Forgiveness really is the eraser of guilt and anger. It is the key that opens the shackles of the past and permits us to move on with our life in a freer, far lighter way. Once we accept this we can start the process of healing that each of us deserve.
Keep these approaches in mind as you reflect and move along on your journey of forgiveness:
-- Your ultimate aim is to release the hurt and the anger that is feeding the pain. Just as you can recover from a painful thorn in your finger by pulling it out, so you can recover from any painful experience by moving forward. When it no longer has a place deep in your heart and mind, it can no longer fester, and the hurt can at last come to an end. Choosing to forgive means you allow those bad feelings to leave your life once and for all.
-- It's critical to replace bad feelings with neutral ones. When the facts remain unchanged, but those facts no longer have the ability to hurt, then you can move on from the past. You transform from being a victim and become the victor. You are human, and so you can be hurt. Human beings really are resilient, and because you are human you can heal - from a love betrayal or awful, unfair experiences in your life. If you're still reacting, then you're still stuck in some kind of emotional mud. Through forgiveness you can be free of those toxic reactions.
-- Humor is a wonder of healing. If you are able to smile about the love that let you down, or joke about the years you fought with a sibling, family member, or lover then you trade pain for a different emotion. That heavy load is shifted, substituted by a newfound lighter feeling that can even put a spring in your step. The healing power of forgiveness springs from our ability to move on from our anger and resentment. These emotions don't really hurt those ones who have hurt us, but they certainly do hurt us. Once we forgive we're actually protecting ourselves; we clear our mind, our emotions, and a great deal of our time. Focusing on more empowering and positive areas liberates and distances us from the event or person who has hurt us.
Forgiveness removes us from harm's way. As far as we continue to dwell on and concentrate on hurt in the past, continually reacting to the damage somebody has created, we remain emotionally stuck with that person and with what they have done. Forgiveness breaks the chains that lock. With it we take a huge step forward with our lives, releasing the negativity and shielding ourself from toxic emotional involvement.
-- Rehashing a hurtful experience over and again keeps it fresh in the mind, creating mental and emotional upset. Should the topic arise in conversation, it's much better to respond with: 'I'm choosing not to focus on that experience. I'm allowing it to fade from my life, and I'm moving on to better things.'
-- One of the most important factors of the healing process is our own self-talk. What we say to ourself is the most powerful driving force. Choosing words that feel true to yourself, we may say: 'I choose to feel wonderful today. No matter what others may say or do, my happiness comes from within. I alone determine how I feel.'
Affirmations such as: 'I am now taking care of the child within, and I am doing a really good job. I alone have direct control over my psychological wellbeing. I focus on the positive things in life. I wake up each day and focus on things that are beautiful and right.'
When we at last come to see that our anger hurts only ourselves, then we can reach that state where forgiveness is possible. With forgiveness we draw that line under the past and allow ourselves to move on with our life.
In this freer state, we can finally move on from the past, and at last start to live the life with which we have been gifted.