Right along with Gratitude is the other rockstar antidote of Forgiveness. Seeking forgiveness from others and from God. Forgiveness of others. Forgiveness of self. All are extremely important!
Although seeking forgiveness for mistakes we have made and things we have done wrong is important, this particular page will concentrate on forgiving others and forgiving self.
In the book, You Can Heal Your Life, the late Louise Hay echos from the book A Course in Miracles the belief that "All Dis-ease comes from a state of unforgiveness. Whenever we are ill, we need to search our hearts to see who it is we need to forgive." She adds her own insight to that by saying that the very person you find it hardest to forgive is the one you need to let go of the most.
She also expresses the following: "We understand our own pain so well. How hard it is for most of us to understand that THEY, whoever they are we need most to forgive, were also in pain. We need to understand that they were doing the best they could with the understanding, awareness, and knowledge they had that time."
Jan Graf of Graf Stress Management has fine-tuned the art of how to really make forgiveness work into three essential parts. He has used and taught this process with his clients over the course of many years and with his permission I share these parts of the forgiveness process. (Emphasis in bold added by me.) These are printed in his Blue Book on pages 27-28.
"First, the most effective way to forgive is to say it aloud. We need to hear ourself actually say the forgiveness aloud for it to happen. We have a tendency to say, "I can't say it aloud, for it would be too embarrassing. Someone might hear me, so I'll just say it in my mind." We mumble in our minds and nothing changes. There is something powerful about hearing the words spoken out loud which makes the forgiveness really come from the heart.
Second, we must be specific as to who we are forgiving and what we are forgiving them for. We have a tendency to generalize and say something like, "I forgive everyone who has ever offended me and I forgive myself for everything I have ever done wrong. I'm done." Obviously this statement is too general.
The third thing we need to do is put the forgiveness in the present tense, "I forgive." We have a tendency to postpone forgiveness by saying, "I'll forgive, I need to forgive, I should forgive, I'd like to forgive or I've got to forgive." These are all future tense and it never quite happens. It sounds like we are saying, "And someday I will." "I forgive." works right now."
Taking this one step further - let's now add in gratitude with forgiveness. Express your gratitude for the person you are forgiving. They have been or still are a part of teaching you something important. Be grateful! Be grateful for each and every difficult circumstance that has happened or is happening.
In doing so you are now expressing to God your willingness to trust Him in all circumstances. You are letting Him know that you are surrendering your will to His. You are saying that each and every situation and person is valuable according to His plan for you and the lessons He desires for you to learn.
If combining forgiveness and gratitude together doesn't create a positive synergistic effect, I don't know what will. Combining the two together breaks down the barriers of the heart, heals the soul, expands your energy, and allows all kinds of possibilities to now open up for you. Praise be to God!
Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment or prescription for any disease. The decision to use, or not to use, any of this information is the sole responsibility of the reader. Please consult with a licensed health care practitioner if you are dealing with a serious disease or illness.
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