A reader asks, “How do we forgive forever?”
I always assumed that once you forgave it was forever.
As I thought about this I recalled all the forgiveness work I had to do regarding a previous relationship.
It took a long, long time of repeatedly focusing on forgiving to “forgive forever.”
But after I had forgiven I could easily think of this person and wish them well whereas before, I couldn’t. Until I finally forgave every thought I had of the person brought up the anger and pain again. I worked on this continually though for nearly two years until I was free.
And that perhaps is the answer…
Unless the act we are forgiving only superficially wounded us, it’s going to take time to clear your heart of the negative emotions you’re hanging onto to get to being able to “forgive forever.”
Forgiveness has to be a daily effort.
One of the ways to clear your heart and forgive is to use a mantra such as the one from Ho’oponopono which is “an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness.” (Wikipedia).
The mantra is:
I’m sorry. Forgive me. Thank you. I love you.
Another powerful mantra that I have used is from Sahaja Yoga:
I forgive. I forgive everyone including myself.
You also have to want to forgive forever.
Some people say they do but really, deep down they enjoy being the victim and telling their story over and over. They’ve become emotionally addicted to the attention and sympathy they get when they tell their stories. If you hang onto to your story you’ll never forgive forever.
Another part of the forgiveness puzzle lies in actually “accepting” what has happened.
When you can’t accept what has happened what you’re really saying is that you cannot accept that your life has been changed forever. You are forcibly holding onto the past and what has been and deep down you’re probably not able to forgive yourself.
When someone does this it’s usually their way of not acknowledging fear and other toxic emotions such as guilt, humiliation, shame and embarrassment about how their lives have changed. The answer is to forgive yourself and then work on self-love and love for all of life in general.
Living with abuse
If the situation is ongoing – that’s entirely different. We all have free will and choice in our lives. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean putting up with abuse of any kind. Leave and end the relationship then begin working on forgiving.
It’s not going to be possible to forgive if you have a new fresh wound to heal each day. You’re not meant to be a martyr.
If you can’t leave – use the mantras and release the toxic emotions daily until you can leave.
The Scale of Consciousness
Holding onto anger and not forgiving someone ultimately hurts you not the person you’re angry with.
I had the privilege of seeing Dr. David R Hawkins demonstrate his “scale of consciousness” using muscle testing in 2007 while at an I Can Do It conference. The muscle testing clearly showed how what we feel and think affects the body. His work and many others since show that toxic emotions weaken the body and will eventually lead to illness.
Lower level emotions emit the lowest vibrations and hanging onto them does equate to “drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Hawkins created a scale of consciousness based on these emotions. (Check it out here.)
True forgiveness is being at peace. You’ll know when you have forgiven forever when you’re able to think about what happened and no longer have your emotions provoked.
You can forgive forever in fact, I recommend it. Let go, forgive, forget and move on.
Are you still holding onto anger? What is it costing you to not forgive?
Allow yourself to forgive and let go if you want to be achieve your dreams and success.
Do you want to be successful in your relationships, health, career and financially? Do you have a vision of your ideal life that you dream of living? I hope so.
If you don’t have a vision that inspires and motivates you to take action please contact me (here).
If you are still holding resentment and grudges against people for things that occurred in the past you will find it much more difficult to achieve the success you dream of.
How unresolved issues hurt you
Suppose you are still angry and resentful about what happened to your life after you went through a nasty divorce. Every time you think of your spouse you feel upset and anger boils up from within. Just the mere mention of his/her name instigates this reaction. And, the mere thought of running into them makes you feel as if you were punched in the gut.
Carrying around this unresolved anger and resentment weighs heavily on you. It’s always there in the back of your mind and makes you feel down every time it comes to mind. Not forgiving blocks the flow of your life energy and suppresses joy and that keeps you from living fully.
This caustic reaction affects you emotionally and physically. Countless studies have shown that negative emotions release a slew of toxic chemical reactions within your body. Over time holding onto anger and resentment will impact your health.
