Forgiveness is the essence of freedom. It will free you from your past; it will free you for your future. It will free up space within you to create the life and the love you really want.
I’m going to talk about what forgiveness really is, why it’s so important, and how to make it happen. If you’re interested creating big shifts in your life, then this is for you.
I think most of us are under the misconception that forgiveness is about the other person. I definitely used to think this way.
I thought, “They did it to me, they are the ones to blame. They have hurt me. It’s not my fault.”
Of course, that’s what I thought before I knew better, because I was listening to my ego. Thankfully, I now understand the truth about forgiveness.
The reality is that it starts and ends with you.
It has very little to do with the other person.
I know—this is hard to understand at first.
But here’s the deal: what we hold onto within ourselves dictates our reality. So, holding a resentment is like holding yourself hostage. Only you can release the hostage, and YOU are the hostage.
We choose to forgive when we decide it’s more important to be happy than to be right. We choose to forgive when we decide we are ready to let ourselves be free.
You might be thinking, “But wait, I was really, really wronged!”
And you’re right, you probably were.
Forgiveness is not about denying what was done to you. Quite the opposite, actually.
Forgiveness is about feeling the hurt, the pain, and the anger about what happened to you, and even amid all those feelings, making a choice to forgive.
So, Forgiveness is a decision.
Well, why is forgiveness a decision you’d want to make? Because unresolved resentments dictate our lives.
When we hang on to resentments we can’t escape them–we may escape the people who triggered them, but unfortunately the feelings we’re running from will make their way back into our new relationships. Which is why you must do the work to make the inner change, so that you don’t keep repeating the patterns and experiences in your life.
We often think the answer is outside of us–if we just found the “right” person we wouldn’t feel the pain we’ve felt in other relationships.
The truth is that what you hold onto internally is going to show up in front of you. Resentments included. The good news is by releasing the energy of the feelings, beliefs and emotions and allowing yourself to forgive, is how you let it all go.
Forgiveness has the power to transform all of your relationships. You can forgive anyone, and you might want to think about forgiving everyone.
Here is an exercise you can do to get you started right away.
Choose someone you are resenting and go through these steps.
See what happens.
Be open to a transformation.
Step 1: Become Willing to Forgive.
Willingness means that you are open to the possibility of forgiving. It does not mean that all of the sudden, you’re done and over it.
It just means that you consciously create within your mind and heart a space for the possibility of a new reality—the reality that you are no longer resentful; a reality that you have forgiven.
Step 2: Bring Your Resentments to the Surface.
Ask yourself, “Why am I angry?” Clearly pinpoint the feelings you are holding. You might want to make a list or mind map it out—how have you felt wronged or victimized? This will bring all your thoughts and beliefs to the surface.
Step 3: Distinguishing your Inner Guidance ( Soul) from your Ego.
This step is all about recognizing that we are all essentially good people who’ve been hurt, and because of this, we make mistakes and hurt others.
We have a true self, which is our inherent goodness (Soul), and a wounded self, which operates from fear (ego). It is your wounded self, not your true self, that hurts other people. This is true for everyone.
When we operate from our Ego (out of fear and hurt), we hurt other people. And we’ve all hurt other people. Many of us have hurt people that we really love. This doesn’t happen because we’re bad. It happens because we’re also hurt. And the same goes for anyone who has hurt you too.
Anyone who hurts others is also hurting.
Hurt people hurt people.
Viewing others as “bad” calls for justification of anger and resentment; viewing others as wounded calls for compassion.
Take a moment to reflect on how holding on to the feelings of blame, anger, resentment, frustration either towards someone else or yourself affects your vibration? And when you have forgiven yourself and others how your vibration will transform. This is the best gift you can give yourself and your friends and family.
Step 4: Look at Your Part.
It’s time to look at your part and to take some personal responsibility. Ask yourself, “How have I brought pain to this person or situation? How have I done a similar thing that was done to me?” This can be hard to do, but it is so important.
Getting honest about your part in the situation is essential. Your part may be that you’ve done something similar to what was done to you (this is often the case, especially in our adult relationships).
Or your part may be that you’ve held onto your own anger and hatred against a certain person for a long time.
Get as honest as you can. Go down your list, look at the specific things you listed, and ask yourself “Where have I done a similar thing?”
Step 5: Surrender.
Now you’ve done all the dirty work and it’s time to let your feelings change. All of the steps above will guide you towards a shift.
You can release the thoughts, emotions and beliefs that have come up during your mindmapping and journalling exercise, using the Energy Alignment Method.
