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Radical forgiveness — shed the load

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“The will to forgive is not enough. Even if you want to forgive, you cannot forgive. Only true understanding can bring about forgiveness. And this kind of understanding is possible only when you see the suffering (of others)”. — Thich Nhat Hanh

Chances are if you are growing up in the world as it stands today, you have been deeply hurt by someone. Maybe in moments of solitude or obsessive social media scrolling, you are reminded of the hurt like a sharp pain. If you have, you are not alone. Emotional wounds are often the deepest and can last a lifetime. I have been on a forgiveness journey myself and realized things that have convinced me that the only way to live is to forgive.

What really is forgiveness and what is it not? Forgiveness is not righting the wrongs of others. It is not overlooking the wrongs of others. Forgiveness is the radical act of letting go off the pain, suffering, despair associated with a person and situation that hurt us or caused us harm.

When live life from a place of discord with the present moment, in a state of anger or resentment at events or a person, we create more of the same discord. If we live from a place of lucidity and ease, we attract more peace.

It is easier said than done and is not a one pill solution — it requires constant self evaluation and work. Do not be deterred by this gloomy analysis. Read on to see if any of the two truths about forgiveness might resonate with you and help you on your journey towards ease, compassion and space.

The two biggest principles to forgiveness that I have come to realize are:

Everyone is doing the best they know how

Truth of the matter is that no one consciously sets out to disappointment someone. We are all on a journey of self-realization and exploration. However, we may not be at the same stage of the journey. Our capacities for wisdom, love, compassion and empathy differ based on where we are at in the journey.

When we try to understand someone’s else’s actions by wondering how we might have reacted in the situation, we erroneously assume that we are all at the same stage in the journey of our soul. That is a flawed assumption and will only cause further disappointment.

No matter how hard it might be to understand, it is important to accept someone you love dearly might not have the capacity to recognize and mend their behavior that causes you hurt and pain. Knowing this you can stick to the futile act of holding on to the resentment, or let it go and see that it is an outcome-less habit

Recognizing this and accepting that person or situation frees up space in your heart to hold love and make decisions from a place of lucidity versus impulse or pain.

If you do not agree with any of the above, think about the outcomes you want to create in the throes of anger or resentment — you want to destroy, scream, thrash.

Unless these outcomes have helped you move to a place of deeper peace, it is time to let it go. I would encourage seeking the help of a professional if you have tried to do it on your own but need more support — you are not alone.

We are accountable for our lives

It is a really hard fact to swallow, especially when someone lets you down deeply or when you are dealt a serious of hard and ill-fated hands in life. The idea is not to sit and wallow in guilt for having brought misery to ourselves, but to recognize the empowered position we sit in to choose what we want in our lives.

Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation that was introduced to me by my Reiki teacher. Here is how the practice goes, if you are holding on to pain and need to forgive someone, imagine them and talk to their higher consciousness. Then say these words from your heart

I am sorry

Please forgive me

Thank you

I love you

At first glance you might scoff and wonder “Why do I need to apologize!!”. The practice is based on the foundational principle that everything in the universe is connected. As a Shamanism student, the practice was very easy for me to understand.

However, it can be very hard for people to accept the practice as it requires us to take complete accountability for whatever wrongdoing we feel was done “to us”. Furthermore, it helps the body rid of the energy, memories and feelings associated with the events — so you need to be READY to get rid of the story of resentment that you have been clutching close to the heart.

More than just the words, the practice’s power lies in the foundational principle that I described above and really feeling the words.

As an example, if someone used harsh words with me that hurt me and I realize the need to let go off the pain and forgive the person, I might practice something like:

I am sorry that you had to say the words

Please forgive me as I am 100% accountable for attracting the events that come into my life

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to let go off the pain, memories and genetic conditioning associated with the event

I love you, because you and I are both parts of the same divine




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Vidushi Sandhir

Vidushi Sandhir

Technology Consultant by day. A spiritual vagabond, passionate learner and dreamer. Empowering healing for people, currently through Reiki and Ayurvedic Marma

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