5 Steps to Forgiveness

| August 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

We have all been hurt by someone’s words or actions at some point in our lives. We all create thoughts and actions that actually hurt ourselves and others too. When we judge what happens to us, when we shame ourselves or blame and resent someone for hurting us, we feel stress in our body and mind. Over time this experience of feeling stressed from our past hurts causes an accumulated chronic stress response in our body. Our body is designed to experience stress in short bursts, not over a long term duration. Our nature is to feel calm and connected most of the time, we function at our best when this is our primary state of being.

Forgiveness is a powerful act of stopping and an act of releasing past hurt emotions such as blame, anger and resentment. To forgive means that we must release and process our emotional pain, our wounds and allow them to heal. Healing means to become whole and connected. If we avoid feeling the hurt, or if we hold on to the hurt emotions, we will delay the process of releasing and the act of forgiveness will seem impossible. If we suppress our feelings we will feel depressed and drained just as if we suppress going to the bathroom. It is our nature to release and let go.

How to know when you have forgiven:

  1. You no longer blame someone.
  2. You no longer feel anger towards someone who has done something wrong.
  3. You no longer feel anger about something.
  4. You no longer resent that person who has hurt you.
  5. You feel connection and peaceful when you think about this person or the event that caused you to feel hurt.

How to know when you have NOT forgiven:

  1. You blame someone for doing something wrong towards you.
  2. You feel anger towards someone who has done something wrong.
  3. You feel anger about something.
  4. You resent the person who has hurt you and may even try to avoid seeing that person.
  5. You feel disconnected from that person and it is difficult to feel peaceful and calm in their presence or when you think about that person.
  6. It literally hurts to think about what happened and also to think about that person. This is called emotional pain.

