Ahhh….Forgiveness. What does it mean? How do we really do it? Does it take a long time? Are others really worthy of our forgiveness? I can tell you that I have had my share of feeling anger, abandoned, hurt, betrayed, disappointed, beaten down…the list goes on and on. Because these feelings were so intense and were sitting so deeply inside of me, it took over both myself and my life for many years. I wasn’t even aware that I was feeling all of these emotions because rather than feeling them, I decided that is was better to stuff them deep down within myself all in an attempt to cover them up with ideas like

“I am strong”

“Feeling my pain will only create more pain”

“I can get through anything”

“It’s not safe to feel my emotions”

and the best one of all…

“I’ll just be positive”

When I finally surrendered to my REAL feelings and gave myself permission to authentically feel them I was able to open up to so many new insights. Here are just a few of them.

  •  The most loving thing we can do for ourselves is own and feel what we are experiencing so that we can release the old energy and free ourselves to welcome in new energy.  Pretending, denying and ignoring a part of us only sends ourselves the message that we aren’t worthy of our own attention.
  •  We are all worthy of our own attention. It’s not a selfish act, it’s a loving act of kindness. The more people that can be courageous enough to validate themselves instead of looking for comfort outside of  themselves in things such as relationships, jobs, food, money, drugs, alcohol etc,  the more we will begin to witness our world transform from  chaos and fear to peace and harmony.
  •  Feeling our pain helps us realize that the one that we believe hurt, betrayed or abandoned us was actually the one that is feeling the most hurt. We can never do to others what we aren’t actually experiencing within ourselves. This is just truth. Take it or leave it.
  • Feeling our pain  helps us to find compassion for the person that we believe has caused us pain. This allows our once closed and rigid heart to bloom, soften and open. We begin to see that this person is really the one that is in need of the most love.
  • The most powerful realization of all is that we realize the only one we ever truly needed to forgive was ourselves. We are the center of our entire existence. We are the common denominator in all of our experience. When we get really honest with ourselves we get to choose what to feel, how we choose to perceive others and ourselves and how we will respond to every circumstance that comes our way. Forgiving ourselves for believing that another could actually take our power is so miraculously transformative. The truth is we only ever have power over who we choose to be and how we choose to respond. We get to decide this in every moment and when we forget…the only thing to do is say, “I forgive myself for forgetting that my power lives within me.”

So if you are feeling like you are being called to forgive, but are feeling resistant to it, stop trying. Begin with acknowledging your own pain. Allow yourself to be hurt and feel all the emotions that this person is triggering within you. You owe yourself that gift. This is really where forgiveness begins. So often we forget to give ourselves permission to do this. This person is offering you a gift to your growth. This person is giving you a doorway that leads you to knowing yourself more deeply. It’s an invitation for you to ask yourself powerful questions about what you think and believe about yourself. Nobody can ever actually do anything “to” us. They can only help us to see what we couldn’t see before. They are the catalyst to us awakening to our Spirit. It’s a tremendous gift and when we are willing to receive this gift, our pain transforms into gratitude. Rather than saying “I forgive you,” we will find ourselves saying, “Thank you.”

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