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?
Spiritual Laws of Success: How to Gain the Support of the Universe
Do you ever wonder how some people seem to get everything they want?
You know the kind of people I’m talking about, the ones who appear to have been born under a lucky star?
Everything goes their way and each time they set out to accomplish something not only to do they but, they make a smashing success out of it.
Whatever they touch or desire to bring about unfolds elegantly and almost magically with the Universe supporting them with one synchronicity or serendipitous event after another. They set out to do something and “suddenly” the money appears to complete their project (synchronicity) or they meet a person out of the “clear blue” who profoundly changes the direction of their life forever afterward (serendipity).
These types of people aren’t born under a lucky star at all.
In fact there is a “system” to how they behave and how they think that you can emulate in order to gain the support of the Universe too.
They are simply following the spiritual laws of success, whether they realize it or not, which results in the Universe mirroring back to them exactly what they put out.
The Universe isn’t random
Whatever we do, think and say creates the response and reaction we get from the Universe. If we don’t like the reactions we are getting it means WE have to change because one thing is for sure, the Universe isn’t about to.
The “Universe” is a self-organizing system that reacts to our actions. This means that there is an underlying program that runs the Universe. And this program has been set to react in specific ways to our actions, which is a good thing because it shows there is a pattern we can study and learn from. If we put in a bit of effort to study the actions of successful people we too can learn how to better interact with the Universe in order to achieve greater results.
Spiritual Laws of Success
The spiritual laws of success I’m referring to come from Raymond Holliwell’s book, “Working with the Law.”
How to get the Universe to Support You by properly using the Spiritual Laws
1. Law of Thinking: Watch your thoughts. Do not allow yourself to go down a path of negative thinking about anything. Stop complaining! You push away your good when you do that.
2. Law of Supply: Think Big. Don’t limit your supply by focusing on what you don’t have. The Universe is unlimited and your life is unlimited. Only you put limitations upon it.
3. Law of Attraction: Create a strong desire and expect that it will manifest. Your desire must be a vibrational match for what you desire. See it, feel it and know that it will manifest and and act as if it already has.
4. Law of Receiving: Focus on what you can give others. The more you give the more you will get. When you are only focused on getting or believe you’re “owed” something the law of receiving won’t work.
5. Law of Increase: Praise increases your good. Use positive affirmations. See the good in every situation and then focus on that. The more you praise or “bless” a situation the more increase you will see.
6. Law of Compensation: The more you put in the more you’ll get back. The only way to become successful is to work at it. You can’t just dream about it and expect to be compensated. You have to do the work.
7. Law of Non-Resistance: Quit focusing on obstacles. Go around them instead! If something stands in your way find another way instead. There is always a solution and you find it when you stop obsessing about the obstacle.
8. Law of Forgiveness: Increase the flow of good in your life by forgiving. Forgiving allows you to release the energy around the situation that was frozen within you. This frees you and frees up the flow of good.
9. The Law of Sacrifice: Nothing comes without a price. If you really want to do something it will entail sacrifice of some sort. There are only 1,440 minutes in a day. You have to make hard choices sometimes to get where you want to go.
10. Law of Obedience: You can’t outsmart the laws that govern the Universe. Use them properly and they work for you. Use them improperly and they will work against you.
11. Law of Success: Take action now. Nothing is more empowering than action. Let go of excuses, overcome your fear and indecision and take a stand for your success.
This is what successful people do to gain the support of the Universe. Are you ready to do what it takes to take a stand for your success? If so the Universe will have your back too.
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Photo credit: Fotolia©-Kirill-Kedrinski
We can learn some great life lessons from the famous quotes of Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou passed away this week on May 28th at age 86. She was an award winning memoirist and poet. Her accomplishments and accolades were extensive. Articles about her life, her leadership and accomplishments abound.
I first heard Angelou’s name in connection with her book, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.” While I never read the book (just ordered a copy today- finally) Angelou’s book title always struck a chord with me.
As a young adult still living under my parents’ roof I deeply related to the title; identifying to being trapped and powerless to change my environment yet choosing to sing anyway.
Whenever I had the opportunity to watch an interview with her I was always blown away by her keen insight and wisdom. I loved many of her quotes but until now I never realized the magnitude of her body of work.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Nothing will work unless you do.
If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.
The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise
I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
We need much less than we think we need.
When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.
When you learn, teach, when you get, give.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
Have an attitude of gratitude:
The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas. The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising. Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude. If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow. Today I am blessed
Be present in all things and thankful for all things.
When we find someone who is brave, fun, intelligent, and loving, we have to thank the universe.
Success is loving life and daring to live it.
I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.
Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.
A person is the product of their dreams. So make sure to dream great dreams. And then try to live your dream.
How to love:
If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.
Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.
Transformation isn’t easy
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
Love life. Engage in it. Give it all you’ve got. Love it with a passion because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.
To those who are given much, much is expected.
Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.
You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.
I do not trust people who don’t love themselves and yet tell me, ‘I love you.’ There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.
Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.
If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?
You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.
I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated.
Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.
It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.
It is this belief in a power larger than myself and other than myself which allows me to venture into the unknown and even the unknowable.
We wish Maya Angelou farewell as she “ventures into the unknown and even the unknowable.”
How has Maya Angelou’s work inspired you? Is there a wonderful quote or passage from her work that I left out that you would like to share?
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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.
How emotional pain imprisons you
Pain springs from many sources. Most common is a loss of some type such as the loss of a loved one, loss of a relationship, loss of job and income, loss of your health, loss of sense of self and the loss of a way of life you previously had such as through divorce. The source of the emotional pain may be different but the results are the same; imprisonment by your pain.
