Is it just me? Didn't think so. People do some pretty shitty things.
I didn't realize it but for many years I carried around the shitty things that had been done to me like a badge of honour. This person did this, someone else did that. My feelings were hurt, lines were crossed, it wasn't fair.
I'd have long internal conversations with myself about how I had been wronged. It was wrong and people suck sometimes. I wanted to cocoon myself and never come out.
Then I started to do some spiritual work. The very first book I read about this kind of 'spiritual stuff' was Gary Zukov's 'The Seat of the Soul.' A light went on for me. I realized that if I wanted to change my experiences I had to start to embrace forgiveness. I had to let go of anger.
Wanting to do something and actually doing it are two different things. I took baby steps in self evolution. I practiced forgiveness here and there. Then I went to do my very first ten days of silence, aka Vipassana Meditation, and the blinders came off.
It hit me like a tonne of bricks that I had to stop carrying grudges and let go of my own anger. Why? No matter how good it felt to hold all these grudges I was really miserable. And I wasn't progressing in my life. Since that realization I've adopted a couple of simple forgiveness practices.
I don't do them all the time. But when I feel stuck in my life or I find myself holding judgments against others I do my forgiveness practices again. I usually do them after morning meditation when my mind is clear. I also tend to do them as a part of rounds of tapping (EFT), to see what comes up for me emotionally. The tapping helps to clear the emotion as they come up.
I sometimes use the Hawaiian prayer also known as the Ho'oponopono prayer. It's words are quite simple but powerful- “I love you. I'm sorry. Forgive me. Thank you.” If you're grounded within yourself and you start to repeat these words you will definitely find some emotions bubbling to the surface. Don't judge them or try and figure out where they're coming from. Simple allow them to rise and pass away.
The other prayer I use sometimes is this- "if there is anyone who has hurt me in the past knowingly or unknowingly, I forgive and release it. If I have hurt anyone in the past, knowingly or unknowingly, I forgive and release it for the highest good of others and myself."
You're welcome to choose either prayer. When you start to do a forgiveness practice, do it for a period of time. For example commit to the practice for 30 days. If there's a particular person who has harmed you, see if you can picture then as you do the practice. If you're working with deeply traumatic experiences please seek the help of a professional.
There are many layers to forgiveness work. It may take time to clear whatever emotions are coming up for you. When you're working on forgiveness towards another person, it's not that you condone their actions. They may have harmed you in unspeakable ways. You're forgiving them so that you're no longer holding onto pain. You're actually setting yourself free.
I hope these practices serve you. Please email me and let me know how it goes with your forgiveness practice. Please share this blog with anyone you think would benefit. Until next time, be well.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash