Forgiveness...can you hear the haunting organ music when forgiveness is mentioned? Forgiveness elicits a wrinkled brow and a sinking feeling in many of us. How can we possibly forgive someone who has wronged us? If we forgive, do we have to rekindle a relationship with someone from the past? Does this person deserve our charity? Furthermore, if we do forgive those who have wronged us, how can we honestly feel a release from the anger, hurt, disappointment, grief, wound to our self-value, animosity, teeth-grinding and jaw-clenching rage that we hold inside? Can we truly let go of the grudge? Is it possible to be able to forgive and forget? Even if we should forgive, why would we want to?
We want to forgive to free our lives and cut the tie that binds us and our lives to the transgressor. To forgive does not mean you have to become friends with the person who hurt you. Instead, forgiveness can be the agent that frees you to move on and lighten your energy. Many spiritual teachers point out that we form a strong bond to the people we feel injured us. This bond holds us captive until we forgive--only forgiveness cuts the binding tie.
Look at circumstances in our own lives and yield to this understanding: People who are malicious, untrustworthy, emotionally disconnected, or incapable of caring actually "know not what they do." This recognition does not excuse the person, but it helps us to release our inner struggle with the notion that this individual could have done something different. The person was not spiritually or emotionally evolved enough to handle it differently. This knowing, at the soul level, is where we release the bondage and pain of our injuries.
Write a letter to the people you feel have hurt you. In this letter, let them know what they did to hurt you, why it hurt you, and how disappointed or angry you are due to the transgression. Once you are in touch with the pain, you might ask why they did what they did to you and how they would respond now to your pain. The writing of this letter allows you to gain insight and perspective, whether the infraction was intentional or unintentional. You do not mail the letter to the person. It is a tool to assist you in releasing your pain and beginning to forgive. You may gain understanding that people, sometimes, are not evolved emotionally and may have been doing their best at the time. While their behavior is not acceptable, this bit of information may help you free the weight that is keeping you down and sinking in your pain.
Reply to yourself with a letter from that person. This is your chance for them to say to you, "I'm sorry for hurting you," and perhaps to salve your wound. During this part of the healing, the sting will lessen. Would you like for the person to say, "I was wrong to treat you this way"? If so, write this response. Do not suppress your emotions when writing this letter. This is a great opportunity for you to allow a sigh of real relief in the forgiveness process.
Use visualization. Another effective forgiveness process is to imagine a gold frame surrounding the face of anyone with whom you would like to
forgive. See them inside the frame and visualize the frame and their
image transforming to gold dust. Blow the gold dust out into the
universe and watch it dissipate into the air and trickle out into space. This beautiful exercise helps you break down the negative energy
and transform it for healing. One additional and interesting forgiveness process is a balloon release image. Place everyone you are ready to forgive in an open field together and tie a balloon to each one. As you work with forgiving each individual, visualize the person floating up to the sky and out into eternity as your pain and grief float away with each person you release.
Release the anger from your body. One final forgiveness process is through channeling the anger, pain and frustration into Mother Earth and experiencing a transformation of energy. See the negative energy as an orange light traveling through your body, through the spine and chakras, then down and out of the bottoms of your feet into the earth. Observe the energy as it transforms into a rainbow of light energy, lifting from the earth and expanding out into the universe. Try variations of this process and the visualizations. Sometimes you may allow this rainbow of light to travel up and around the body, and reenter through the crown chakra on the top of the head and then leave the body through the heart chakra in small, heart-shaped rainbows or solid pastel hearts, sending love and light out to the world.
Continue working with these processes until thinking of the
person who hurt you no longer stings or causes tension. When you
reach a point of forgiveness, you feel detached and indifferent in
relationship to the event or person connected to the internal strife
you formerly experienced. This detachment may come and go at
first, until you finally forgive and no longer feel pain when you think
of the event or individual. Make this a pleasant--not dreaded--process.