The Power of Forgiveness

I believe that the power that forgiveness has is highly underestimated, and often misunderstood.

There are different kinds of forgiveness.

One is when someone has done something that has offended us in some way, we find it in our heart to forgive them, we tell them so, and all is well again.

But then there is a more complex kind … forgiving someone who has hurt you so deeply, that you have carried resentment, sadness and sometimes anger from that experience, and are still holding on to it to this very day – even though the actual incident may have happened many years ago.  That person sometimes is not even in your life anymore!

Holding on to negative feelings from past experiences, continues to hurt you over and over.  The other person who was the cause of the initial upset, doesn’t even know that you’re still hurting – nor does your continued pain affect them.  It only affects you.  In a very negative way.

We know that holding on to negative emotions creates blocked energy within us.  This blocked energy can be very damaging, not just emotionally and mentally, but sometimes even physically.  It can lead to illness and disease.

Also, when you imagine or recall a feeling or thought, the subconscious mind does not know if this thought or feeling is imagined, or if you are actually having the experience in that moment.  So your brain sends signals to release the chemicals which will put you in the fight or flight mode – this is particularly concerning in that it creates stress.

Obviously then, the best thing for US to do, is to find a way to let go of it and release it.  One of the first steps to healing is forgiveness.  But it’s difficult when you are so incredibly hurt by someone, to think that you could possibly forgive them — after all, they don’t deserve it, right?  But YOU deserve it.

So make the decision that whatever happened, you are not going to allow it to hurt you any longer.  Take back your POWER!

Write a letter of forgiveness – not for them, but for you.  The only person who will see this letter is you.  I’ve found that the following simple process helps significantly.  Here are the 3 steps for the letter:

  1. WHY? – here explain “why” you want and need to write this letter of forgiveness;
  2. RANT – here you get to “rant”.  Just spill all your frustration, sadness, anger and disappointment with what happened and get it out of your head and onto paper; and
  3. BENEFITS – here you write down all the benefits YOU are receiving having forgiven this person.

After reading your letter a few times, you will eventually get a feeling of  “sigh – relief – release”.  When that happens – and it should feel like you just took a load off – you can then go ahead, grab a metal bucket or some other container, and BURN the letter. Closure.

We never forget what happened – unfortunately we don’t have a “delete” button.  But offering forgiveness will release YOU of the pain, anger, sadness, and allow you to move forward.  You will have released any emotional attachment you had to the memory of the experience.

It is very empowering – you have taken back your power – you have regained control of YOU, and that is a wonderful thing 🙂

From this day forward – choose YOU!