Recall for a moment how you feel when you are angry, annoyed or holding a resentment towards someone or something. Very briefly tap into that feeling. Be honest with yourself as you decide if it makes you feel good or bad and actually heavy?
Next recall your thoughts about that person and what they did or did not do. Notice how your thoughts take over and you find yourself on a rat wheel of negativity. One disempowering negative thought after another.
Sometimes people say and do things that hurt our feelings or possibly even hurt us physically. It is up to us how long we stay hurt. I am sure we can all recall something we said or did that hurt somebody else’s feelings.
When I was ten years old my step mother gave me third degree burns. She was very angry and not thinking straight when she burnt me with boiling water. Years later when I forgave her I felt an enormous weight lift from my heart. It was as though chains had been binding my heart up and making it hurt. In that moment of forgiveness the chains were released and my heart felt lighter and free.
I didn’t actually say “I forgive you” to my step mothers face as she had never asked for forgiveness. After living many years with so much anger and hurt, especially when I would look at my scars, I knew it was harming me and taking away from my enjoyment of life. I decided to let it go and forgive. It was one of the greatest gifts I have ever given myself and one of the greatest expressions of love towards myself.
In that moment of forgiveness I loved myself enough to let go of feelings and emotions that were harmful to me. They were not harmful to my step mother, only to me. I released myself from a heavy burden that day and I am so grateful to have learned early the value of forgiveness.
It is a useful practice to ask “who do I need to forgive?” You may even need to forgive yourself! That is a huge gift to give yourself and an awesome way to love yourself by giving yourself and others the gift of forgiveness.
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