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Forgiveness - How to Forgive Others

Lessons in Forgiveness of Resentment, Anger and Grievances

Forgiveness How to Forgive Others Image

Forgiveness and Health - Why Forgive?

Forgiveness is absolutely essential if we are to have good mental and physical health. Holding on to resentments, old and new, wears us down physically and mentally, causing tiredness of body and mind, as well as contributing to physical ailments and poor mental health.

If you remain angry with someone (anyone!) for long enough, that anger and the patterns and habits it creates will carry into all your relationships with others in all areas of your life. Create enough anger and think enough repetitive angry thoughts and you may create a tendency which could stay with you in lifetime after lifetime (if you believe in reincarnation, of course).

Definition of Forgiveness

Forgive: cease to feel angry or resentful towards (Oxford Compact English Dictionary)

Forgiveness Quotes

Holding on to resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die (Source: various)

Forgive them for they know not what they do (Jesus)

What Forgiveness is NOT

Forgiveness is not about trusting the other person again. Some people will continually hurt or let you down and are not to be trusted. So forgiving does not mean that you will continue to tolerate bad behaviour or any kind of abuse. You may choose to forgive but not have that person in your life.

Forgiveness is not condoning what the other person has done or excusing that behaviour. Perhaps "they" don't even care (or pretend not to). However, often the other person is not even aware of our resentment towards them or how much we are hurting ourselves because of our feelings. In any case, things are never set in stone - anger makes us see things out of proportion to how they happened and may give us a false sense of justification for how we feel. However bad we feel those past events were, it's time to start to find a fresh willingness to let go.

What is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness is accepting what has happened, perhaps looking at the part you may have played in it, and letting go of your own personal anger and negative emotions around it. It's about changing the way you think about something that happened in the past - about losing the victim mentality. Even if you feel that you played no part in what happened, it's still time to release your feelings for the sake of your health and happiness. According to Louise Hay, the person you least want to forgive is the one you need to forgive the most.

This is unlikely to be an easy process. If you've been holding on to anger and resentment for a long time, then on some level you obviously don't want to let it go. Recognising that such negative emotions cause unhappiness and dis-ease in your own life should help you to find the willingness to begin to let go.

Perhaps the person you need to forgive most is yourself. We are going to look at that in another article later on. In the meantime, we will look at ways and methods of forgiving other people. You could adapt these methods if you feel you need to forgive yourself.

How to Forgive Others - Methods of Letting Go

#1 Affirmations

When used correctly and regularly affirmations can be extremely powerful. They work to penetrate your subconscious (and superconscious) and change your way of thinking. You can use the affirmations below or you can make up your own. Affirmations should always be positive (check and re-phrase any negative words) and in the present tense. Include the person's name in your affirmation and, where appropriate, what they did.

Affirmation: [Name], I forgive you for not being what I wanted you to be. I forgive you and I set you free. (Louise Hay)

I cast the burden of my resentment (anger, negativity or whatever word suits you best) on the Christ within and I go free to be happy, healthy and harmonious. (Florence Scovel Shinn)

[Name], I forgive you for what happened between us/what you did to me [or specify what they did] and I release myself from all related negativity, anger, resentment and grievances. I am free.

#2 A Course In Miracles - Lesson 121

According to the Course in Miracles, forgiveness is the key to happiness. This text is claimed to be channelled from Jesus and is a spiritual masterpiece. Through forgiveness, we learn to remember our real (God) selves and to find the truth behind the illusion of materiality. Even if you are not interested in spirituality you can still use the gist of the lesson to help you forgive others or yourself.

Think of the person that you need to forgive. Now close your eyes and see him in your mind, and look at him a while. Try to perceive some light in him somewhere; a little gleam which you had never noticed. Try to find some little spark of brightness shining through the ugly picture that you hold of him. Look at this picture till you see a light somewhere within it, and then try to let this light extend until it covers him, and makes the picture beautiful and good.
Click here for ACIM lesson 121 full text.