5 Steps To Forgiveness

  1. Believe that you can forgive. Sometimes horrible things happen to us, that shock us, and cause trauma. Sometimes we can’t believe we will ever be able to forgive someone because we are feeling so hurt and wounded from the freshness of the hurtful event. With time, all wounds heal, if we believe we can heal, we will with even more ease. Choose to believe that you will process the past hurtful emotions, that you will overcome the hurtful event or wrongdoing that has occurred. A practical healing tool is to create an intention, “I believe I can forgive myself for any hurt I may have caused myself and others.” You can also use this same affirmation and really feel the energy of forgiveness in your heart as you say this to forgive yourself or a person. Repeat this affirmation and notice how it feels to say it. If you have forgiven it feels easier to say. If you are resentful and hurt still, it is more difficult to repeat out loud. The only way out is through, so keep on setting the intention to forgive, and you will eventually feel lighter.
  1. Look at the act of forgiveness as a form of self-love. You forgive the person that has hurt you to free yourself from the pain and stress of the past hurt or wrongdoing. When you forgive, you create peace in your cells and your life. If you hold on to resentment, it will eat away at your heart and cause you to not feel love and joy, and this is the last thing you need when you are feeling hurt and are in need of healing emotional wounds. It is our nature to love and to forgive. It actually requires a lot of energy and causes a lot of stress to stay in resentment mode over months and years. We feel chronically stressed out when we live filled with resentment and hurt emotions of the past and this causes us to feel very disconnected from ourselves and our soul, the essence of who we are.
  1. Have compassion for the person that hurt you. Trust that everyone that ever hurts someone IS actually feeling a lot of hurt internally. When a person is feeling whole and happy, filled with love and joy, the last thing they wish to do is hurt someone!Have compassion for the person who has hurt you. This person might not have the skills to cope with their own inner pain and stress and unfortunately since they are hurting themselves, they did the same to you! One can accept the person that has hurt and the situation as a way of healing from the past and allowing forgiveness to flow into our hearts.
  1. See the practice of forgiveness as an opportunity for you to practice release. When we release resentment of the past and forgive, we release the energy of the hurt emotions. Our heart muscle tenses when we feel hurt. Sometimes we block feeling the hurt emotions because we may feel overwhelmed. Practice feeling the hurt and then allowing the hurt emotions to release in the form of tension releasing in your heart. The following is a very powerful and healing exercise after your heart has been hurt, for example after a break up, a separation, a death or a hurt. Place your right hand over the left side of your chest. Inhale deeply. Notice how your heart feels. Does it feel tense of soft? As you exhale, create an AHHHH sound. This helps your heart to release tension and pain. Sound is vibration. As you create the sound AHHHH, see the words “I FORGIVE YOU.” You can also see the words “I Forgive ______ Add the person’s name that you need to forgive. Combining the intention to forgive with the sound amplifies the intention and gives your muscles a deeper form of relaxation. Healing occurs when we feel our hurt emotions, and then expand and elongate that contracted and hurt area of our body. This is a very powerful exercise that works incredibly well and quickly. Make sure you have the intention to forgive, and believe that it is possible to forgive.
  1. Belly Dance To Heal The Heart. Belly dance is a tool we can use to move our hearts in a rhythmical and healing pattern so that our broken or hardened heart can flow it’s hurt emotional energy and release to allow forgiveness to be experienced even more easily. Try this belly dance based movement pattern to soften and relax your heart in a standing position: Inhale and slide your rib cage to the right side. Exhale and slide your rib cage to the left side. Keep breathing and sliding your rib cage, right to left, left to right. Notice how this feels. Does your heart feel soft or tense? Notice how your heart and chest feels. This noticing without any judgement or criticism is a form of practicing self-love and acceptance which are very helpful emotions to support forgiveness. The more we move our hearts and rib cage in a soft and gentle, rhythmical manner, the more easily the heart can accept letting go of hurt and repressed hurt emotions. You can combine the heart movements with intention to forgive a certain individual.
  1. Ask A Question: What can I learn and how can I grow from this experience? We can trust that Source/God/The Universe is always bringing to us opportunities to grow and heal. Therefore, we can see whatever has happened to us as an experience that we can grow and learn from. It is easier to forgive when we perceive the experience as an opportunity to grow instead of feeling like a victim and taking it personally. For example, if someone has ever touched you in a way that has hurt you, you can see that experience as an opportunity for you to practice sticking up for yourself and practicing setting healthy boundaries. That person probably is not aware of setting healthy boundaries with themselves which is why they are not able to do this with you. The more you transform and grow from the past experience, the more empowered, peaceful and lighter you will feel.

Just as we are designed to eat and digest our food, we are perfectly designed to let go of resentment and forgive. Forgiveness is our nature. To resent, blame and store anger inside of us is very stressful for our bodies, it wears us down and ages us.

Imagine not eating! This would stress us out too. When we forgive we get to live our lives aligned with what is natural for us, we get to experience release, so we may continue to grow and walk feeling lighter and full of vitality, as we are designed to function at our best, most of all we get to experience our whole human beingness!

Let us know how these 5 steps to forgiveness benefit you, share this article with a friend and comment down below to share with us what helps you to forgive. Practice daily acts of forgiveness and notice how much more energetic you feel!

Michelle Alva, PT

Michelle Alva, PT

Michelle Alva is a mom, holistic physical therapist, intuitive healer, sound therapist, infant massage instructor, yoga therapist, and pre/postnatal bellydance teacher with 20 years experience. She empowers, inspires, and educates through her writings, one-on-one emotional release bodywork sessions, workshops, retreats and public speaking. Michelle is a catalyst for individuals to feel lighter, de-stress, and align with their intuition and authentic self. She has created guided meditations and online self-empowerment and life-enhancing programs. Visit her website www.michellealva.com and receive a free gift to Empower Your Center and Ignite Your Soul's Joy. Check out Michelle's New Self-Care Mastery Course for women at www.sexysacredsensualyou.com.

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Tags: anger, blame, compassion, emotional health, , Health, health and nutrition, letting go, resentment

Category: Compass, Health and Nutrition

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