· Isabelle Holland
There are a lot of folks in my life that have harmed me. When people ask, "Oh, don't you just hate that person," I always respond with, "No." This is the beginning of a very interesting conversation! Can you really forgive others for harming you? Can you really forgive yourself for the "bad" things you've done in your life? Can you forget? Can you heal? Can you actually learn to love that person and yourself unconditionally? Now that's a list of very difficult questions! And no, I don't have all the answers. I would like to share some of my thoughts on this issue, though.
Holding negative feelings inside can only do us harm. So, by having negative feelings towards someone else, we aren't harming them... we're harming ourselves.
A lot of folks try to make a real big issue out of this whole thing. Oh, can you really forgive a person who has hurt you really bad? What does forgiveness mean? But if you don't forget, have you really forgiven? We can come up with lots of Complicated, philosophical things to talk about round-and-round in circles over the area of forgiveness.
What we actually need to do is quit analyzing the thing to death and just say, "I forgive you."
One of my first steps towards healing began when I had to sit down and make a list of all the folks in my life that had harmed me. Then, to my amazement, I had to make a list of all the people whom I had harmed. This isn't a short list on either end of the scale. Doing this requires that we go all the way back to that kid in kindergarten who wouldn't let us have the red crayon or that young man in junior high who broke our heart. When we look at ourselves, we might see that poor old lady in traffic whom we gave "the bird" because she was turning too slow or that time we told our sister she looked really fat in her prom dress. Yes, even the little things count.
I did all those soul searching lists, but it wasn't until years later that I paid attention to what it really meant. When I took hypnotherapy classes, the second thing we were taught was how important forgiveness is. Forgiveness is a way to let go of all those negative feelings that we've been covering up. We might have actually been feeling anger, sadness, pain, guilt, you name it. Outwardly, we might be holding a grudge, keeping people at a distance, or never speaking to a dear friend or family member again. Those grudges or feelings of guilt cause us to set ourselves up for downfall. They are the things that keep us from loving deeply or having close friends. They are the things that create barriers, build walls, and leave us lonely and in pain. They eat away at our soul and keep us from healing completely.
Now one thing that keeps us from forgiving is sometimes we are afraid that will invalidate our pain. Another might be that we know that we can never truly forget the incident in question. Those of us who have been physically, mentally, or emotionally abused know that in our mind, we will always remember what harmed us. Do you want to know something wonderful? You don't have to forget to forgive. This is another one of those hypno-tricks to help the subconscious mind help us heal. It's as easy as this:
Close your eyes and take three nice, long, deep breaths, exhaling slowly. This will take you into a light level of hypnotic trance. Then picture yourself walking along a beautiful shoreline... the sun is overhead... the sky is dotted with fluffy, white clouds... you can smell the salty sea air.
Imagine yourself pausing for a moment to let the ocean waves wash up over your ankles. As the wave rolls back out to sea, you notice that there is a name in the wet sand... as you kneel down to read it, you realize it is the name of someone who hurt you long ago... as the next wave rolls in, it wipes the name away, and as the cool ocean water flows back to the sea, that name is gone, and with it has gone the pain... but you see another name there... the wave rolls in and washes it back out to sea.
You suddenly feel the urge to let go of ALL those things that have caused you pain, and you begin to write with your finger in the sand... "I forgive you"... as you write the names of all those who have harmed you, the waves roll in and out again... you continue to write... "I forgive you" and the person's name... and the waves roll in and out again... allow it to be so... you continue until you can no longer think of any names.
And then another thought crosses your mind, and you begin to write "I love you" and the name of someone whom you have harmed in your lifetime... and the waves roll in and out again, washing away all the guilt and pain... you continue to write as the ocean's waves wash away the names and the pain... and you let it go... you allow those negative feelings to leave you... you no longer need them in your life... you continue writing until you can no longer think of another single person whom you have harmed in any way... and you allow it to be so.
