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The Inside Scoop – On Forgiveness Part 2

Forgiveness is an amazing gift; it can transform your life! We have looked at what forgiveness is. We have considered what benefits others have experienced by allowing this gift to permeate their being and extend out to others. Forgiveness is a wonderful and healing part of life, which if utilized can bring so much healing and peace into your life, and give you a greater sense of well-being.

Without forgiveness we become old and dried up, filled with bitterness, anger and scorn. All these ugly traits will be sprouting up in us like angry thorns, cutting both ourselves and any others who come to close. We may also compare non-forgiveness to clinging to burning hot coals, which burn us with flames of anger and hatred.

To forgive is to love. Both Jesus and the teacher Buddha taught us to love and forgive one another. We have the perfect example of forgiveness in Jesus, who, while in agony on the cross, said;

  1. “Father, Forgive them! They don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23.34
  2.  “Should you not have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had on you?’ Matthew 18:33
  3. If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.” — Matthew 6.14-15 GNTD
  4. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in one day, and each time he comes to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” Luke 17.3-4 GNTD

” The great teacher Buddha said regarding forgiveness:

  • “Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed. This is an ancient and eternal law.”
  • “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
  • “Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness, But because you deserve peace – Buddha”
  • “To Understand everything is to forgive everything – Buddha”

In my own experience, I clung to my anger and hurt and bitterness towards others who had hurt me deeply as a child and as an adult. When I finally released the terrible poison of this burden in prayer, as I literally cried out to God for help with these things; I found so much healing, that my spine which was crooked and often painful, straightened out before my eyes, and those who were praying with me in our prayer meeting. I felt a deeper sense of peace then I had ever experienced, and a lightness within my being, which was a wonderful rest from the heavy darkness of the anger and bitterness I had been clinging to.

Rest assured as you process this that when you forgive others it does not “let them off the hook” so to speak for their actions. In Exodus 34:6-7 it says, …6 “Then the LORD passed by in front of him (Moses) and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth; who keeps loving kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” (source: biblehub.com)

As we consider how to reach this place of healing and peace, we must look within ourselves. As Jesus said, “the kingdom of heaven is within you.” In order to find this beautiful place, we must begin by forgiving both ourselves, and all other beings who have hurt or offended us in any way. Without forgiveness, none of the fruits of love, peace, joy or happiness can be reached. Anger and bitterness will destroy us like a fruit which rots from the inside out. Non-forgiveness with its siblings, anger, hatred and bitterness, keep all the wonderful gifts of Divine love, joy, peace and happiness, out of our reach.

As much as we long for it however, this sweet release from the poison we cling to can be difficult to reach. Here are some helpful ways to explore in your own journey towards freedom and peace. There are other ways as well, but for the sake of brevity here we will consider these options.

  • Journaling
  • Writing a letter to ourselves, or another if need be.
  • Prayer and meditation
  • Repeating a healing mantra of forgiveness and release.
  • Working with a trusted Therapist, or Clergy member trained in this practice.
  • Using positive thinking to visualize the forgiveness taking place

Journaling:

I have personally utilized journaling and poetry writing as well to help myself express things I could not otherwise easily convey. Any creative form of expression that helps you to express and acknowledge how you feel, and then bless and release it can be beneficial. I know some people have found release through various art forms and painting to express how they feel, in order to help them move forward towards healing.

For more information see: https://www.verywellmind.com/the-benefits-of-journaling-for-stress-management-3144611.

Writing a Letter:

Similar to journaling you may find additional help by writing either yourself or the person you wish to forgive, a letter to fully express yourself. Write how you feel, and how you are forgiving either yourself or the other person, for the hurtful event. You do not have to mail the letter. It is simply a means of expressing what needs to be said, in order to let go of the event, so it can no longer harm you. If you really need to speak to a person to forgive them, and if it is safe to do so, it is better to call them or speak in person if possible. If not, the letter or an email or text may suffice. Always consider what is best for your safety here as well. It is one thing to forgive, and another thing entirely to continually allow someone to abuse or mistreat you. (Future topic)

Prayer and Meditation:

Following your spiritual practices in prayer, or through meditation are some of the most healing modalities available to us when it comes to reaching inner healing and peace through forgiveness principles. Using a specific prayer which helps you with verbalizing forgiveness; like the Lord’s prayer, or another one you are familiar with, may be very beneficial. I experienced great healing myself, using this practice.

