Is your past impacting your decision-making and how you carry on with life? Do you often wonder how you can deal with the person who hurt you in the past so that they no longer bring you pain today? No matter where you are in your journey and even if you’re doing a spiritual study, forgiving and letting go can remain incredibly difficult.
Below is an outline of the few steps involved in following the path of forgiveness and letting go of resentment. As you read through this, think about how you can apply them to your life.
1. Self-Observe and Reflect
The first step to forgiveness is self-observation. When you reflect, you go inward and find a solution within yourself. You want to look inside of your heart and discover the reason you’re holding onto resentment. As you journey inwards ask yourself “Is it about the past? Can I not forgive because of what I’m dealing with currently or is it because of the future?”
If the person who hurt you is no longer in your life but you continue holding onto what they did, you may be creating a lot of stories in your head. One version could be, “My partner cheated on me. That’s unforgivable.” Because of this statement you believe you’re not worthy enough. Making up these things is dangerous, as it is self-deprecating. Does this sound familiar to you?
Through self-reflection you will have an awakening to what you’re doing to yourself; you’ll understand what is truly happening inside, and you’ll learn that if you keep on holding onto resentment, the only person you’re limiting and hurting is yourself.
2. Let Go of Old Thoughts and Emotional Patterns
No matter what is happening in your life deep inside there’s this goodness in you that wishes to shift, evolve, and love. So if you want to let go and shift your old thought and emotional patterns, work with something that is continuously moving; which is Energy.
Doing mindful movements with inner focus and breath, meditating near flowing water, or just taking a walk in nature – as doing so stimulates your energy meridian systems and energy centers (chakras). If you move your energy you can change the fixed state of mind or consciousness and shift feelings, thoughts, and emotions.
To circulate energy in your entire body, you can focus on governor and conception vessel meridian channels. And if you are holding worries and negative emotions dealing with relationships, you can stimulate and feel your solar plexus chakra (CV 12, Zhong Won, the midpoint between the bottom of sternum and bellybutton) using the tips of all of your fingers. Press or tap the point 100 times. As you do this, you may feel a warm sensation in your whole body and feel sweat coming out of you. Your mind becomes clearer with fewer thoughts and you will most likely have released worries or negative emotions.
While you’re stimulating your body to move energy, know that feeling is the truth; it’s honest. Feeling of pain, discomfort, and negative emotions may come to the surface more. So instead of pushing your emotions inside let them flow out of you; breathe out and tell yourself that it’s okay to feel the things you’re holding onto. Then, tell yourself that you are freeing them, you no longer need to keep holding on to them; your limiting beliefs and people you hold resentment for. Surrender yourself to the energy that is flowing through you and open your mind.
You may need to continue this process many times. Then, you’ll get to the place where more of what’s inside of you comes out. The more you journey within yourself the more you understand yourself and finally release the old thought patterns that lead you to feel resentful.
If you feel resentment toward what a person has done to you in the past and keep holding onto it, there will be a significant distance between you and them. For instance if you’re in a relationship and your partner is continuously doing something you feel is wrong; you may feel disrespected. You may think your other half isn’t concerned about you. As time passes by and it accumulates more and more inside of you; you feel your needs are not met, not being understood, get frustrated, judge, criticize, and hold resentment towards your partner.
If you don’t bring up those “small things,” they’ll build up and eventually turn into big things. Then you’ll feel even more resentful toward your partner. If this is the case communicate with your partner. Share how you feel, mention the things that bother you, and have a conversation about them. Your partner may not even be aware of what you’re going through.
Also, it is important to be honest with yourself and what you’re feeling; this is the only way for you to keep going on with your life in peace. Make time to connect with yourself, converse with yourself, then you may identify that those negative thoughts/emotions are coming from “Your Story” you made up with your perceptions.
Before you try to forgive other people come back home to yourself first. As you journey within you’ll find yourself no longer holding onto the past, you will release resentment, and finally, let new energy come into your life.
You can learn more about healing your relationships in our Transform Your Relationships retreat