“I forgive myself.”
Try saying these words out loud now. How does it feel when you say that? What happens in your body? What happens in your mind? Does a specific memory or event come forward?
Many of us find it hard to forgive. And especially hard to forgive ourselves. That has certainly been the case in my life.
When we experience conflict with another person, we usually decide whether or not to forgive them. But when it’s you who’s done the wronging, the result is often a sense of feeling paralyzed. Maybe you don’t believe you deserve forgiveness, or you don’t know how to self-forgive. Either way, you feel terrible.
Thich Nhat Hanh says that forgiveness will not be possible until compassion is born in our heart. Self-forgiveness is an act of true self compassion and is a gift that will brings peace and transformation into our hearts, and in turn touches the lives of those we come in contact with. Self forgiveness is one of the most precious gifts we can give to ourselves.
There are many practices that help a person begin the process of forgiveness. The practice that has been the most helpful in my life is Ho’oponopono – an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. It represents a fundamental belief that harmony in one’s relationships (both internal and external) begins by establishing harmony between one’s own body, mind and spirit. Ho’oponopono consists of four simple statements that represent Repentance, Forgiveness, Gratitude and Love.
I Love You
These statements recognize that our consciousness creates our reality and asks that we take total responsibility for our internal experience of life. By taking personal responsibility for our part and then healing the wounded places within ourselves, we can literally heal ourselves and our world.
And all we need to do is repeat these four statements like a mantra, out loud or in our heads. The power of the words is in the feeling it evokes within and in the willingness to trust the Universe to forgive and love.
I encourage you to give this powerful practice a real try. Whenever an opportunity for self-healing presents itself in your life, pause, close your eyes, take a deep breath and open to the place where the hurt resides within you. Say the 4 statements: I’m Sorry, Forgive Me, Thank You, I Love You. Commit to repeating these statements several times a day, every day for 30 days. And then send me a note and share your experience – I’d love to know what transformation happens for you.
PS. For more on the Ho’oponopono practice see the Wikipedia Page. I also very much recommend Alaya Denoyelles book, The Sovereignty of Love – Coming Home with Ho’oponopono.
On Friday I led a Breath of Bliss Ceremony focusing on Forgiveness. The timing was fortuitous, as this coming New Moon in Scorpio on November 7th points to an opportunity for spiritual transformation through empathy and forgiveness. Scorpio is the sign associated with death and rebirth, and it’s energy is about sensitivity and softness. Further influenced by the recent Venus retrograde, this New Moon is a powerful time to forgive yourself and others for past mistakes, and make any necessary apologies for grievances made to others.
When we feel burdened by the emotional guilt of what we’ve said or done, it can make it harder to feel good about ourselves in our relationships and really in all aspects of our lives. Releasing any guilt or shame by what we’ve done and/or forgiving others through empathy and compassion makes our energy lighter, freer, and able to see beyond what’s clouding our vision.
Restoring integrity within is one of the greatest gifts we can offer ourselves – by taking accountability, acknowledging what we’ve done and how we are ready to make amends and move on.
NEW MOON IN SCORPIO FORGIVENESS RITUAL
As always, create sacred space for your ceremony by lighting candles, setting out sacred objects, burning incense, and other rituals which aid in creating ceremony space.
For this ceremony, gather pen and paper, and begin to answer the following questions:
- I forgive myself for…
(write as much as you feel called to. These could be things you’ve done or said to a loved one, ways you’ve mistreated yourself, or ways you feel you’ve failed/been out of integrity)
- I forgive (insert name) for…
(write as many people down as you feel the need to)
After taking time to thoughtfully answer each question, read each statement aloud. You may also wish to use the Ho’oponopono prayer after each forgiveness offering: I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You, I Love You.
Afterwards, in a metal or glass container, burn your paper to release the energetic ties to these old and stagnant emotional patterns.
Resolving relationships problems through compassion and forgiveness allows your dreams to be free of guilt or regret. How wonderfully freeing!
Almost every one of us struggles with forgiveness in some way. If this ritual resonates with you, hit reply to send me a note and tell me more. I also encourage you to share with those who you think could benefit from this ceremony.
love & pranams,
Saturday, November 12, 2016
12:30-3:30 pm at Chinook Yoga
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” ~Paul Boese
We all know it feels better emotionally to let go of resentment and anger. Then why is it so difficult? We can say sorry and apologize, but often the difficult feelings still remain.