We all have done things we don’t feel good about – things we wish we had not done. We also hold on to acts others do that have hurt or angered us. We have a choice to carry these burdens around with us or do what my favorite monk in literature did, “leave them at the river.” Let go of your guilt, judgments, hurts and anger. Do the loving act and forgive!
It is important to forgive yourself the mistakes you have made and the things you have done that have been most hurtful to others. By writing them you give yourself the gift of making your load lighter as you attempt to experience more happiness.
It is a good thing to forgive people who have done things that have been hurtful to you. It allows you to move on past that incident or wrong and be in present time without bitterness or anger in your heart. Forgiveness is for you, not the other person.
This is a simple exercise. Either take out your journal or sit at your computer and start writing:
1. These are things I have thought, said or done for which I want forgiveness or for which I want to forgive myself.
2. These are things others have said or done that I want to forgive, clearing me of all negative feelings.
After writing the items, say aloud you forgive yourself and you forgive others. Ask for forgiveness and imagine being your perfect spiritual or higher self, understanding, accepting and loving yourself. Imagine your parents doing the same. And sense the forgiveness of God or the creative force of the universe. Then again say aloud your forgive yourself and you forgive others who harmed you.
Sometimes it is important to share these things with your clergy, a therapist or a trusted friend. Receiving acceptance and feeling the caring or love of another makes it easier to move into forgiveness and let go of the negative feelings.
Life gets better and wellbeing is strengthened when you regularly clear and forgive these actions of yours and others. Feeling gratitude after forgiveness helps solidify the release of negative emotions.