#3 EFT (Tapping) Script for Forgiveness/Letting Go

Tapping or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is an extremely effective way of letting go of negative emotions by tapping on the meridian points of the body. I have seen for myself the amazing and sometimes instant benefits of a tapping session. Once you learn to use EFT, you can write your own scripts to help deal with virtually any problem. Follow the link below for more information and a tapping script that you can use to forgive others:
Tapping Script - "I Refuse to Forgive" by Nick Ortner.

#4 Write a Letter

Sit down and write a letter to the person you need to forgive explaining what they did to you and why it hurts so much. You should start to feel better once you have done this. You may choose to send the letter or to destroy it in a ceremony of letting go. Or perhaps you could use the letter as the basis for having a conversation with that person, if they are still in your life. If you choose to do this, bear in mind the points given in the paragraph entitled "What Forgiveness is NOT" above. You may or may not receive a loving response and need to be prepared for this.

#5 Meditation and Contemplation

Meditating and contemplating the disadvantages of anger is a Buddhist method for reducing anger and delusions and forgiving others. When we are angry, we turn into a red faced demon. That's not a pretty sight. We rant and rave and express our displeasure to others trying to infect them with our anger, rage and our perceived injustices. Often when we calm down, we realise what an idiot we have been and then we have to try to make things right with apologies and the like.

Anger and resentment pollute our mind and affect our bodies, secreting poisons in the form of hormones which trigger the fight or flight response. When we spend time contemplating the disadvantages of anger then hopefully we shall want to resolve to try harder not to get angry in the future. And we will realise the importance of forgiveness for our peace of mind and our quality of life.

#6 The Sedona Method

The Sedona Method is another effective method for releasing negative emotions and physical and mental pain. It was conceived by Lester Levinson to cure his body of terminal illness. You can learn more about using the Sedona Method to relieve negative feelings and learn some more techniques for forgiveness here.

#7 Other Lessons in Forgiveness

All methods of forgiveness basically involve changing the way that we think about an event that happened in the past that we perceive was caused by somebody or something which we are now (perhaps years later) holding responsible for how we are feeling now. In some cases, it is easier to see why a person is still angry, but the fact still remains that it is our own lives that we hold back by continually replaying resentment and refuelling our own pain. Other methods of release involve recognising our own patterns of thought and taking responsibility for them. This is really just growing up. We need to learn to love, accept and approve of ourselves, whilst making improvements to ourselves when and where we can. Find an exercise for loving yourself here.

If, after reading this article, you still have no idea where to begin forgiving something that happened in the past that is affecting your life now, you may consider seeking the advice of a therapist. After all, you owe it to yourself to let go of the past so that you can live in the present and look forward to a happy future, free of anger and resentment.

Forgiving Others - Conclusion

We have looked at some of the methods that you can use to forgive others. Forgiveness is so important if you wish to lead a happy life, get better health, or progress on the spiritual path. Jesus, the masters, Buddhists and all religions extol the virtues of love and forgiveness and tell of the disadvantages of not forgiving - the harm caused by hatred, anger and resentment. In our heart of hearts, we all know which of these emotions makes us feel better and which ones make us feel worse.

Resentment and anger spoil your chance of a happy life. However much you are hurting from your past, I encourage you to look deep inside yourself to try to find the willingness to forgive. Learn to forgive others and yourself so that you can find the inner peace that we are all searching for.

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More Power of the Mind Articles

• Mind Power - Your Mind as Creator of Your Reality • Mind Power Home - Mind Definition - What is Mind? • How Does Meditation Calm and Relax Your Mind? • Change Your Mind, Change Your Life - 6 Reasons to Meditate Regularly • Power of Thought - How to Change the World • How to Stop Emotional Pain, Hurt and Suffering • Dealing with Difficult People - Using Assertiveness in Your Communication with Others • Understanding the Law of Attraction - I Summarise What it Has Taken Me Many Years to Learn • How to Forgive Others - Lessons in Forgiveness of Resentment, Anger and Grievances