“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” ~ Unknown
Forgiveness can be one of the hardest experiences we have to go through, it can be very confusing because a part of us may feel it’s letting the other person get away with whatever we perceive they did to us. The betrayals and violations were often committed so long ago that it can be memories of the memories that still hurts, rather than the actual deeds or words.
The Ego will always do it’s best to stay in the hurt, making others responsible, making others pay, or waiting for others to rescue us from the pain. This mindset of holding others responsible is incredibly disempowering. Others may never change, never realise how they hurt people, never want to understand and in some cases they may no longer be alive. Not forgiving someone primarily damages you.
When someone has hurt you, you may still be upset with them, but underneath it all you will find that you’re actually upset with yourself for letting someone hurt you. You’re disappointed in yourself that you trusted that person and they betrayed you, you’re upset that you were in that place when that incident happened, you’re angry that you didn’t speak up or walk away when that person was abusing you. Underneath all the anger of holding others responsible you’re actually troubled that you didn’t handle yourself differently. Even if you were an innocent child when it happened, if you are angry at your caregivers or family it will often boil down to you being disappoined that you ended up in that dynamic.
This is where self-forgiveness comes in, forgiving yourself for all of the anger you are holding onto or blaming others for being in that situation, will set you free to move on and start being empowered. Not only is it good for your mind and emotions, it’s good for your physical body and health which gets damaged by negativity. The following exercise is for those who are ready to forgive and want their power back. If a person is willing to stay stuck in unforgiveness then nothing is going to shift until they decide they are prepared to take the emotional responsibility needed for change. Even when we are willing, forgiveness is hard, but it’s impossible if stuck in blame.
So, how do you forgive yourself? Step 1. How Did They Make You Feel? Think of the person you are struggling to forgive, think about what they did to you, but most importantly think about how their actions made you feel. You may feel violated, angry, betrayed, rejected, abandoned, neglected, disrespected, abused, powerless, etc. any or all of these and more. It helps to write it down. If you fill a whole page with you feel about it, that’s okay, its better out than in. Please note, when you write it down, notice if you feel like writing they make me feel or made me feel. Make you feel is present tense, made you feel is the past and then you know you’re dealing with clearing memories of memories.
Step 2. How Do You Feel About Letting Someone Hurt You?
Look at what you wrote in step 1, how you feel looking at those words. Use your intuition here; look for the feeling that wrote those words. Write it down. Often here you will see how helpless you had become hoping that person would show mercy and rescue you from your own powerlessness. It’s important with forgiveness that you take responsibility and learn that you can and must rescue yourself.
Step 3. Compassion Gives You Your Power Back.
When you see that someone could make you feel like that, you may also realise that the person who hurt you may not be well. They aren’t or weren’t happy. How could a happy person make another feel like that? Hurt people, hurt people. See where compassion can be considered, and how allowing compassion for that person’s unconsciousness can release you from the heaviness of blame.
Step 4. Declare Your Forgiveness
Say the following declaration aloud, that way your subconscious hears your voice saying it and allows reprogramming to penetrate at a deeper level. You could write it out, sign and date it, which is another way of ensuring your subconscious has acknowledged it.
“I declare I can now see that he/she hurt me either deliberately or unintentionally, but they were actually hurt themselves, for whatever reason, and used me as a way of unconsciously dealing with their own pain. I acknowledge him/her as my teacher and I have learnt what I need from them. I no longer need to focus on their problems as a source of my own frustrations or healing. I see that habit does me no good. I deserve to live without their wound and I now choose to do so. I let go of their wounding with love and compassion, I give them and everyone, full permission to live out their lessons in whichever way they choose.
I am now deciding to be powerful in my own right, do what I need to do for the highest good, and stay in my integrity. I have the courage to forgive him/her and I forgive myself for attracting their hurt into my life. I am grateful for this new awareness and I no longer have the need to attract that behaviour into my life again.
Read this declaration at least twice a day until you’ve moved on, you’ll know when that is because you won’t want to think about the past with that person anymore.
The point of this declaration is start your brain thinking differently and no longer going in a negative loop when you’re triggered by others or by memories.
Creating new ways of thinking takes time, about 3 to 4 weeks initially, so start a practice today of thinking differently. Make it a habit to let the past go and create a new life based on you being powerful, happy and free from others bad behaviours.
Most importantly, be compassionate, forgive yourself and keep moving forward.