13 Steps That Lead to Forgiveness
Forgiveness is an essential part of your spiritual growth and a necessary tool to cleanse karma. It is the key that unlocks the heart and the door to the body of love. If you cannot forgive, you will never be able to truly love. You have karmic connections to everyone in your life past and present—this connection is like a fine thread, which may become dark and filled with blockages of anger and resentment.
By not forgiving, you give your personal power to another person and create a prison of anger and resentment around yourself. When you forgive, the blockages disappear, and the thread turns to pure light. As M.L. Stedman said, “You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day.” If you don’t forgive, you are the one who suffers, allowing the other person to hurt you over and over again.
There are essentially three types of forgiveness (sometimes all three are involved in the same situation):
- Forgiving others for a hurt you perceive they have caused you.
- Asking others to forgive you for a hurt you perceive you have caused them.
- Forgiving yourself for a hurt you perceive you have caused yourself.
The word perceive is important here as sometimes the idea of the “hurt” might be different to different people.
Regardless of the situation, here are 13 steps to follow in the forgiveness process:
The first step in forgiving is to take responsibility for your emotions—not necessarily responsibility for the situation, but how it made you feel. Emotions are a choice. To forgive, you must recognize that it is your emotion and stop blaming others for how you choose to feel. Pain is real, but suffering is a choice.
Whatever happened, happened. You cannot change the past. Accepting what happened allows you to move from the past to the present. Healing happens in the present. This doesn’t mean you have to forget what happened, but dwelling on it or wishing it had been different doesn’t serve you. Accept it, learn from it, and begin creating the future you deserve.
So many people hold onto anger and animosity toward someone who has been dead for years, or one group of people is hostile toward another for something their ancestors did generations ago. This can end up being a waste of time and energy that could be used elsewhere.
One of the most important parts of forgiveness is to separate the person from the act. There are many acts which can never be forgiven: murder, rape, child abuse, etc. However, you can always forgive the person who committed the act. Focus your forgiveness on the person, not what was done by the person.
Whatever emotions you are still feeling—anger, sadness, fear, guilt—are the stress and toxicity locked into your physiology, diminishing your quality of life. Take some time to be quiet, be aware of the emotion mentally, and then feel …read more
Source: Deepak Chopra