I write a lot about forgiveness because it is something I feel incredibly passionate about. Nothing has ever been gained by retaliation, by getting back, by harming someone else when we have been hurt. It’s not like we can double down on pain and have them somehow cancel each other out. Pain is pain, and sharing pain with others because we hurt, only creates a spiral downwards. One of my quests in this life is to stop this, and many other cycles I have struggled with.
One rather simple way to begin the healing journey of forgiveness is to do the forgiveness exercise directed at others I mention in another article that I wrote which can be found here. The next step in the journey is to actually focus on ourselves and how exactly we begin to close the wounds within ourself and forgive ourselves. We make mistakes, we say and do the wrong thing. We have inflicted pain on others because we were upset, sad, lonely, frustrated, tired, unfulfilled or felt cornered. I say it is a simple exercise because the framework is fairly direct. The actual sitting down and hashing through it is a whole other can of worms. Don’t be afraid to get emotional in the process, and don’t be at all surprised if you find your eyes squirting out liquid at any point along the exercise.
Start by writing a list of names, make it as long or as short as it feels necessary of all the people you feel you have caused pain, harm, malice to and how you feel you hurt them. Take the time to explain what it is you feel you did or said and how it may have affected them.
Go through each name, visualizing a conversation you are having with them that apologizes to them for all the ways you feel you have hurt them. Explain that you are releasing the anger and resentment you hold for them and are letting go of any attachment you have with them.
Once the list has been worked through and completed, rip up the list or by burning it, recycling it, or simply adding notes that they have each been forgiven and released beside their names it will signify that the exercise is complete.
Repeat each of these as many times as necessary in order to help you to let go of negative feelings towards others. Evening releasements may prove helpful after particularly trying days.
Most of the time when we are taking out our emotions on others it is regrettable, full of sorrow and shame. We all have to work at mending old wounds-especially considering when we hurt other people it is because we feel hurt ourselves.
**I will mention there are those that are sociopathic/psychopathic individuals as well as those with other personality disorders that simply lack the ability to “feel bad” about anything they have done to another person. It is still up to us to learn to release the negativity, stop the toxic cycle and learn boundaries with such individuals. I will touch on these personality types in another article as I am very adamant to break down stigmas and beliefs regarding various mental health issues. This one being excessively close to my heart.
Kimberley Dickinson is a Nurse, Author of the bestselling novel The One Life Movement, Private Yoga Instructor, Life Coach, Grief, Loss and Mental Health supporter and End of Life Transition / Death Doula. For more information on her lifespan inclusive services and skills please connect with her on www.athomewellness.ca for in person, over the phone or online support and coaching sessions.
For inspiration, travel adventures and lifestyle content visit www.theonelifemovement.com
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