So on the path to inner peace the first door you come upon is the door of forgiveness. This door has to do with your heart and opening it so that you can fill up the spaces with love. If you are harboring resentment, pain, trauma, or any other negative feeling - then the spaces that could be filled with love of self and others is really just filled with old negative feelings and you need to get rid of those. Simple as that.
Now you ask, how do you actually do that?
First you need to understand forgiveness is not about forgetting or erasing what happened, it is about letting go of it. It is about understanding that whatever happened has already happened.
Unless you have a time machine, which you don't, you cannot go back and change anything. The cat's out of the bag, the words were spoken, the deed was done. Are you going to keep thinking about it over and over again and building future relationships off that one moment in time? That simply is not healthy.
Plus, you are the only one still bothered by it, the person who offended you said or did whatever it is and moved on. So it's time for you to forgive and move on too.
As if you are a bystander looking at yourself, see the thought, and feel what it feels like (note how you feel mentally and physically when you think of it).
Without jumping into the thought or reliving the story you are replaying in your head (still observing from a distance), ask yourself, "What is this thought doing to me?" "Do I need this any longer?" Chances are it's making you sick and of course you do not need it any longer. Once you say it, acknowledge it to yourself, you can begin the process of going forward with forgiveness.
When you feel that familiar feeling coming on, like the story is making its way back into your head, the stupid thing someone did or said that caused you pain, or whatever is causing your grief is creeping up and wanting to take center stage - pause, acknowledge it (here it is!), pay attention (to how it makes you feel), and then tell yourself it's over and in the past. "I'm not going to change the fact that it happened, but I'm not going to build upon it either." You have willed yourself to pause; willed yourself to acknowledge and pay attention to it; and willed yourself to tell yourself it is in the past. Now, will yourself to think of something positive and turn your attention from that negative.
Remove yourself from the feelings of anger, hurt, frustration, and pain and replace them with something that makes you feel good. After all, you've already established the fact that those negative things are 1. in the past, and 2. are not healthy to keep. Practicing these things doesn't mean you'll never ever think about it again, it doesn't mean you won't get upset again, and it doesn't mean your life is going to be all sunshine and roses. What it does mean, is that practicing this will eventually get you to the point where not everything makes a negative impact on you, and you are able to let go of unhealthy people, things, and situations and allow your heart to open up and become a healthy, happy place.
Forgiving someone doesn't mean you have to let them know you are forgiving them, forgiveness is done for you to let go of the things that are hurting YOU. You know forgiveness is happening within
you when you no longer feel the need to prove your point, to be right (or wrong), get an apology, feel sympathy, or want retribution.
Forgiveness is the understanding that it is what it is. It happened, it's over, I do not need to carry this any longer.
About the Author
Sheila Burke is an inspirational and spiritual author and the founder the online communities of Hello Peace, Irie and Zensational Living. Her books include Chorus of Souls (Jan. 2014), Booyah! Spirit, and Zensational Living and can be found in paperback and kindle on Amazon. The main hub connecting all of her online offerings including blogs, courses, free material, and facebook pages is sheilaburke.com Articles written by Sheila were published on Awakening People with the author's explicit written permission.
I don’t have to prove anything