For me, the Easter season usually involves a lot of time contemplating and meditating (literally) on forgiveness. Even though I am a yoga practitioner having grown up Christian, I also attend church on a regular basis. Although I have a developed spiritual practice, I still have to work on forgiveness. Forgiveness can be a complicated thing. Not only do we need to work on forgiving ourselves and others, I think this is true for forgiving even God, too.
I attended an energy healing session recently and the practitioner told me that I needed to work on forgiveness. Really, I thought. Who doesn’t? On a superficial level, I feel pretty resolved with everything, but deep down, below the surface, I know that it’s true. I have been there and done that. I know suffering and loss but it’s all good. I’m still standing. I know on some level that the things that I have been through have made me stronger, more mature, more compassionate but every once in a while, the anger, resentment and frustration creeps up to the surface and once again I need to practice the f-word. Acknowledging these emotions is important but releasing them is critical. I have developed some strategies and I will share them with you here.
Step number one is to forgive others. Relinquish resistance and grievances because holding on to them is just pointless and will only make you sick and weak over time. Resistance will not serve you even if it feels good in the moment. Besides, whether or not you believe it, most people are doing the best that they can from their current level of consciousness so try not to take anything too personally. Visualize the person that you need to forgive and say to them in your mind, “I forgive you.” Say it three times (silently or aloud) followed by the words, “so be it.” Mean it when you say it and then let it go.
Step number two is to ask for forgiveness for yourself. Chances are that you had some role in the grievance that you are carrying even if you don’t want to admit it. Everything that we experience in our environment , we had some hand in creating. Acknowledging this is powerful and gives us the opportunity to be conscious about what we are creating and then create something different. Ask for forgiveness for yourself from whatever higher power you call on.
Step number three is to actually forgive yourself. Forgiving yourself can be much harder than forgiving someone else. This is a way of relinquishing the past and moving forward. It also protects your health and general well-being. Journaling often helps me process thoughts and emotions and release them. Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for at least ten minutes. Sit quietly with your eyes closed. Think about all of the good things in your life and experience a sense of gratitude. Visualize a warm, pink light surrounding you, protecting, you and loving you. Forgive yourself. Say it three times (silently or aloud) followed by the words, “so be it.” Feel it when you say it and then let it go.