And align to forgiving.
And when you do, everything else will change for you too.
A beautiful daily practice you can incorporate is the Hoʻoponopono. Ho’oponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) is a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness.
The Hawaiian word translates into English simply as correction. Traditional Hoʻoponopono is practiced by Indigenous Hawaiian healers, often within the extended family by a family member.
If, like me, you are curious what the word means. I can satisfy your curiosity with this extract from Wikipedia.
“Hoʻoponopono” is defined in the Hawaiian Dictionary as:
(a) “To put to rights; to put in order or shape, correct, revise, adjust, amend, regulate, arrange, rectify, tidy up make orderly or neat, administer, superintend, supervise, manage, edit, work carefully or neatly; to make ready, as canoemen preparing to catch a wave.”
(b) “Mental cleansing: family conferences in which relationships were set right (hoʻoponopono) through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness.”
Literally, hoʻo is a particle used to make an actualizing verb from the following noun, as would “to” before a noun in English. Here, it creates a verb from the noun pono, which is defined as: “…goodness, uprightness, morality, moral qualities, correct or proper procedure, excellence, well-being, prosperity, welfare, benefit, true condition or nature, duty; moral, fitting, proper, righteous, right, upright, just, virtuous, fair, beneficial, successful, in perfect order, accurate, correct, eased, relieved; should, ought, must, necessary.”
Ponopono is defined as “to put to rights; to put in order or shape, correct, revise, adjust, amend, regulate, arrange, rectify, tidy up, make orderly or neat.”
Freedom from karma
In 1976 Morrnah Simeona, regarded as a healing priest, adapted the traditional hoʻoponopono of family mutual forgiveness to the social realities of the modern day. For this she extended it both to a general problem solving process outside the family and to a psycho-spiritual self-help rather than group process.
Like Hawaiian tradition she emphasizes prayer, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness. Unlike Hawaiian tradition, she describes problems only as the effects of negative karma, saying that “you have to experience by yourself what you have done to others.” But that you are the creator of your life circumstances was common knowledge for the people of old as “things we had brought with us from other lifetimes.”
Any wrongdoing is memorized within oneself and mirrored in every entity and object which was present when the cause happened.
As the Law of Cause and Effect predominates in all of life and lifetimes, the purpose of her version is mainly “to release unhappy, negative experiences in past reincarnations, and to resolve and remove traumas from the ‘memory banks’.”
Karmic bondages hinder the evolution of mind, so that “(karmic) cleansing is a requisite for the expansion of awareness”.
Her teachings include: there is a Divine Creator who takes care of altruistic pleas of Men; “when the phrase ‘And it is done’ is used after a prayer, it means Man’s work ends and God’s begins.”
“Self-Identity” signifies, e.g. during the hoʻoponopono, that the three selves or aspects of consciousness are balanced and connected with the Divine Creator.
Different from egoistic prayers, “altruistic prayers like hoʻoponopono, where you also pray for the release of other entities and objects, reach the Divine plane or Cosmos because of their high vibrations.
From that plane the Divine energy or “mana” would come,” which would transform the painful part of the memory of the wrong actions in all participants to “Pure Light”, on whatever plane they are existing; “all are set free”.
State of Zero
After Simeona’s death in 1992, her former student and administrator, Ihaleakala Hew Len, co-authored a book with Joe Vitale called Zero Limits, referring to Simeona’s Hoʻoponopono teachings.
In contrast to Simeona’s teachings, the book brings the new idea that the main objective of Hoʻoponopono is getting to “the state of Zero, where we would have zero limits. No memories. No identity.”
To reach this state, which Len called ‘Self-I-Dentity thru Ho’oponopono’, includes using the mantra, “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.”
It is based on Len’s idea of 100% responsibility, taking responsibility for everyone’s actions, not only for one’s own. If one would take complete responsibility for one’s life, then everything one sees, hears, tastes, touches, or in any way experiences would be one’s responsibility because it is in one’s life.
The problem would not be with our external reality, it would be with ourselves. Total Responsibility, according to Hew Len, advocates that everything exists as a projection from inside the human being.
Are you ready to For-Give Yourself?
Use The Energy Alignment Method to release:
“I am ready to release all anger, frustration, and blame from my energy, I release this from my energy, in all forms, on all levels, at all points in time.”
And to align to forgiveness:
” I allow myself to feel full of love and compassion as I am willing to forgive myself and those that have harmed me, I allow this into my energy, in all forms, on all levels, at all points in time.”