I don’t know about you, but I’ve been clearing, decluttering, and finding things to release since the beginning of November. This annual purge hit a little earlier for me this year, with the new year’s energy coming in strong and with more clarity than usual. Did you feel it? It’s forced me to look at everything around me and to take inventory of what supports me, where I’m going, what lights me up, and most importantly what doesn’t. This is where forgiveness and release comes in…
I think we’ve all heard the phrase “forgive for yourself, not for others”. I’d heard this for years, however it wasn’t until pretty recently when the words started to sink in and have some meaning to them. I was always in situations where you’re forced to say “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you” to a person for something you/they did. It was empty and meaningless because we were trying to achieve a specific result, not because we meant it. It was one of those things that was the right thing to do in the moment, and often to make the other person feel better.
But what does that really do to a person? A situation? And long term.
What I'm realizing is that type of behavior hurts. It hurts you as the person who is saying the words and it hurts the recipient because they aren’t receiving the truth from you. It hurts you as the person saying the words because you aren’t able to speak your truth. You aren’t able to fully feel what you’re feeling and process it in a way that’s comfortable for you. You may be required to work through the projections and judgements of others and live the experience through their perspective. I know I’ve been in situations where this has happened and I’ve questioned how I’ve felt or reacted to something because of others. You feel confused because you aren’t sure whether you’re responding appropriately or if there’s something wrong because of the way you’ve interpreted a word, a look, or a silence. You self criticize and question your own natural response for the sake of others. If it happens enough, this becomes a pattern that you have to unwind later.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I think we’ve all been in a situation like this at least once. I’m totally including myself in this because I used to be the person to hold a grudge for a lifetime if needed. I took things personally and never let them go. But guess what, this didn’t work out so well. Wanna know something else? I ended up holding onto things that were hurting me, holding me back, and didn’t have anything to do with the person I had grown to be or who I was becoming. Better yet, I couldn’t see any other way for a long time because I was so caught up in holding onto things and thinking about how many times others had wronged me. I was in victim mode. I couldn’t understand anything other than the hurt I had endured and asking “why me?!” for so many things.
Are you still with me?
Holding onto these things took a toll on my relationships, my environment, the things I dreamed for myself, and most importantly my health. When I started learning about the power of forgiveness and WHY we do it, I had to stop and let the concept sink in. Then, I had the harsh realization that I was carrying decades of grudge, hurt, emotion, judgement and so much more for myself and others. Add the element of akashics and past lifetimes to that and I had to sit myself down! I could literally be carrying around lifetimes of this stuff around for myself and others! No wonder I was so tired, unhappy, overwhelmed, and feeling stuck! I was holding onto things that others had likely already moved on from. I was using it as an excuse to hold myself back and I didn’t need to. With this understanding, it was time to get to work!
When something happens, we carry that with us. We carry the people, the emotions, any beliefs that are made up as a result…all of it. It sticks to us and with us whether we like it or not. Then we carry that with us into all experiences. From an energetic perspective, I like to think it clogs us up. It clouds our ability to see and feel clearly and truly for self when there’s enough built up without our awareness.
Have you ever driven in really thick, dense fog? The type where you can barely see a few feet in front of you. In this situation, you are very careful because you don’t know what’s around you and you just hope for the best while you drive really slow. But you don’t see another way to get to your destination, so you go slow. When we don’t forgive, we’re driving through the dense fog. We’re going slow, sometimes careful, sometimes frustrated wishing for something different, but we’re still going. We don’t see any other way, want something to change, but the fog is still there keeping us from really moving and accelerating like we want to. Or even see others doing. The burden of it weighs us down and we are carrying so many things that we don’t need to.
Enter the sunshine. When the sun starts to peek through the clouds, the fog gets a little less dense. It becomes easier to see in front of you and your awareness of surroundings increases as well. Your driving speed can increase because you can see and you feel more in control of your destiny and ability to reach your destination. When we forgive, the sun peeks through the clouds until there are no more clouds. We feel unencumbered and free to express and live in the way that benefits us. We can move at a pace that feels comfortable and see more angles of things. We can clear the clogs from our bodies and lives.
What does it have to do with health?
I’ve started to think of it this way: not forgiving = burden. Whether it’s our own burden or someone else’s, it's a burden. But the real question here is, “why would we want to carry a burden if we don’t have to, ours or otherwise?” Life can be hard enough, so let’s make it easier where we can. Carrying burdens can leave us feeling stressed, overwhelmed, afraid, shameful, sad, confused, angry, disillusioned, resentful, disappointed and so much more. When we feel these things, our bodies respond. It can look like digestive issues, mood changes, sleep disruption, hormone imbalances, food cravings, weight gain/loss, chronic pain, skewed perception of self, ability to communicate effectively, interpersonal relationships, and so much more. Kinda scary huh?
Our bodies respond and all we can do is be grateful because we can fix it! Years ago on the show The Biggest Loser, after losing large amounts of weight, the contestants would be asked to complete a physical challenge wearing weight belts/vests equivalent to that of their previous weight. These tasks were difficult to say the least. But it was a reminder of the burdens they used to carry around. We can release with forgiveness if we want. We can start to chip away and make way through the clouds if we want.
So how do we start releasing?
One of the most effective ways I’ve found is writing. I’ve always been a writer, so I default to journaling or writing a letter to get things out. If writing isn’t your thing, that’s okay, there are plenty of other ways to work through this. Find what works for you and see how it goes.
- Journaling - The release exercise I shared on December 14th is excellent for clearing and forgiveness. It focused on the past but it can be for anything. All of it is releasing and making room for where we’re headed. This can be done with any category or any situation where you’ve been negatively impacted or have the perception of being held back.
- Write a letter - Without the intent to send! State your case and be honest about how you feel and why. The impact on you and your relationship with that person and others if relevant. See from the person’s perspective and potentially why they would’ve reacted that way. What shaped their experience for them to behave that way. See that they’ve been operating from what they know, whether it matches what you want or received. Extend gratitude from this place of understanding and release. Burn it (or rip it up and throw away if you can' turn safely)!
- Ho’oponopono - This is a commonly used prayer coming from ancient Hawaiian roots for forgiveness and reconciliation. It can be done visually or verbally. One of the easiest ways to do this is to think of yourself in a theater with the people you want to forgive joining you. Invite them to the stage and repeat the prayer to them “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you”. I like to add more to this because I want to be clear on what I’m clearing and forgiving. So I include the details of the situation to make sure I have full understanding of what I’m doing.
- Physical release - Move your body. It’s that simple. This is something I’m almost always going to say because it will help release the energy your body doesn’t want to hold onto. Moving after you write a letter or visualization can help move any stagnant energy as well. It gets the endorphins flowing and the blood pumping…it’s a recipe for success.
- Declutter - Clear the clutter from your physical space. This is something I’ve been doing recently and also helps move energy in your home. It can also be a benefit so you aren’t constantly reminded or surrounded by things that don’t serve or support you.
In my book, there are three keys to make this all work: honesty, reconciliation and gratitude. Once you’re able to get here, you can make magic happen. I’d love to hear about your forgiveness journey and if it’s impacted your health at all. If you need help with the art of forgiveness and interested in what it can do to enhance your life, I’d love to help with that. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a Discovery call at this link so we can uncover your best your next steps.