often a good one), an ex-partner, your boss, spouse or even your closest friend. Think about them for a moment and recall some of the events that have occurred between you.
How does your body feel when you think about how your father use to speak to you, for example. Or how does your body feel when you recall how your ex-husband left you for another woman?
I'll bet there's someone in your life that, when you think about them, your body tenses a little, you start to frown and suddenly you feel the happiness draining out of you.
Well, it's time for you to lighten your load by allowing yourself to forgive - it's for your benefit, not theirs!
Now, I want to make it clear that forgiving someone has absolutely nothing to do with saying that they were right and you were wrong, and it does not condone anyone's behaviour or assign any blame.
The process of forgiveness is about releasing yourself from the withheld negative emotions that are affecting your health and vitality.
You are the winner when you are aware of how to forgive and move on. You may not necessarily forget, but the past is no longer draining you.
There are a many different forgiveness exercises around. Below I describe to you two that I have used myself and found to be very beneficial. I always feel lighter and more peaceful after going through such an exercise.
Before you do any emotional healing work, it's a good idea to set the intention to be willing to release any stored negative emotions. Just say something like "I now set the intention to be willing to accept, acknowledge and let go of my stored negative beliefs and emotions", and it is so.
Find yourself a quiet, comfortable spot where you can be assured of not being disturbed. Allow yourself to relax into your chair. Take a few deep, slow breaths and let go of the tension in your face, neck and shoulders.
Now visualise yourself in a quiet special place. I like to use a lovely forest. See the area filled with beautiful sparkling white light and see yourself surrounded by this light.
Visualise as best you can, the person you wish to forgive. It doesn't matter if your image of them is not perfect. See the other person walking slowly toward you. You also begin to walk toward them and meet them halfway.
Pass to them a symbol of your forgiveness. Mine is a small red heart, but it could be anything - a flower, a shell, or just a shape. Just go with the first thing you see.
Know and understand that, on another level of consciousness that you may not be aware of, this person's behaviour toward you may have had a positive outcome for you in the long term. Even though you may have perceived their behaviour as bad or unfair, it may have been part of a grander scheme for your learning and spiritual growth. Without that experience, you would not have gained the wisdom that it created.
There may be a Higher reason why they behaved toward you as they did.
Listen for a moment - do they have anything to say?
Send them love and healing from your eyes to their eyes. Let it be known that you have forgiven them and that you are both free. Watch their response.
When this feels complete, part ways once again.
Take a few deep breaths and feel yourself in your seat. Wriggle your fingers and toes and open your eyes slowly.
This exercise is partly based on one described by Doreen Virtue.
Sit comfortably in a quiet, relaxing space where you are assured of not being disturbed. With a pen and paper in hand, write down the names of everyone who comes into your head that has ever annoyed, angered, embarrassed, hurt, irritated, or humiliated you. And I mean everyone - no matter how insignificant it seems. Make sure you include those who have passed away.
Now go down the list one person at a time. See their image in your mind's eye. Think about why they are on your list. Was it possible that you learned something from the experience? It may not be obvious at first, and it may be difficult to see past your emotions. If you can't think of anything it doesn't matter and it won't affect this process.
Now, say to them "I totally forgive you and I release you. We are both free of all expectations and attachments." Feel this release within your heart. See your image of the other person surrounded by sparkling white light, and allow their image to gradually dissolve into the light.
Now move on to the next person on the list. Even though this whole process may take some time, it is well worth it.
While attending an Australian Bush Flower Essence workshop, I learned another type of forgiveness process that involves cutting the cords between yourself and the other person. I describe this process for you on my page called definition of forgiveness, and you can click here to go to that page.
It really doesn't matter which forgiveness exercise you use. They are all very helpful and get you moving on the path to healing. Just choose the one that feels best to you - or try them all!
How many of you included yourself in either of the above two exercises? Forgiving yourself is just as important, if not more so, than forgiving others.
Guilt about things we have done in the past, or guilt about things we didn't do which we now regret, is one of the greatest threats to our wellbeing. Guilt and regret eat away at our spirit and rob us of our health and vitality, manifesting as physical dis-ease.
So please visit my page on Forgiving Yourself.
Learning how to forgive yourself is one of the greatest ways to heal. You are worth it and you deserve it as much as anybody.
I always like to use flower essences to help with any type of emotional release work. They are totally safe, powerful, and easy to use and will enhance the effects of these exercises on how to forgive.
I work with the flower essences to help myself and others, so if you would like a personal flower essence consultation you can contact me here.
Did you like this page on How To Forgive? Like to try some other emotional healing techniques? Then click here for many more ways to improve your emotional health.
Return from How To Forgive to Gateways to Inner Peace