Lately I've been thinking a lot about how, as humans we tend to hold on to resentment, anger and bitterness for all sorts of things. My question is, do we ever take a moment to re-evaluate these things we’re holding onto? And how often do we re-evaluate the impact they could be having on us and our daily lives?
In this blog post, I want to delve deeper into the meaning of forgiveness, why we should practice it and what kind of an impact this could have for us going forward.
Before we can begin to consider forgiveness, it is important for us to understand what forgiveness is and what it's not.
What Is Forgiveness?
Forgiveness can be described as a conscious, intentional decision to release feelings of resentment, anger or vengeance toward a person or group who has hurt you (regardless of whether they actually apologize to you or even deserve to be forgiven.)
It is a gift from you, to you.
It is for your own healing and well-being going forward.
It is a way of taking back your personal power and choosing self-love.
What its not:
Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness.
Forgiveness is not for the other person.
It doesn’t mean forgetting or condoning others disrespect or offenses.
It doesn’t mean that you ignore your own feelings of pain or deny your personal truths.
How resentment and anger are affecting us
Our bodies are very intelligent. Sometimes we experience significant emotional events in our lives and if we don't fully process and release the emotion because it is too painful, then we will store it in a part of our body. When we resent people or past events, we also hold on to this in our bodies, storing it in our cells. Holding on to this type of negative energy, blocks our natural flow and over time this will develop physically as illness in our bodies or vibrationally through our life experiences.
'We are what we attract', meaning everything we see is just a reflection of what's going on inside of us, therefore harboring resentment towards someone causes you to lower your own vibration and in turn attract negative experiences towards yourself.
Negative energy in the body also lowers your immune system, making it harder for your body to protect itself from illness and disease. So when we look at it, it makes sense that resentment will only hurt you in the long run.
"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future"- Paul Boose
What happens when we practice forgiveness?
When we learn to forgive, we give ourselves the opportunity to move on and grow. It provides an opportunity for closure that we may never get from the other person and it provides a chance for inner peace by reducing our own suffering.
It is important to remember that you are seeking out your own inner peace rather than justice over someone else’s actions. The people you forgive may never apologize to you or see things from your perspective but you need to remember that this shouldn’t prevent you from moving on with your own life.
Steps to take towards forgiveness?
Begin by understanding that forgiveness is your own personal choice and it will empower you to move forward.
Sit in the awareness of the pain and try to understand why this has happened and what lessons you gained through this experience? If you can see the silver lining, it will be much easier for you to forgive and move on
Cultivating empathy for the other person or situation can help you to see the bigger picture and in turn help you to find your own inner peace and clarity, remember forgiveness is not about justice
Breath-work is a powerful practice when performed with a facilitator because with focused breaths you can bring back the flow of energy into the place which has become stagnant, the emotion will come up for you to face it and release it! Very powerful!
Energy healing such as Reiki is another way to get the energy flowing freely again and it also bypasses the ego mind, helping us to heal on a deep level.
Why and how I believe it works (LOA)
Everything is based on the law of attraction. The Universe is vibrating and creating stories all the time, we are perceiving what we are all the time through our experiences
We each vibrate at our own frequency. Whatever frequency we vibrate at, even though other possibilities exist all around us, we will never perceive them as they are vibrating at a different rate to us. So what we essentially need to do is change our story and change up our vibration in order to attract and experience more in our reality.
We keep repeating the same patterns and stories. As we experience this vibration and it doesn't feel good, we keep visualizing and thinking about how we would want it to be, how we would want to experience it. This drives us to want more. We are beautiful creators so when we keep wanting and striving for the better thing, the Universe won't stop until it brings us there.
We feel our way through pain, in order to realize this is not where I want to be anymore. Then we can grow and expand and become greater versions of ourselves. So the Universe takes us through what we understand as 'lessons', we see the experience for what it is and we decide to let it go or we choose to remain the same. It always comes down to a choice.
If we sit and choose to blame others or we resent things that happened to us, we would never be able to experience anything beyond that. What we need to do is look at it as an experience and see what we can take away from it, look at it from a higher perspective. We need to take back our personal power.
Forgiveness is a process and some subjects are easier than others. Sometimes it can take years, but just know that once you even begin the work, you will have changed your own perspective and vibration, which will inevitably cause you to feel better.
The most important thing also to realize is, if we look at whatever story happened to us, we will realize that, as cliché as it sounds, everything really does 'happen for a reason', the good and the bad. The bad is normally occurring in order to lead us to the good. It never seems that way as we are struggling on through the process, nevertheless a positive result is always the outcome.
"Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace"- Jonathan Huie