Forgiveness is often very difficult for people. It requires a lot of self-reflection and often people are just not ready to look into themselves to start the forgiveness process. However, healing through forgiveness is very important to focus on a happy and successful life.
What is Forgiveness?
Greater Good Magazine by Berkley writes “psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.”
In simpler words, forgiveness is to stop resentment for a person or group who have done something wrong to you. Whether or not they deserve the forgiveness. The last sentence can be very challenging for people. We rarely want to forgive people who have done nothing to deserve our forgiveness. But healing through forgiveness helps make you happier, and will create a more successful lifestyle.
Why Forgiveness Important?
Forgiveness is full of the rewards for your health. You are literally healing through forgiveness. It is believed that forgiveness decreases your risk of a heart attack, improving sleep, cholesterol levels and decreasing stress, blood pressure, and more.
But healing through forgiveness is not only good for your physical health. It also helps improve your mental state. Forgiveness leads to healthier relationships, improved mental health, a decrease in stress and anxiety.
Psychology Today writes “Realize that forgiveness benefits you most of all. The other person may never know about your forgiveness. But forgiving and letting go can lighten the load on your body and on your spirit. Releasing the anger and resentment, stopping the rumination and revenge fantasies can make room for hope and compassion and an abundance of joy in your life.”
How To Begin Healing Through Forgiveness
Forgiveness does not mean condoning that some things happen. It means that you are letting go of the pain YOU are carrying around from this person or experience.
Yes, it seems like a mouth full. However, it is one of the greatest healing through forgiveness strategies. HO’Oponopono is a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. It translates easily to correction in English. Hoʻoponopono helps correct, restore, and maintain good relationships. It gets to the causes and sources of the problems and trouble. It involves prayer and reflection. Everyone’s feelings are heard and acknowledged. After that, a confession, repentance and forgiveness happens. Then everyone lets go of the issue and it ends with a celebratory feast. Yum! It is a wonderful strategy for healing through forgiveness and there are many amazing resources about HO’Oponopono.
Write a letter to someone, anyone who has hurt you, anyone who you feel needs forgiveness. Release all the pain you are carrying and set the intention to let it go. Letter writing is a healing through forgiveness strategy that is more for you than for anyone else. You do not need to mail the letter. You just need to write all of your feelings and thoughts out on paper. It will help you release what you are consciously feeling as well as subconsciously feeling. It is also a great self-love exercise. Many guided journals have places for you to write these types of letters, whether they be to yourself or to someone else.
Guided breathwork meditation is a way to stop for a moment and be reflective within yourself when healing through forgiveness. It is a strategy that helps mentally, physically, and spiritually. During breathwork, you are intentional about your breathing pattern (often changing it). You are breathing in a systematic and conscious way. Michelle D’Avella on YouTube has some amazing breathwork videos. Best part is they are free. If you are looking to spend some money on a breathwork program, Leeor Alexandra’s Breathe program is great. It is an informative and well put together program and isn’t super expensive at $37.
An idea that is often brought up during the healing through forgiveness process is the idea of a closed vs. open fist. A closed fist is anger. It stops the blood flow and is ready to strike. An open fist relaxes the body. The blood flows freely and you are able to stretch the hand to another. I always think of this image when working through guided breathwork meditation because of the calmness I feel when my palms are open and relaxed during breathing.
Forgive Yourself To Heal Through Forgiveness
Although you may be trying to forgive someone else or a group of people. You also need to look within when healing through forgiveness. It is important to forgive yourself. Release any blame you are holding onto, any guilt you might be feeling or guilt you have towards yourself. Past decisions, mistakes, things you’ve said or things you wish you did differently. Healing through forgiveness also includes forgiving within. This type of practice will help you grow your self-love and self-worth as well.
Although many people use the phrase “forgive and forget”. You are not just forgetting. You are looking to find peace with what has happened in the past and are looking to change your feelings and emotions that are carried with this memory. It also does not mean you are excusing the action of the person or the group.
Insert some type of self-love image
EFT tapping is a concept of tapping specific points on your body to prompt physical and mental healing. It allows you to concentrate on a problem, pain, or feeling you are having and tap meridian points to help relieve them. You can focus on the problem or issue you feel needs some healing through forgiveness as you are working through the EFT tapping process.
You can read more about EFT tapping in one of the latest blog posts on the website.
When you are healing through forgiveness, you need to allow yourself the space and permission to feel however you feel. Pain can run deep, forgiveness may come in layers and take time. It is ok to feel as though you have reached the point of forgiveness to then realize a day later you are just not there yet. Use strategies to help you reach forgiveness and remember it is a process. But, an amazing one at that.
Are you looking for some free resources on self-care, tapping, guilt, forgiveness, and more? Subscribe to my newsletter to always be in the know and get the latest content and information!