Forgiveness is so helpful in healing. And, it is only hard to do “in theory.” This is because the decision that someone deserves – or that we deserve – forgiveness murks up the waters. Keep reading so I can tell you how to get around this!
In the last couple of months, the theme of rejection and abandonment has come up for me too often, where I have people that I hoped were there for me, let me down in big ways. Part of me knows that the more pots you are stirring, the higher the chance that things can go awry. That’s just math. But the human Jodi feels the sting deeply and has to process it through so it doesn’t get stuffed down where it can do more damage.
Forgiveness is hard
Are you the kind of person who stuffs things down? I used to be, too. Even writing this post on forgiveness is hard: My feelings were big huge but I’m finding myself wanting to downplay them anyway. Unfortunately, there’s an underlying worry that I overreacted, though I know I didn’t. And – this comes from when I was young and learned that it was shameful to seek attention – I don’t want to appear “dramatic.”
In the past, when I have been hurt by someone’s behavior, well-meaning friends not wanting me to be sad, have given me the advice, “Just don’t take it personally.” Or have said, “They didn’t mean it like that.” This is not bad advice, just badly timed. It often comes before we are ready to hear it, and that feels judgmental and invalidating.
First things first: When your soft human hurts, the top priority is compassion. Fortunately, that is free and abundant. This means that no matter what happened, you say, “I get it.” Or, “I understand why that hurts.” You put your hand over your heart and take a breath, allowing yourself to feel it fully and love yourself through it.
Forgiveness is easier
I have poured compassion on myself a lot of this in the last two months! Luckily, after you do this, forgiveness is much easier. Let me tell you a bit more about my process.
I have been doing this forgiveness practice with myself and my clients for decades. It works because it is validating, practical and doable. But because abandonment and rejection showed up, again and again, I decided that I had deeper work to do to dissolve this pattern.
Was it that I trusted too easily?
Was it that I was sensitive?
Am I a pushover?
Was it a message for me about my life’s mission?
Was it that I had gunk from the past clouding my energy?
Do I not know how to clearly let people know what I am thinking? (What I need?)
Are my expectations too high?
You know. All the BIG questions we ask ourselves trying to find out if it is us or the other person causing the problem.
I gave myself some good lengthy, heartfelt compassion for all of these questions, and left them unanswered. Because the only important question is, how do I let this stop effecting me negatively? I made offerings to the earth for my intentions to let the feelings go, knowing that they did not serve me. Forgiveness is a commitment, and I decided I’d put effort and intention into this commitment.
Forgiveness is a verb
And then, someone else “abandoned” me. Again, I went through the process. I was able to let go of the feelings, but after each new incident, the deep sadness would flood again. Forgiveness is a verb. I was persistent and stayed present listening to the process, deciding I was not going to let this get in the way of my life purpose. I have helping others to do and letting go is the cornerstone of my teaching!
Perhaps, I thought, I was forgiving myself the feelings, but not forgetting (or forgiving) the person who hurt me. I imagined how the energy of that “holding on” could be affecting my life and the other person’s life. I imagined that the original form of the energy of that resentment may have collected other things over the years while it was in there like a dirty screen collects more dust than a clean screen. Consequently, it could in subtle ways be affecting more areas of our life than an isolated incident deserves. Most of the people who hurt me were not evil people, just misguided or in pain themselves. They definitely were responsible for what they did. But this clogged energy probably didn’t make them better to others after me. That thought made me sad. This is when I decided to do a Forgiveness Ceremony.
I started to make a list of all the people I could think of that let me down, hurt me, dissed me, try to yield power over me, ignored me, and abandonment me in my life. I filled a whole sheet of paper. Then, I planned a ceremony around letting go of any energy I felt between myself and that person. And, the energy within each of us separately. It was magical and deeply healing to release myself from all of this. And to take that energy out of the world. This practice didn’t condone what people did. It didn’t invalidate my hurt. It didn’t mean it was okay that someone hurt me. Considering that epigenetics has now shown us that ancestral trauma lasts in our DNA up to 14 generations, I wonder if some of this healing contributes to stopping ancestral trauma, too.
If we can clear the trauma energy from our own lives, can we clear it from our bodies? (If it can’t hurt, it is definitely worth our efforts!) Wanting to share this deeper process, I added a bonus video describing this ceremony to my video Forgiveness Masterclass. In it, are details on how you can receive this historic healing, too.
Here are the three steps to forgiveness that you’ll learn in the Masterclass:
- How you deserve to let go of this. (This is often neglected. We are often unconsciousness of feeling undeserving, though we recognize it when it’s pointed out. That is why I am pointing it out. It is a huge, unnecessary barrier that you need to get through.) If this step is hard for you, or you don’t know where to start then work with me. This includes understanding what happened and your role in it. I help people very quickly with this first step.)
- Set the intention. (Easy but important to make fun and meaningful! Loads of examples of what you can do here.)
- Practice. (Another neglected step. This is the main mistake people make thinking they ought to be done after step two. Missing this leads to loads of negative judgment and stuckness.
I have felt so much better since my ceremony. Can I help you feel this good? Is there anything that is stopping you from letting go? Let me know if the comments!