As you stand up, you feel cleansed of all those negative emotions that you no longer need or want in your life, and you allow yourself to begin to heal...
We are all here on this earth school to learn and grow. We spirits who inhabit these human bodies can and will make mistakes, as that is a part of any learning process. The important thing is to learn from our mistakes and accept the lessons for what they are. Because of karmic law, our spirits want balance and harmony and will attempt to make amends for any wrongs we have done, and sometimes we carry the pain for far too long. There comes a time when we have to let it go in order to go further along our path to healing, balance, and harmony.
When we learn to accept that we are only human, it is much easier to accept that those who have harmed us are also only human. Until we can forgive ourselves and others, we carry an abundance of negative emotions that can cause us to be ill physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. It is time to let those negative emotions go so that we can fill our lives with positive feelings.
When you do the exercises above, you might not MEAN them the first time through... or the second time through. That's okay. Just keep doing the exercises until you feel lighter. You'll KNOW when you've succeeded because you will begin to love yourself... you will begin to love others... and others will begin to love you. Do this, and you will feel peace in your very soul.
About the author:
Reverend T. Darlene Cheek is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master and Holistic Practitioner - a.k.a. "Cheeky Belle, Wizardress to SQS" - or just plain Darlene. Her passions are Hypnosis, Reiki, Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Herbal Remedies, Crystal Healing, Meditation, Creative Visualization, and any type of holistic therapy. Her learning experience in therapy has taken her down many different spiritual paths and introduced her to a variety of cultures. She believes there is no place we cannot go, no task we cannot accomplish, no goal we cannot reach if we are open-minded enough to accept the vast amount of knowledge that we find if we explore the paths of all that have gone before us.
· Gerald Jampolsky
I may think that I have come to a certain place in my life with an agenda, a plan. I might think that I am here to get a job done, to build a relationship or accomplish a task. Then my life takes a twist, one that I didn't expect. I find that I am here, in this moment, to cleanse my past and to heal my heart. It comes back to that lesson, again and again. It's about love, once again.
I can experience cleansing and healing by treating my own wounds tenderly. Where might I have acted unthinkingly? What duties had I neglected that I cannot rectify? What words did I utter that cannot be taken back? How can I find the will to hold my tongue, to still my anger, to let the pain go and move ahead? What can I do to cleanse and heal these wounds that are, admittedly, self-inflicted? I can first open my heart to Divine forgiveness, and to release my wounds to its healing power. Love is the medicine, to be applied liberally.
Following that, I absolutely must forgive myself if I've done something wrong, or even if I haven't done something wrong. Then, and only then, will I understand how good forgiveness really feels - I must forgive myself to be truly free and consciously re-awakened to the rich abundance of Divine forgiveness, by practicing it upon myself. And only then will I know the healing power which I hold, that True Healing Power of the Universe, and how wisely it can be used to heal the lives of others, as well as my own. Love is the cup that runs over, if only I let it.
What would allow me to detach from conflict, what will empower me to find the courage to forgive others? Knowing that I have, at some time or other, felt my anger dissolve in the gentleness of forgiveness, I can understand that forgiveness is a power far greater than that of forceful violence or of retribution. What changes to a situation can or should I offer, in order to make amends? I must have the humility and generosity to forgive others as I forgive myself, in order to wield such power with wisdom. Love is the purpose, and the mission, and the weapon of choice.
It is difficult to heal from a broken heart, again. It is difficult to love life again, to dare to dream, to risk love again. But it is apparent to me that very little will be accomplished without a cleansing of my past, without a healing and a wholeness of my heart. Forgiving myself is the path to cleansing the past, and forgiveness of others is the broad highway leading to that healing and wholeness of heart. Love is the answer.
I am thankful for the gift of forgiveness. I am willing to keep on forgiving. It lightens my spirit; It cleanses my life; It heals my heart. Love is the Power that Heals.
Peace and Light, Michael
email: Michael@N-Spire.com - or, send your to me right now!
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