Pain holds you hostage. When you’ve been wounded deeply the result is trauma and standing still with your life for fear of being open and vulnerable to more pain. Pain keeps us frozen in place for years unless it’s addressed. Is your emotional pain paralyzing you?
Measure your pain.. Take the quiz:
1. Have you suffered incredible loss such as the losing someone close to you, lost a job/career, income, financial stability, your health, gone through a divorce?
2. Do you long to change your life but feel afraid of stepping into the unknown?
3. Do you yearn for a greater, bigger more fulfilling life?
4. Do you feel confused about your direction?
5. Are you overwhelmed because you’re working harder than ever before?
6. Does your indecisiveness lead you to contemplate giving up at times?
7. Are you uncomfortable opening up and asking for help?
8. If you were to review your life over the last few years would you notice not much has changed?
If you said yes to two or more of these questions your emotional pain is holding you back from achieving your goals and living a life you love.
How pain paralyzed me
After the economic melt down in 2008 my income declined dramatically. The following year it declined again and every year after that. I went from spending without a care to living in lock-down mode not buying a thing I didn’t have to. I sold my home to conserve my resources. If I had stayed in my house I would have burned through a retirement account it had taken me twenty plus years to acquire.
The industry I was in was decimated by the financial crisis. I frantically applied for jobs in other industries only to be turned down. No one would hire me because I had no experience outside of this one area.
I didn’t know what to do with myself to rebuild my income. I remained in the industry I knew just to stay afloat and changed employers a few times hoping things would get better. By the time I was making some money again I had lost interest in my career and it became a huge chore to do it again day in and day out. But I so feared not having an income that I remained stuck by refusing to walk away from my job for the “security” it gave me. Then one day I woke up and knew I just couldn’t do it anymore.
Release your emotional pain
I realized I had allowed my pain to imprison me in a life I didn’t love. My fear of loss of income kept me working full time. Every other spare minute was spent writing and publishing and having private sessions with clients. Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to make it through some days. I had too much to do, too many obligations and responsibilities, too little time and no support.
The moment I comprehended what my emotional pain was doing to me I had a mental shift and opened to the possibility of reaching out for help. I saw that “staying afloat” was not the same as living. I allowed myself to begin dreaming again and I remembered that I had big dreams.
Connecting to my pain and seeing how much it was costing me to “stay afloat” in order to avoid the fear of the unknown empowered me and turned on the “lightbulb above my head.”
“Your wound is the place where light enters you.” –Rumi
I realized that my fears about the loss of money had kept me stuck at a certain level for far too long. I committed right then to do things differently from that moment on. I felt my enthusiasm for life returning. The next day I woke up excited about the prospect of changing my life.
The more enthused I became about playing full out and going after what I wanted the more wonderful opportunities came to me. By not being afraid any longer I had released a flood of power that had been frozen inside of me. This wave moved me forward smoothly, easily and most effortlessly.
Realizing how your emotional pain has been holding you hostage can inspire an epiphany and empower you to move forward just as easily too. You just need to know the system to be released from your pain and have those prison gates open.
The simple 8 step method for releasing the power trapped beneath your pain:
1. Acknowledge the pain. Sometimes the pain is too great. You don’t want to look at it because looking at it opens the wounds again. The problem is that cramming a painful memory way down is not a solution. The pain is frozen mass inside that blocks the circulation of life energy. Bringing it up to the surface of your awareness where you can heal is what releases the power to move forward in your life.
2. Forgive. Forgive yourself and anyone else whom you believe may have contributed to the situation. For example, I was angry about what happened in my industry and about how my my lucrative career had been taken away. To find who or what to forgive look to what you’re angry about. Forgiveness frees you from dragging this painful burden around with you. It gives you permission to live again!
3. Be grateful. Find the good in everything. There is always a silver lining no matter how things appear. For example, now I see that had my industry not imploded I would not have had the opportunity to grow and change. I wouldn’t have developed the desire to have my own business either. It’s actually been a great lesson. Where you can you be grateful and find the good in your own situation?
4. Focus on what you want. The more attention you give to the things you don’t like or want in your life the more of your awareness they consume. Start thinking about what you do want instead. Allow yourself to dream and dream big! When a situation or condition arises that you would rather not have in your life ask yourself what you would like instead? Play that scenario over in your mind rather than the one you dislike.
5. Claim your good! Staying afloat is not living and it is certainly not claiming the good the Universe has in store for you. When we allow our pain to paralyze us we live each day just to get through it. This fearful attitude keeps our good at bay. You are here to live up to your highest potential and to have, be and do whatever you desire but you have to claim your good. To claim your good believe you deserve to live a better life.
6. Tame your fears. I love this quote from Mark Twain: “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” The truth is that most of what we fear never happens. Fear is imaginary and keeps us from jumping fully into our lives. Make a vow to stop worrying and listening to your fears.
7. Listen to your intuition – it knows the way. Your intuition is that voice inside that keeps nudging you to be more, to live up to your potential and go after what you want. If you follow your intuition you will not fail to bring forth the exciting life you dream of. You stop listening to your intuition when you allow your fear to be the predominant voice you listen to. You wouldn’t have this voice inside pulling you toward accomplishing certain things if you already didn’t possess the capability and power to achieve them.
8. Get support. There’s a mystique especially in Western culture that upholds the lone individual as a hero and role model. It’s not the reality. Everyone needs support. Everyone needs community. Everyone needs to learn from more successful people. Find a mentor, hire a coach or join a mastermind. The truth is if you could have done it alone you would have done it already, right?
What power would you release if you dealt with your pain? What has holding onto your pain really cost you? Join the conversation. Leave a comment.
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P.S. Is pain paralyzing your life? Contact me to schedule a life purpose reading to discover how to change it – here.