Here’s a quote to put it in perspective:
“In fact, not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith (1999)
When you think about it this quote makes a lot of sense. When we hold resentment and anger toward someone or some situation we feel justified because of “how bad it was.” We erroneously believe that this anger and resentment actually punishes the other party but it’s actually doing nothing to them and everything (in a negative way) to you.
Why not forgiving blocks you from achieving your dreams
You may be thinking, “My situation is not forgivable. What happened to me is so bad that if Angela heard my story she would agree with me that [insert your story] cannot be forgiven!”
If you’re thinking this I want to wake you up to the real issue about holding resentment and not forgiving. Forgiving is not about condoning what happened. For example, stealing is wrong but what good does it do you to hold onto the anger and resentment toward the thief? To forgive you need to accept what has happened and think, “It is what it is,” so you can let go and move on. You need to release the emotional charge that is keeping you bound to the event and stuck in the past.
Your energy cannot circulate
When you don’t move on a huge portion of your energy is sucked out of you to keep this anger and resentment alive each day. This is energy you could put toward making your life the joyous one you dream of. Not forgiving becomes a large hungry mass inside that continuously sucks life energy and blocks you from moving forward in your life. It keeps you stuck in the past and holds you hostage to it whether you realize it or not. It locks you into a victim mentality where your sad story defines and thereby shapes your life and what manifests because of it.
Every thought you think and emotion you consistently feel contributes to a pattern through which your life is created. Over time these repetitive thoughts and emotions coalesce into the situations in your life. The signal you broadcast when you don’t forgive is, “Hey world this is what I want so please send me more things to be angry about and resent, okay? Thanks!” That’s not really what you want, is it?
To forgive is to free yourself
If you have goals and dreams for your life you owe it to yourself to examine who and what you may need to forgive in your life. If you don’t forgive you will end up going in circles instead of making progress toward what you say you want. On the one hand you will dream of living this big great life and on the other you will cancel it out by holding onto and feeding this dark mass of resentment.
Think of it this way what do you want more: To live the life you dream of or to hold onto that anger and resentment that you erroneously believe is punishing the person/situation?
I believe if you really think about this you’ll want to forgive and move on to create the life you dream of.
How to forgive & let go in 5 steps
Years ago my spiritual mentor gave me a powerful mantra: I forgive. I forgive. I forgive everyone including myself.
I changed it to: I forgive. I forgive. I forgive everyone including “insert name of person you want to forgive” and myself.
1. Go within. Close your eyes and take in three deep breaths to relax.
2. Picture the person. In your mind’s eye see the person you want to forgive.
3. Use the mantra. Silently repeat the mantra over and over while seeing them smile and nod their head in agreement with you to show they have received and accepted your forgiveness.
Spend at least 5 minutes sending out your forgiveness to them. It’s okay if at first you really don’t feel the forgiveness. As you practice this over time you will begin to feel the difference.
4. Release the person. After 5 minutes see them wave to you and then begin to walk away and as they do become smaller and smaller and finally disappear. Walking away and disappearing represents you releasing them from the energetic hold your mind has had upon keeping this anger and resentment alive within you.
5. Commit to this process. Repeat this several times during the day. I recommend at least twice; once upon arising and once again before you go to sleep. Forgiving someone takes time. It’s not going to happen overnight. You must commit to practicing forgiving and keep doing it until you realize that thinking about the person/situation no longer brings up the negative reaction.
When I did this it took me about six months until one day I suddenly realized I could think about the person and not have that negative reaction. It was so liberating! My life changed for the better. (Actually the moment I consciously began doing the forgiveness work my life began to get better.) When I was truly free my life took off and my life changed dramatically. Now I can think of this person and not feel anything other than that I wish them well. This is the point you want to get to.
What has not forgiving cost you – in lost time – in lost joy? Be honest with yourself. Can you see how not forgiving punishes you and not the other person? Tell us about it in the comments.
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P.S. Is anger and resentment holding you back from living the great life you dream of? Contact me for a life purpose session to discover how to change things for the better – here.