When someone says, “Just Do It” you might think the next words that follow are “Nike”. In this case, I am referring to forgiveness! I know it might seem dull or you might be thinking, “I don’t have anyone to forgive”, but everyone has at least one person or event to forgive. You might even just need to forgive yourself. Are there any perfectionists out there beating themselves up for not doing it “right”? Due to the stigma of seeking the help of mental health specialists, emotions and events can often go unprocessed by the majority of people. People stuff things down or push feelings aside so they can “get on” with life. What people don’t realize is that those emotions are still are waiting to be processed like a stack of unfinished paperwork on your desk. If you ignore things, long enough that is when the stack will become too tall, fall over, then cover your entire desk. When the whole desk is covered (this can manifest as an illness), you have the take the time to deal with it. When I was in massage school ten years ago, one of my classmates constant refrains to everyone was “build a bridge and get the f*** over it.” If “getting over it” was as easy as saying it, people would do it all the time. Forgiveness is a process with many layers. Here are a few tips for forgiveness:
# 1 – Be Patient with Yourself
Healing can take time. Some healing is instantaneous and I am open to receiving that. I ask you to affirm that too. Often those “instantaneous” healing are really just a culmination of all the forgiveness work, consciously or unconsciously, a person has already been doing. Be open to the idea of miracles anyway though. Laurence J. Peter is a Canadian writer who is known for the quote, “Don’t believe in miracles, depend on them.” Forgiveness is a miracle. Wouldn’t it be nice to have complete forgiveness strike like lightning? You could see it happen, experience the power of it, and know it happened. Done. Check that off the list. Forgiveness is powerful like lightning which is why we tend to let it in incrementally. Like a lightning strike, if we let it in all at once we would probably be reeling with the change.
# 2 – Seek Help
Albert Einstein is known for having said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” When we are in the midst of a situation, it can be difficult to see clearly. Having an objective third party help you to work through the situation, new or old, can help you to move forward in a healthy manner. Sometimes, we may not know how to make changes. We are powerful co-creators in life. Some part of us drew that experience to ourselves, but for what purpose? What is the lesson? Having someone else help you see a bird’s eye perspective can help you see both sides of an issue and dig into the meaning. Forgiveness does not excuse what the other person did, but it sets you free. By forgiving others, you are claiming your energy and power back from that situation. With forgiveness you are saying, this event no longer holds power over me.
#3 – Be patient with others and kind to yourself
Louise Hay taught for years that everyone is doing the best they can at that moment. When you don’t feel like others are measuring up to your expectations, frustrations can rise… to say the least. Use each experience as an opportunity for growth. The world around us can be a mirror of what is going on inside of us. Sure, sometimes other people’s egos get in the way; that is part of the human experience. The way others phrase something to you may not have been the most kind way to teach you a spiritual lesson. After an encounter, ask yourself what themes I am seeing? If everyone treats you poorly, perhaps you need some self-love mirror work from one of Louise Hay’s books. No one would consciously say, “I don’t love myself. I am worthless. I don’t deserve anything good in my life. I don’t like to be treated with kindness.” Clear/Cancel/Delete all of those examples. Unconsciously, people can be saying exactly those examples though. Gregg Braden in his book, The Divine Matrix, talks about how low self-esteem, trust, and fear are the common conditions everyone has to work though in life. When you are aware of that those kind of thoughts may pop up, you can more easily identity those emotions and affirm something better. Although it might seem arbitrary, our thoughts do create our reality so be mindful of what you give your attention to the most. I am not saying to ignore your problems. Instead, focus on the solution more than the problem. Focus on taking steps that help you feel good about life and yourself. Remember you always have the power of choice. Even if it feels like you don’t have the choice, you do. You always have the choice to forgive. You also have the choice to say “f*** this” and hitchhike to another city. While most people probably wouldn’t do that, it is a choice. Your choices are endless. You are a unique expression of life. You are a part of the universe on an exploration of what it means to be you at this time. You are more powerful than you give yourself credit for. Next time others treat you poorly, please affirm “I love and approve of myself. I deserve the very best in life. I am willing to change. I am changing. I move beyond other people’s fears and limitations. My life is always improving.”
What other tips do you have for forgiveness?
Eva Borho, M.A., L.M.T., Intuitive Author, Spiritual Teacher, Holy Fire Reiki Master