“Forgive others. Not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.”
When we come into this world, we have no concept of pain, deceit, or betrayal. We retain these feelings as we navigate life, though, and they build up over time if we fail to go within and clear our energy bodies of these toxic thoughts. Holding grudges can literally make us feel ill; it causes dis-ease of the mind, which can then breed physical diseases as well.
At first, it won’t come easily to forgive those who hurt you in the past, but it’s necessary in order to evolve and shed yourself of your “pain-body” as Eckhart Tolle calls it in his book “The Power of Now.” These tips will help you get started on the path of healing your emotional pain and allow the light to shine on your soul once again.
5 Ways to Forgive and Let Go
1. Don’t try, just be.
While setting and achieving goals is a part of life, don’t allow the process of reaching new heights to keep you from staying grounded in the present moment. You have to accept where you’re at in your journey right now before you can begin to work towards forgiveness. Even then, don’t stress out about the distance between your state of consciousness and forgiving others – just take one step at a time, staying present during every phase of the process.
When you give up the need to try, you allow your natural state to come through effortlessly. Believe in yourself and remember you have incredible potential as a spiritual being at this very moment. Just as you shouldn’t hold onto past pain, you also shouldn’t cause more pain for yourself by criticizing your progress. Breathe, and remember you have so much more value than you give yourself credit for.
2. Don’t identify with any thoughts – just silently observe them.
We cause ourselves much unnecessary pain by attaching so quickly to our thoughts instead of mindfully watching them. Our egos (minds) always want to fight for control, so the key here is to back down. Don’t strive to eliminate or change your thoughts; simply become aware of them. Once you develop awareness regarding your mind, you will realize the Ego just wants to play tricks on you.
The true self lies within your heart and soul – by tuning in more to your feelings rather than thoughts, you will start to vibrate on a higher frequency, and destructive thoughts about your past will enter your mind less often.
The National Science Foundation estimated a number of years ago that people have an average of 70,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day, with 80% of those being negative, and 95% being repeated. That means that we aren’t really thinking – we’re remembering. In order to get our brains rewired for more helpful thoughts, we have to refrain from labeling those thoughts as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ They’re simply thoughts, and you don’t actually own them – they come and go as they please from the collective consciousness. You may not have control over what enters your brain, but you can control how you react to it.
3. Send out love to those who hurt you.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Wishing harm upon others will actually only destroy you in the end. Think about it – when you send out negative vibes into the universe, you lower your own vibration, therefore inviting bad karma in. You attract what you are, so by seeking revenge, you only perpetuate the pain you feel in your own life. You won’t feel free until you surrender to love, so you have to love those who caused you suffering, as hard as it might seem.
You don’t have to do this overnight, but taking small steps to increase the love in your heart will result in a positive outcome every time. Relinquish your addiction to feeling pain, and there you will find ultimate liberation and fulfillment.
4. Focus on becoming the best version of yourself.
“Hurt people, hurt people; healed people, heal people.”
As simple as this concept seems, many of us forget it in the haste of our daily lives. So much suffering continues on the planet because those who have been hurt keep the pain alive, passing it on to someone else. To avoid spreading this dis-ease of the mind and soul, accept that you can control your own emotions, and others have no ability to affect you negatively unless you allow them to. Focus all your energy not on tearing others down, but on building yourself up.
The work is ultimately the same, but you will feel much more accomplished by improving yourself than destroying others. Plus, you will have found peace within, and that feels much better than harboring toxic thoughts.
5. Remember that expecting perfection is unrealistic.
We live in a world where people make mistakes, and they make them often. While some have worse consequences than others, many simply happen accidentally, not on purpose. We all are just trying to survive, and most of us don’t intentionally wish bad things upon others. Realize that we all swim in the same sea, and we all battle the same currents. All of us just try to keep our heads above the water, but sometimes we sink throughout this test of life. Does that mean we should be punished because we slipped up for once? Allow people to make mistakes and grow, and try to remember that you once probably made the same mistake.
You can forgive others much easier when you remember that they, like you, are human too, and are vulnerable to the same mishaps and road bumps.