I often say that forgiveness feels like taking off a suit of armor. It allows you to let go of the resentment, anger, and fear that weighs you down.
When I connect with the other side, forgiveness is a common theme.
I remember a father who came through at a workshop last year – he was desperate to have me deliver a message to his daughter. He could see that she was holding onto a lot of anger towards him, and wanted me to tell her he was sorry and to let her know why he had behaved in such a critical and unloving way when she was young. In short, he had been treated badly by his own father, and repeated that behavior with his own children. In the life review that all souls go through in the afterlife, he learned that this cycle had been going on in his family for generations. It had been his life goal to forgive his father and break the cycle, but he had died before he could complete it. His mission in the afterlife was to keep his daughter from repeating his mistake. “I can see that she is pregnant and I want her to forgive me and be free to give unconditional love to my grandchild.” When his daughter heard this, she realized that she had been carrying a heavy burden and it was time to let go, not for her fathers sake, but for her own sake and the sake of her unborn child.
For my young student, her father’s message motivated her to let go and embrace forgiveness. I could see the change in her as she released those old feelings that were blocking her, and let love flood in to replace them.
Refusing to forgive will actually keep you from attracting the things you want in your life, like love, happiness and peace of mind. Since you probably know all of that, what’s stopping you? Here are a few misconceptions that might be standing between you and blessed relief:
1) If you forgive, you have to forget.
Not true! It’s tough to wipe away memories of things that have hurt you, but luckily that’s not a prerequisite for forgiveness. What you can do is release the power those feelings have over you.
2) If you forgive, you have to stay “friends.”
Forgiving someone and allowing them to stay a part of your life are two separate, unrelated things. You can wish someone love and move on. Old resentments do have a way of casting a shadow over your new relationships– so let go of them for the sake of the new friends
3) Only saintly people are able to forgive.
Have you ever heard someone say “I’m just not the forgiving type”? Contrary to popular belief, forgiveness isn’t saintly, or even unselfish. When you forgive someone, you let go of the resentment associated with what they have done so YOU can move on. All it requires is some self-awareness and a little love to replace all that resentment!
4) If you forgive easily, people will be more inclined to hurt you again.
People will do what they do – their actions have more to do with them, than it does with you. All you can control is the effect their actions have on you. Remember (repeat after me) What other people do or think is none of your business!
5) Forgiveness should come with conditions.
Forgiveness isn’t dependent on anything or anyone other than you. When you make forgiveness conditional on the other person apologizing or “changing their ways,” you are giving that person all the power. Focus on your own Soul lesson – forgiveness. Let the other person discover their own truth in their own time.
6) Forgiving requires confronting the other person.
You can let go in any way that works for you. No one needs to know but you. I find that simple rituals can be very effective: write your grievance on a balloon and let it go, or write a letter to the other person – then burn it.
Is forgiveness a lesson you need to learn?
Forgiveness is something many of us were sent here to learn – and it’s one that will make your time on earth so much better!
Letting go of negative feelings about another person is the best thing you can do for yourself. So give yourself a gift – and forgive!