Healing and forgiveness can be a real challenge for many people.
While recovering from pain and trauma can be a daunting task, there are strategies to help you through the process of forgiveness to make healing easier.
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Healing And Forgiveness
Forgiveness is very challenging for many people, and people often associate forgiveness with negative feelings. Forgiveness and healing involves a lot of self-reflection and it can be really hard to work through. But it is WORTH IT!
Many times, people are just not ready to look within to start thinking about the healing and forgiveness process. However, healing and forgiveness go hand in hand and is important to focus on wanting to lead a happy and successful life.
“Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.” Greater Good Magazine
Breaking that quote into similar words. Forgiveness is when you no longer feel resentment for a person or a group who has done something wrong to you. You forgive them - whether they deserve the forgiveness or not. The last part is difficult for many people (myself included) to swallow.
We rarely want to forgive others who have done nothing to deserve our forgiveness. But when you are talking about forgiveness and healing, sometimes it has to happen. It will lighten the burden that you are carrying with you and it will eventually make you happier.
Why is Forgiveness Important?
Before we go into the self help sort of steps that I recommend for working through healing and forgiveness, I want to clarify something. There are many things that happen to us in our lives that are so traumatic that we need professional help to recover from them.
This blog post is in no way a one size fits all cure for anything that anyone has suffered through.
If you are suffering through severe trauma, there is NOTHING WRONG with seeking professional help. Whether it be finding a local community support group, an online support group, or seeking professional treatment.
Professional, certified treatment centers have their place and checking yourself into a clinic is sometimes the best option for healing and recovery.
When we talk about healing and forgiveness, I am not talking about forgiving people for doing atrocious things to you. I know that many people who have grown up in a religious household have heard countless forgiveness stories.
I myself do not see any validity in the stories of forgiveness from the Bible, so you will not find any religious propaganda in this post. If you are a religious person, I suggest that you seek counseling from your church or find some reading information about the benefits of forgiveness in the bible.
We will not be discussing those things here. What we will be discussing are way to help yourself move on from being hurt and finding ways to forgive people - and yourself - so that you can heal and move on with your life.
Is forgiveness necessary for healing?
Forgiveness is full of rewards for your mental health and physical health. The power of forgiveness often heals you from many things. It is believed that healing forgiveness decreases your risk of a heart attack (heart disease), improves the quality of your sleep and cholesterol levels, and decreases stress, blood pressure, and more.
When talking about healing and forgiveness, I can tell you firsthand that forgiveness has helped my mental health. When you forgive and move on, those things take up less space in your head!
The healing power of forgiveness leads to healthier relationships, improved mental health, and decreased stress and anxiety.
“Releasing the anger and resentment, stopping the rumination and revenge fantasies can make room for hope and compassion and an abundance of joy in your life.” Psychology Today
How To Begin Healing Through Forgiveness
Forgiveness does not mean you have to allow things to remain the same and open yourself up to something happening again.
Forgiveness means that you are letting go of pain that you have been carrying around from a person or a traumatic, hurtful experience.
Use Ho'Oponopono to forgive without receiving an apology
Although the word Ho'Oponopono is a little difficult to pronounce, it is one of the greatest forgiveness and healing strategies. Ho'Oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian prayer of reconciliation that is all about reconciliation and forgiveness. Ho'Oponopono helps you correct, maintain, or restore relationships.
The word Ho'oponopono translates to “cause things to move back in balance” or to “make things right.” In native Hawaiian language, “pono” means balance, in the sense of “life.” When things are in balance, nothing is off, so to speak. Through some research, I found that they call doing this prayer "cleaning." I LOVE THAT.
I became familiar with the power of Ho'Oponopono healing in 2016, when my mentor recommended that I begin using it in my own healing journey. I mean, it is not easy to learn forgiveness, as forgiveness is a process. Can I forgive someone when they don't necessarily ACT like they're sorry? What if I never get an apology?!
