Personally, I have practiced forgiveness for over 20 years. I believe self-forgiveness to be a spiritual practice. What is spiritual healing? One way is to forgive.
Our mind, the part of us that is conditioned to rationalize, minimize, make wrong, separate and not take responsibility is very crafty at hiding the peace we are longing for behind our self-righteous positions and good reasons. Self-forgiveness bypasses all of the mind’s rational reasons and sneaky diversions that rob us of that peace.
When I make self-forgiveness a practice I take an inventory at the end of my day – or a few minutes during my morning shower to check in with myself and asked myself – Who or what am I judging? And then launch into forgiveness statements. Some times I don’t feel like it but always I experience a shift of some kind and I free up the energy that was locked into that subtle or not so subtle judgment. I can regenerate that reclaimed energy back into my day.
What I have discovered is that self-forgiveness is powerful - Personally powerful. The choice to forgive is ours but the ability to forgive taps us into Living Love, our Divinity or Divine Nature and even God. The ability to forgive, in my experience, comes from a part of our multidimensional reality that responds to the vibration or frequency of opening our heart to our self or another. This powerful choice dissolves the knotty block that is caused by separating, blaming, or seeding revenge.
Now that’s quite a statement about self-forgiveness.
Here’s story from my life. Twenty years ago when I first moved to the southwest I went on a 10 days women’s backpacking trek. A part of the trek was to spend some time alone – in the wilderness -sometimes called a Vision Quest – in sacred time with yourself. The sacred time had several different focuses and one focus was to call forward all the people in your life that had hurt or wronged you and forgive them – at least that was the suggestion – and to ask forgiveness from those you felt you had hurt or wronged.
One of the people who came forward for me during this part of the vision quest was a girl friend who I no longer spoke with – we had had a falling about over her accusing me of something (I don’t remember what) and my refusal to apologize because I felt she was wrong. So – we had both ended the friendship with hurt feelings.
Well, on top of that mountain, during that sacred time, I saw her side – asked for her forgiveness, and forgave her. And then I moved on to the next person in my ceremony.
I didn’t think any more about this until about a week after I arrived home I got a letter from her – and in the letter she said I had come to her in her dreams, asked her for forgiveness – and she was so blown away by my sincerity – she was writing to tell me and to ask for my forgiveness as well. At the time, I couldn’t imagine how my sacred time of forgiveness 1000 miles away could have created this dream for my friend. But at the time, I had not had much experience with forgiveness.
Since that time, I have witnessed similar occurrences take place with clients – as a client is forgiving a person from their past – perhaps a parent that was abusive or a perpetrator - the energy of that person suddenly shows up in the room, as if to receive the forgiveness– or workshop participants who report feeling a soft hand stroke their head as an acknowledgment of letting go of the hurt; – or hearing inside the words, “I’m sorry” back – sometimes from beyond the grave, as they say.
And it’s not just in my work. These occurrences are common place during a forgiveness process where the choice to let go, to release the wound, to sincerely set each other free – the power beyond what our humanity is capable of responds and there is no space or time that separates.
Rumi said: Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
Is there something you want to forgive? Some burden, guilt, pain, memory that is eating away at you? Do you find yourself obsessing about this person what he/she said…what you wished you had said… Do you have fantasies about getting even, telling that person off, showing them…these are all common mind games to avoid shifting our focus from right/wrong to what needs healing or releasing and how do I do that?
I have witnessed lives destroyed from of the inner ‘hell’ that was created from holding on to grudges, self-righteous positions, beliefs about guilt, faults/blame and shame. I have also known people who have saved themselves from this ‘hell’ by having the courage to take the voyage of exploration into sometimes the heart of darkness which always leads us through to the other side into the greater experience of the spiritual heart.
When we allow our self to stop separating inside our self and from others and step into the connection and resonance that is our collective heart the power of release and setting our self free shows up – again and again and again.
It is alchemy in the purest form – where the baser feelings of resentment, anger, regret, guilt, revenge shame and blame mix with the unconditioned pure presence of loving and the result is no less than self renewal, and at heart reborn.
Would you like to begin the practice of self-forgiveness? Bridge to Your Big Life is a 6 part audio course that walks you through the Six self-mastery tools. These tools teach our human nature how to shift into Living Love. For more information https://makeitheaven.com/?page_id=1534&preview=true