“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” Nelson Mandela
Forgiveness renews. It free us from the past, opens us to truth, and reconnects us with the original peace, love, joy and innocence of the soul. When we forgive we are choosing to let go of that which hurt us and is robbing us of experiencing peace, happiness and possibility today. We may need to forgive others, our-self or even both.
Getting things in perspective. In the UK, according to the Office of National Statistic, our average life span is around 80 years. Are you living your life overshadowed by something that happened 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 or 50 years ago? This is not to belittle whatever may have happened. It is to call on ourselves to recognize the impact that holding onto that incident is having on us today. It is ask ourselves if we want to still be living under its shadow in another 1, 5, 10, 20 or 50 years?
Now is the time. Why postpone your peace and happiness any longer? The sooner we forgive the easier it is too. The longer we hold onto something, the more ingrained it becomes in our consciousness. This can lead to us start to think of ourselves as a victim in more and more areas of our life. Thoughts like this block our ability to connect to our inner strength and resilience and we become weaker and weaker. So, don’t postpone, now is the time. One way to begin is to just start naming how you feel in the present moment. Name it with curiosity and without judgement towards yourself, others or the situation. Watch it pass rather than old onto it. If strong emotions come up it may help to talk to a friend or seek some professional support.
Gratitude opens the heart. An example of the power of gratitude is the story of a lady who experienced a traumatic incident that left her paralysed. She underwent de-sensitising therapy, which enables you to remember an incident without its’ emotional charge, however, she wasn’t really healing. The chief of a local American Indian tribe came to see her and told her to write a list every morning of 10 things she was grateful for. As she started doing this she found her heart opened, her will to heal grew and the rehabilitation treatment started to work. Today she is walking and has moved on from the incident.
Swap limiting beliefs for ‘original’ beliefs. Limiting beliefs are acquired beliefs. They are shaped by our experiences and can result in us harbouring sorrow and resentment unwittingly. Often they are around how other people should behave. If we meet someone who doesn’t behave as we expect them to we might, for example, feel offended by them. Only it might just be that they have a different belief system and there was no offence. How much are you ruled by your acquired belief systems rather than your original ones? Our original belief systems could also be called our value system. What are your true values? Some examples are, respect, patience, kindness, compassion and empathy.
Meditate to re-calibrate, Meditation helps us to re-calibrate ourselves to our original values, truth and dignity. The time out for this is never time wasted. It is investing in awakening our strength and resilience. Also, as we move back into our truth there is an automatic outward effect. Things can re-align and get resolved naturally. We are effectively future-proofing ourselves.
Gold Standard Future- proofing. In relation to forgiveness this is to invest in creating and cultivating an attitude good wishes for all. This further builds our inner strength and resilience, along with widening our capacity to be understand others better. We can understand that we are all looking for the same things, that is, for peace, love and happiness.