Forgiveness is a gift
Forgiveness has two sides: asking for forgiveness and offering it up. I highly recommend taking time out each day to sit quietly and contemplate forgiveness.
Who do you need to ask for forgiveness from? The first person who pops into your mind is the person you need to ask for forgiveness from. Really try to feel it in the heart and mean it. There could have been things you’ve said or done or didn’t say or didn’t do that hurt or upset others, and you aren’t even aware of it.
Let your heart lead the way
Oftentimes it’s shame and embarrassment that holds us back from asking for forgiveness. We are ashamed of how we behaved. We feel embarrassed. That’s the ego. The heart knows better. The heart will tell you: apologize, ask for forgiveness, say you’re sorry. Go on, now. If you can’t do it in person, ask for forgiveness with your thoughts, or write it in a letter or email. Doesn’t matter if you send it or not. The important thing is you’ve asked.
Offering up forgiveness can be much more difficult. If there are any grudges, bitterness, resentment, anger, hatred, or jealousy that you’re still holding in your heart, try to have a willingness to forgive. When you forgive, it doesn’t mean that what happened was ok, it just means that you accept it for what it was and that you’re not going to let it control your life anymore. You’re able to forgive, for your own peace of mind. Maybe that person said or did something to you one time or ten times, but how many times did you replay it in your mind? A hundred times? So who’s being more unkind to you, that person or yourself?
Be responsible for your actions
When we can ask for forgiveness and offer up forgiveness, we quit playing the blame game and get out of the „victim“ role, we take back the power in our lives. Try to look at the situation from multiple perspectives, take full self responsibility for your thoughts, words and actions, and in some cases, your lack of words and lack of action that co-contributed to the situation.
There have been instances in my past where I played the victim role and blamed everything on the other person. Then I grew wiser and realized the situation unfolded the way it did because I didn’t speak up for myself. I didn’t choose me. I didn’t show myself enough self love. So in actuality, everyone is to blame and no one!
These are some phrases I repeat to myself when contemplating forgiveness:
I let go x 3
I am willing to forgive x 3
I release the past x 3
Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. When we can forgive ourselves and others for our past actions, words, thought, or lack of words/action, then we can be free.
Life is too short to hold onto to hate in your heart. Is it really worth it? Instead of channeling your energy into hating yourself and hating others, why not channel it into loving yourself and loving others?
You’ll know that you’ve truly forgiven yourself or another when you think about that situation and it doesn’t create a reaction within you.
Forgiveness takes time. Go in there, into the dark parts of yourself and unravel all these knots in your heart. This is the most important work you can be doing for you, your loved ones, for humanity.
If you have any questions or comments about forgiveness, please let me know.
I’d love to meet you in person at my Pranayama and Ashtanga Workshop at Yogahlada in St. Gallen, Switzerland from May 28-29. We will begin with a guided contemplation on gratitude, forgiveness, and guidance. Hope to see you there or somewhere else beautiful!