When we carrying resentment, bitterness, or even hatred for things that have happened in our life, it weighs on us. Maybe you’re going through a breakup right now, a separation, a divorce, maybe it’s a loss of a job, or maybe you feel betrayed by a family member or a good friend. We all have experiences in our life where we have things that weigh heavily on our mind. It takes energy and emotion to hold on to that, and what that means is the energy and emotion that will bring you to really live a life that you love becomes unavailable, where you are not able to create deeper connection in the relationships in your life that you have.
We’re all going to face different things in our life where it feels like things are happening to us, or like we’re a victim. To avoid allowing these incidents to really define us and become a heavy burden, a way to transform that energy is simply forgiveness.
One of the misconceptions about forgiveness is that it takes the other person apologizing first. We think we have to go make it right in the physical world and the relationship. Forgiveness is really about you. It has nothing to do with the other person. It’s all about you, so that you can free that energy within you, and so you can live your best life.
How do we do this? If you can imagine, just like we get this daily grit and grime on us from living our lives every day, that’s why we shower, bathe, brush our teeth and wash our face; because we want to get that grit and grime off of us from the day. It’s the same with our emotions and our energy bodies. Day to day we’re collecting this grit and grime; somebody cuts you off in traffic, or maybe the kids are getting on your nerves all day, maybe you snap at your spouse, or somebody says something to you at work, and that grit and grime can get on us. If we’re not dealing with it on an ongoing basis, that can build up and it can turn into longer term resentment and judgments that are impacting you again from living your best life.
Having a daily hygiene practice of forgiveness is one of the ways to transform that energy, both with the day to day, but also with those bigger events or betrayals in our lives where we can really forgive and move on. In order to experience that forgiveness at a deep level, we first must understand that life isn’t happening to us. Life is happening through us, and life is happening for us, so forgiveness is the opportunity to shift our perception about a situation, about a person, about an interaction, about that experience, where we can acknowledge that at some level, love was present here. At some level there was an opportunity for me to grow, for me to expand.
When you forgive somebody, you’re not saying that their behaviour was okay or justified. It doesn’t mean that you’re gonna go necessarily hang out with them and connect with them. What you’re saying is that I know at some level, that this happened with me, for me. That I’m prepared to get the learning, to get the experience, and move on. And when we can do that at a soul level, not just where we’re saying the words but not addressing it, but really having that at a soul level, that energy is now available where your mind and your spirit is free from that experience, so that you can then direct it and move it towards your vision.
One of the most powerful practices that I’ve found to apply this practice of forgiveness is with the Dalai Lama’s Loving-Kindness Meditation which goes like this:
First you would say these words to yourself:
May I live in happiness.
May I live in peace.
May I live in love.
May I live in recognition that my life has deep meaning and purpose.
May I know the power of forgiveness.
The next step of this process is you would say this towards the person that you’re wanting to forgive:
May you live in peace.
May you live in love.
May you live in recognition that your life has deep meaning and purpose.
May you know the power of forgiveness.
And may you be truly happy.
I believe that deep down in our souls, that’s what we want for ourselves, and that’s what we want for everybody on this planet. As you start to know that for yourself and for the people in your lives, you’ll start to wash away any resentment, any judgment, any anger, so that you can truly live your best life.