Forgiveness … the word itself makes most feel like they have to come crawling back with their tail between their legs. But inside this relentless word is a magical space for healing.
Forgiveness is the key that can release tension, anger, misunderstanding and pain. It’s the springboard for a fresh, new version of your life.
One of my goals for 2019 was to repair important, broken or damaged relationships from my past. Some were close friends, some were family members and others were people I highly admired, but we had a misunderstanding or a falling out.
Once I put this intention out into the world, things started to slowly change for me. Before I knew it, I was given the opportunity to patch each relationship one by one. It felt magical. After spending the time to work on one relationship, the next opportunity fell into my lap. Before long, I had been able to mend several broken relationships and even strengthen them beyond where they left off.
Was it easy? Of course not. Was it worth it? Absolutely.
Buddha said that holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else—you are the one that gets burned. The internal pain is bitter and continues to fester within oneself. Once I was able to release the resentment, I was able to begin healing.
Often, I coach people on how to open up their hearts to opportunities, experiences and understanding. Forgiveness isn’t for those that wronged you. It’s for yourself. It allows you to heal, to become whole again, to feel a sense of release …
So how do you forgive?
I challenge you to bring into your heart the image of someone for whom you feel much resentment. Take a moment to feel that person in the center of your chest. In your heart, say to that person: “For anything you may have done that caused me pain, anything you did intentionally or unintentionally through your thoughts, words or actions, I forgive you.” Allow that person to settle into your heart, opening to them at your own pace. If it hurts, let it hurt. Begin to relax the iron grip of your resentment and begin to let go of that incredible anger. And then allow them to be forgiven.
Forgiveness can’t exist without its sister Gratitude. Gratitude is the expression of what you are thankful for, and when you want to release pain and trigger positive actions and feelings, you have to first stop and think about what you are truly thankful for.
I know the difficulty of this challenge (especially if they wronged you or hurt you in insurmountable ways), but change isn’t easy. Think of three things you are grateful for about this person—be it a lesson you learned from that experience, perhaps children that you birthed because of them or even the stronger person you became afterwards.
Life is short. Don’t spend it being angry. Forgive and move forward so you can heal and become a better person and enjoy the time you have here on this earth fully. Chag Sameach.