Spiritual Sunday: How To Forgive
“The weak can never forgive
Forgiveness is the attribute
of the strong.”
It’s so true…. It is so much harder to forgive… than to not forgive.
But holding onto anger, sadness and hatred can only hurt us.
I say “us”… as this is something that I will be working on right along with you. Forgiveness is not one of my fortes…. in fact I am down right bad at it. What is true forgiveness? It’s being able to let go of negative thoughts and feelings…. being able to go in deeply and rid the anger from our body, mind and spirit. Forgiveness is not just a formality…. it’s a state of mind.
Holding on to anger, resentment, saddness and grudges of all kinds can affect our physical bodies…. and cause illness of all kinds. Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation… Forgiveness is one person’s response to another persons perceived injustice.
Forgiveness is NOT forgetting… it’s the process of acknowledging to ourselves the wrong that was done to us. So please note that we do not have to forgive and forget…. nor do we need to excuse or condone…. we are not minimizing or justifying. We can always choose to move on from the relationship if it is not healthy. Forgiveness is such a powerful choice… I am not saying easy…. but powerful.
A big part of forgiveness is self forgiveness…. We must be able to forgive ourselves as well…. because in most cases it is necessary to move on. One of my favorite sayings… and sums up forgiveness…. “Being angry at someone else is like holding a hot coal and expecting them to get burned”
Now mind you…. I am by no means an expert on forgiveness…. nor am I on expert on a lot of the subjects that I tackle. What I am an expert on… research. I will never write about anything that I have not researched at least 4 times. For this story…. I read over 50 articles on “Forgiveness.” I will take days even weeks researching my subject…. or at least until the cows come home….. Let’s get started.
The Power of the Pen
Writing a letter to the one that has wronged or hurt you has an amazingly cathartic response in our brains and bodies…. actually two amazing benefits can come from penning a letter. This next paragraph came from the online publication iVillage.
When people with chronic pain express their anger on paper, they experience greater improvement in their pain and mood than those who write about personal goals, according to Pennsylvania State University research. “The idea is to bring your feelings, which may be under the radar, into your conscious mind,” explains Jeffery Gross, M.D., a clinical associate professor of rehabilitation medicine at the New York University School of Medicine. “One theory is this improves blood flow to the muscles; another is that it reduces nervous system activity—but how or why this works isn’t as important as that it does.” His advice: Make a list of things that make you angry, look at it once a day and add to it as needed.
Writing a “Forgiveness” letter is essential to be able to draw a line under past events…. And no longer giving the event, situation, person(s) power over you. This letter should go deep and you should get everything out that has been weighing on you. You DO NOT need to send this letter… and in a lot of cases it’s best not to. It’s “symbolic” of getting rid of the bad feelings and burden… and being able to replace them with purer, better and more helpful to us…. feelings. It’s not magic…. but I can promise that it truly does help.
Now this next “Ritual” comes from expert Ellen Whitehurst…. It’s another way of releasing the ugly, hurtful feelings and hopefully replacing them with cleansed and renewed. I was deeply scarred by someone…. rocked to the depth of my soul. I have held onto… not by choice… feelings that I know are not good for me so…. I am starting this tonight and I will for sure report back in on if this has helped my hurt and my heart.
Let’s get started…
What we need: Green Pen, White Candle, White Sheet of Paper, Honey, Glass Jar with lid and a Brown Paper Bag.
On a plain white piece of paper using a green ink pen, write the name of that person that you need to forgive…on the paper and fold it in four. Then put the paper inside a glass or crystal (never plastic) receptacle that has a lid, like a glass jar. Cover the paper completely with honey and then seal the lid.
For nine consecutive nights, light a white candle close to or placed on top of the container. Spend some time silently speaking your heart while offering forgiveness to the person whose name is inside that jar. On the ninth day, allow the candle to fully burn down and then place what’s left of both the candle and the jar into a brown paper bag. Dispose of this bag somewhere outside of the house, and wait.
I start today on my path to forgiveness and hope if you are harboring any issues or hurts with anyone…. that you will join me in cleansing our bodies, minds and spirits…..
Happy Spiritual Sunday