It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.
Recently, Brian and I went to a local farmers market. As we waited in line to sample some fresh produce, we spotted a little girl about four years old holding a frisky golden retriever on a leash. Suddenly the dog darted off, dragging his young mistress behind him. Before anyone could intervene, the girl tripped and fell, letting go of the leash in the process. Her mother quickly grabbed the dog and comforted her scuffed and sobbing daughter. “I’m SO MAD at Buddy” cried the little girl! “Why did he hurt me?” The dog tried to lick her face, but she was inconsolable…until a few minutes later, when we spotted the cute pair sharing a snack under a shady tree. All was forgiven.
Children have the right idea!
I’ve noticed that children have the best approach to forgiveness. For the most part, when they’re hurt, they get mad, cry, let their feelings out, and quickly get over it. As adults, we tend to mask our feelings, pushing them down because we’re afraid to let our anger show. But while it’s not always socially acceptable to throw a tantrum when something upsets you, there is a real consequence to not processing those negative feelings.
Keep the energy flowing.
We are all made up of energy. To maintain a healthy mind, body, and spirit, it’s important to let that energy flow freely. When you refuse to forgive, the resentment and anger you hold onto acts as toxic sludge, blocking the flow and slowing down the movement of energy, and preventing you from manifesting love, happiness and success!
Here are some “adult approved” ways to process resentment and let forgiveness work it’s healing magic!
- Put a smiley face on your computer or smart phone screen or stick it to your bathroom mirror as a reminder to “choose happiness” over anger.
- Take a walk, and listen to whatever song expresses your feelings – play it loud and “walk off” those negative emotions. You’ll get a workout PLUS feel emotionally cleansed.
- Jump in the lake, ocean, pool or bathtub. Picture the water washing away all the bad energy you’ve been harboring.
- Journal about whatever is on your mind – don’t censor yourself, have a tantrum on paper, and then turn the page!
- Perform a loving act for yourself. Buy yourself flowers or plant something beautiful in your garden.
Why should we let people get away with hurting us?
When we hold onto resentment, we are choosing to suffer. By making the choice to forgive we are choosing love over suffering. And if that seems a little too altruistic to you- it’s actually just the opposite. Forgiving someone who has wronged you is not “letting him or her off the hook” – it’s practicing the purest form of self-love. And for the record, you don’t have to keep going back for more. You can choose who you spend time with – and I recommend you give the gift of your presence and love to those who deserve it!
Shift Your Perspective – A Forgiveness Exercise
Is there one painful memory you just can’t let go of? You might need to ask your inner child for help. Try this exercise to get unblocked:
Imagine that you are relaxing in a beautiful park. Take a moment to picture where you’re sitting. Feel the bench beneath you, and the warmth of the sun on your back.
Now think about a person who has hurt or upset you – and who you have not forgiven. Think about why you’re angry. Spend a few moments reliving the incident and picture the person in your mind.
Now imagine a small child walking up to you. Perhaps they’re holding a ball or a teddy bear or riding a bike. Picture that innocent child’s face. Take a deep breath and ask the child for advice. Listen carefully to their reaction. They might say – “It’s ok, just forget about it!“ or “Stomp your feet on the ground and scream” they might even dismiss the whole thing and offer to play ball with you. Let their innocent perspective and childlike wisdom permeate your consciousness!
Forgiving the Unforgivable – sometimes you need a little help…
The truth is, forgiveness is something you ultimately do for yourself. You make the decision to forgive not because the other person necessarily deserves it, but because YOU deserve peace and happiness. Maybe you have mastered the art of ignoring small slights and petty grievances, but you need a little help in forgiving one MAJOR BETRAYAL. I can help! Join me on Tuesday, October 18th for my new webinar Forgiving the Unforgivable. I’ll guide you through exercises and immersions to help you let go of what’s holding you back, and let the good things flow!