Lords-Prayer

Repeating a Healing Mantra, Phrase or Verse from Scripture:

There are many examples you may find for this practice. Here is one example from Connie Domino “The Forgiveness Lady” from her new book “The Law of Forgiveness.”

(source: http://www.beyond50radio.com/Article-The_Law_of_Forgiveness.html and http://www.thelawofforgiveness.com/index.php)

Affirmation to Forgive Others

“I forgive you completely and freely,  I release You and let you go.  So far as I’m concerned, the incident that happened between us is finished forever.   I wish the best for you.  I wish for you your highest good.  I hold you in the light.  I am free and you are free, and all again is well between us.  Peace be with you.”

Affirmation for Others to Forgive You

“I forgive you completely and freely,  I release You and let you go.  So far as I’m concerned, the incident that happened between us is finished forever.   I wish the best for you.  I wish for you your highest good.  I hold you in the light.  I am free and you are free, and all again is well between us.  Peace be with you.”

Affirmation to Forgive Yourself

“I forgive myself completely and freely.  I release myself and I let me go.  So far as I am concerned, the incident that happened is finished forever.  I wish the best for me.  I wish for myself the highest good.  I hold myself in the light.  I am free and all again is well with me.  Peace be with me.”

Working with a Trusted Therapist or Clergy Member:

Depending on your situation, the faith you practice, and your personal beliefs and needs this method may be effective for you. Some situations can be so sever and deeply ingrained within our psyche, that we need professional help to deal with it. Another option for you if a person is either unavailable or not affordable for you in this capacity, is to utilize the resources of a very incredible man, Dr. Peter Gerlach. He was a family therapist who created a large collection of healing YouTube videos, and a self-help website dedicated to helping others heal from their psychological wounds.

For a brief overview of six widespread psychological “wounds” from early childhood trauma, and the requisites for recognizing and reducing them permanently using “inner-family therapy.” For more details on wound reduction, please see: http://sfhelp.org/gwc/recover.htm and for a free self-study guide for Lesson 1 at: http://sfhelp.org/gwc/guide1.htm.

Using Positive Thinking to Visualize the Forgiveness Taking Place:

Here you will use your creativity to help yourself find an effective method or ritual to help you let go of the painful events and resulting anger and bitterness that are holding you prisoner. “I see in myself my teacher, the one who shows me the way of love and understanding, the way to breathe, smile, forgive, and live deeply in the present moment.” Thich Nhat Hanh

One method I have heard described is to write down the events, or perhaps draw a picture symbolizing what took place, and then burning the writing or picture. As you see the item burning and the smoke rising from it, visualize the harmful event disintegrating into the void as well. Perhaps repeat a mantra releasing the event or person who harmed you from your being. I like using one I read from Marianne Williamson, Author of ‘Return to Love,” and numerous other books as well. I will paraphrase, as I could not find the exact quote today.

“I forgive you…I release you…I love you…You are free, and I am free…May there be nothing but love between us.” Marianne Williamson

 

 

“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.” – Steve Maraboli

In conclusion, I pray that you will find peace and healing on your journey. Forgiving is choosing to begin Anew. “Beginning Anew is not easy. We have to transform our hearts and minds in very practical ways”…Beginning Anew is not to ask for forgiveness. Beginning Anew is to change your mind and heart, to transform the ignorance that brought about wrong actions of body, speech, and mind, and to help you cultivate your mind of love. Your shame and guilt will disappear, and you will begin to experience the joy of being alive.” Thich Nhat Hanh

May you find forgiveness, peace, joy, love and happiness on your journey.

Namaste.

Keridwan

 

 

 

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