How to Forgive
Spring will be here soon. To get a jump start on your spring cleaning begin by giving a good scrub to your inner world (i.e. your mind) starting with forgiveness.
The dictionary definition of forgiveness is the mental, emotional and/or spiritual process of ceasing to feel resentment, indignation or anger against another person for a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.
My definition of forgiveness is this: for = go forward and give. So forgiveness is about moving yourself forward and giving. What is the giving part? I believe its about giving love primarily to yourself.
Forgiveness is a great act of courage and freedom. Because you can choose to look forward rather than look back.
When you forgive, it’s not that you’re saying whatever the other person did to us is OK, and that you’re forgetting. Forgiveness means to set yourself free so that you are no longer held by the negative past experience, emotions, and thoughts so that you set yourself free to create a better future.
The neuropsychological model of forgiveness suggests that forgiveness may ultimately have beneficial effects on the body such as decreased levels of stress hormones and improved sleep patterns. Also, forgiveness has been shown to decrease heart and respiratory rate, decrease anxiety and depression, and feeling of hostility and anger while improving self-esteem.
If you don’t forgive it doesn’t cost them anything – but costs you everything – you’re paying the rent in your heart (and health) that you can’t afford. You want the valuable real-estate of your heart to be filled with love.
How can you forgive someone when you really don’t feel like it and don’t want to forgive?
You have to ask yourself:
- What kind of world do I want to create for myself?
- Do I want to be loyal to the past or move forward and create my future?
See, forgiveness is all about you. You can release yourself from your own suffering when you forgive – the past is the past and, now you can free yourself, take responsibility for yourself and focus on all the good ahead for you.
Daily Forgiveness Exercise
One way to clean out the closet of your mind is to write a list of anyone you’d like to forgive from your past. This includes yourself (all the times you’re mean to yourself, look negatively at yourself, etc). The list can even include animals. Once you have your list, read each name out loud, see that person or situation and then ask for forgiveness or see yourself forgiving them and send that person love (including yourself).
To keep your mind free of resentments, every evening before retiring, do a mental review of the day. Ask yourself, is there anyone I need to forgive? If yes, then intention the forgiveness, feel your heart cleansed from the negative emotion you had and send them love. Just as you probably wash your face every night, its also important to cleanse your consciousness nightly so resentments doesn’t accumulate. You can even do this while you wash your teeth before going to bed.
I promise you if you regularly partake in forgiving, you’ll have less stress and feel better both emotionally and physically!
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Yours In Vibrant Wellbeing,