The thing is, when you forgive you heal. Learning to forgive and let go is easier said than done, but Ho'Oponopono can help you reconcile things within yourself. Then healing is easier! Why? Because forgiveness heals - not just a broken bond or trust, but it heals YOU.
The Ho'Oponopono prayer gets to the root cause of your issues and helps you figure out the sources of the problems and troubles. The HoOponopono prayer allows all of your feelings to be acknowledged and heard.
There are four forces at work in this prayer: repentance, forgiveness, gratitude, and love. These are reflected in the four phrases that make up the prayer.
The Ho'Oponopono prayer:
Please forgive me.
I love you.
Who are we saying this to? EVERYONE. We are saying it mainly to ourselves, then to the ones who have hurt us.
I say the Ho'Oponopono prayer 108 times, almost every single day. I actually took a course in 2020 and became certified as a Ho'Oponopono practitioner - I believe in it THAT MUCH.
I usually play this meditation while I get ready in the morning. It's about 12 minutes long. If you are new to Ho'Oponopono, I want to warn you that you will likely cry the first few times you practice this meditation.
It may seem like a few simple phrases, but when you are focusing on it with intent, it digs down deep into your soul...which is the entire point.
Using Breathwork to help you practice forgiveness
Using guided breathwork meditation is a way to allow your body to stop and reflect within yourself while practicing forgiveness. Breathwork is a wonderful strategy that helps you heal physically, spiritually, and mentally over time.
You want to be extremely intentional when working with breathwork. There are many different types of techniques when it comes to breathwork. The biggest thing to remember is you want to be breathing in a systematic and conscious way.
If you are looking for some breathwork videos there are some great videos on YouTube.
Michelle D’Avella has many videos and is a great resource.
I also recommend using crystals to help you in your healing journey - if you are comfortable with this. Along with becoming a Reiki Master and Ho'Oponopono practitioner, I have also taken a few courses in crystal healing over the years.
Clear quartz is known as the “master healer” because it helps align all your chakras and energetically attune to all other crystals. It can help you access and manifest higher states of consciousness.
Smoky Quartz is great for helping you release negativity. I also recommend using sacred herbs to help cleanse your aura and your home. Sage, Palo Santo, Incense - do a little research online and find something that you feel comfortable with.
By the way...shameless plug here! I have an eBay store full of crystals, candles and whatnot if you are looking for a source! My eBay store is eBay.com/str/OurSunnyLives.
You can even using sound bowls to clear the energy surrounding you.
Writing Letters can help you find forgiveness and healing
Write a letter to some who has hurt you, or something that you feel needs your forgiveness. In this letter you want to release any pain that you are carrying around within you and just let it go.
It is hard to go through the process of forgiving someone, and often writing letters really helps bring along healing and forgiveness. You do not need to send the letter, just get all of your feelings and thoughts out. I personally recommend burning the letter once you are done writing it.
Forgive Yourself For Healing And Forgiveness
You may look at forgiveness as in forgiveness of others. But you also need to look at yourself when thinking of healing and forgiveness. It is essential to forgive yourself. Remember that when you forgive you heal. The most important part of the process is healing yourself, isn't it?
You need to work on releasing any blame that you may be holding on to, or any guilt that you may have towards yourself. All of your past decisions, all of the things you have said, all of the mistakes that you have made. Or maybe there are just things that you wish you could have done differently. You have to let them all go to heal and forgive.
The saying “forgive and forget” is not really about forgetting what has happened or what someone has done. It means that you are finding peace in the things that have happened in the past.
It means that you want to change the feelings and emotions you have been carrying around that are associated with the memory. You are not excusing the actions of the person or people. You are simply choosing to release it so that you can heal.
Final Thoughts on Healing And Forgiveness
Healing and forgiveness allows you the space and the permission that you need to feel how you are feeling. While our pain often runs deep and forgiveness comes with time, you can find healing through forgiveness. It is ok to feel as though you have forgiven someone or a situation, only to realize later that you are not completely healed or ready to forgive. Healing is not linear. Forgiveness is a process.
As a friend once told me, taking care of yourself is exhausting work. But it has to be done!