How to Forgive

90914684forgivenessForgiveness can ease our pain, forgiveness can liberate us from the past and forgiveness can make us feel healthier and more positive. Without it we are lost in pain. Of course we can choose to remain in that pain, but it will do nothing for our evolution. It should be easy to forgive, but some of us find it hard to acknowledge we feel resentful about someone. We think we are “bad” people if we experience negative emotions. But we still need to understand why we nurture resentment, and work through the feelings if we want to be happy. In the final analysis we can only let go of the anger and pain, if we learn to forgive.

Forgiveness is a choice to move on from painful experiences. To let go of memories that hold us back from fulfilling our potential. When we feel pain it blocks our capacity to create the best for our lives. No matter how horrible someone might have been towards us, they suffer guilt for their actions, and the law of cause and effect will fall upon them. You see by hurting us they hurt themselves, as we are all one. The consequences of creating unhappiness are far more severe on the perpetuator. This is hard to see in the short term, especially when human horrors can be severe and heartless. But sooner or later the axe will fall, the cruel, unkind and merciless will pay a personal price and guilt will haunt them unless they can forgive themselves for what they did, of course.

The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama, one of the greatest spiritual leaders in the world today, states that forgiveness is good for our health. That forgiveness can even help us live longer. Even though the Dalai Lama realizes that it is a challenge to move on from hate, with meditation and a commitment to positive thinking, be believes we still can do it. In a recent interview with Kevin Farrow of the International Well Being Magazine, the Dalai Lama said “To reduce hatred and other destructive emotions, you must develop their opposites – compassion and kindness. If you have strong compassion, strong respect for others, then forgiveness is much easier.”

The Tibetan Forgiveness Meditation

The Tibetan Forgiveness Meditation helps this process. Sit in a quiet place, and breathe deeply. Perhaps with some soft music playing in the background, and after lighting a Pink candle to love. Now start to imagine someone you adore, see them in detail, and sense warmth growing within your heart. It could be anyone you love, even your pet budgie, but the important thing is that you pick up on the positive emotions as you imagine this person standing before you. Start gathering together all the people you like and love, as they come towards you one by one, stay with the feelings of love and breathe into, them, extending them to the people you care for. Now imagine a person you feel misjudged, hurt or was cruel and unkind to you. No matter how destructive their actions were, see them standing in front of you asking for forgiveness, breathe deep three times and project all the love in your heart onto them, saying these words as many times as you can, “I forgive you!”

Another way to forgive is to write a letter to the person concerned, telling them what you feel, and informing them that you are letting go of all your resentments against them. If the person we need to forgive is a close relative, or friend, we can call them up and ask to meet them. We can then tell them face to face how we feel, and that we want to rid ourselves of the sense of sadness, loss and unhappiness they caused us and build a forgiveness bridge, perhaps by doing something good like helping a child, or contributing to a charity.

Kevin Farro

Kevin Farro of the International Well Being Magazine also stated in an article; “The ramifications of closing your heart on your physical health are profound, but they are still generally unrecognized. In the 1990’s, Dr Dean Ornish’s famous study of the treatment of coronary patients showed that even ‘untreatable’ heart disease could begin a process of healing when the patients went through a personal emotional counselling process with their partners and family. The publication of Ornish’s study in ‘The Lancet’ and most of the other major medical journals, has ensured that the cutting edge of health professionals acknowledge the link between heart problems and emotional blockage. What isn’t recognized by western medicine is how far this closing of the heart affects the body.”

Medical results therefore demonstrate that holding on to resentments could kill us. So would it not be better to forgive, and as a result learn to live a joyful and long life?

Swim with Dolphins

Another way to heal our hurt hearts could be to swim with dolphins. They are known to help the depressed and emotionally wounded feel alive again. So if the pain of others’ hurtful actions towards you feels as if it will never go away, arrange a holiday with the dolphins. You will laugh again and again and that laughter might show you how easy forgiveness really is! But remember to learn to forgive; we must recognise the hurt within us first. It is always easier to blame others it is hard to face that we too could have hurt another, but it is very likely that we have done, because nobody is totally perfect, So as you learn to forgive yourself realise that you are taking a brave step towards a life filled with happiness.