The Gift of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is one of the most powerful things we can ever do. True forgiveness involves reclaiming your own power. The person whom you are forgiving is a person you have been granting an unreasonable amount of power over you. I remember a friend of mine who was raised by an alcoholic father, who constantly went on and on about how he had ruined her life. This woman was 55 years old. She had not seen her father in more than 30 years. He had been dead for 20 years. And yet, she was still giving him power over her happiness. She was blaming him for the unhappiness that she still had in her life.

I’m not saying that her father did not mistreat her and her mother. From her stories, I know that he truly made her life miserable. However she has continued to make herself miserable by clinging to memories of those old events and not forgiving him.

If she had been able to forgive him and move forward, she would’ve reclaimed her own power over her happiness. Her happiness is her responsibility, not the responsibility of a man who has been dead for 20 years. If she ever realizes that, her capacity for happiness will be enormous.

My own mother had never forgiven my father for his cruelty to the day she died in 2011. My father had died in 1982 and my parents had been divorced since 1967. And during all of those years, my mother’s bitterness toward my father never waned. Needless to say, she was a very unhappy person most of the time. When you allow yourself to feel bitterness towards another person, that bitterness spills over into the rest of your life and poisons it in a way that severely reduces your ability to be happy.

Is has been said many times, that “the moment of power is now.” What that means is that it is only in the present, right here, right now, that you can exercise your power to change your life. The past is gone. The future has not yet arrived. You cannot operate from a point of power in either the past or the future. If you are allowing your grudges and negative feelings to keep you in the past, you are keeping yourself from the now. You are keeping yourself from the only place where you can exercise real power.

The biggest gift that forgiveness brings is not to the person being forgiven. It is the gift of freedom to the person doing the forgiving. When you truly forgive, you are free to move forward. You are no longer tied to that heavy anchor of blame that holds you back. When we give up all of the grudges and bad feelings that we hold for others, it is very much like shedding hundreds of pounds of weight.

You can give yourself this gift right now. Start forgiving everyone for everything. Especially forgive yourself. Forgive your parents. Forgive your siblings. Forgive your children. Forgive your grandparents. Forgive your coworkers. Forgive the politicians and news media. Forgive everyone for everything. When you step into your power by releasing all of that negativity, you will realize there was nothing to forgive. And the fact that you have forgiven is a great gift for you, as it releases everything that was holding you back.

Forgiveness Moves Us Forward

Forgiveness is an important building block for us to make progress in our lives. When I hear someone say “I can forgive but I’ll never forget,” I don’t believe they have really forgiven. The “I’ll never forget” part often means that a person is still hanging on to a grudge. If that person is still hanging onto a grudge, then that person has not truly forgiven.

One of my very favorite quotes all time came from Swami Muktananda. He said, “You have to keep forgiving until you realize there was nothing to forgive.” This is such a powerful statement when you think of what it really means. If you believe like I do, that we create our own reality, and the law of attraction is one of those ways in which we create it, then you understand that any perceived “wrong” done by another is something you attracted and created in your life. Why should you be angry and unforgiving of someone you attracted into your life?

I know this is a hard concept to accept, as we can perceive many terrible “wrongs” that we think other people are doing. I myself tend to get wrapped up in stories about things like animal cruelty, child molesting, rape, murder, etc. Even though I know that people attract all of those things to themselves, I still at times feel the injustice of it all. That’s because I get caught up in the notion that there is a certain way things are supposed to be.

It would be nice if we could all live in a world where everybody treats each other with compassion and kindness, with love and respect, and honoring the source within us all. But, obviously there are many people who seem to be incapable of doing such things.

My ex-husband left me for another woman in 2007. For a while, I played the role of victim and felt very negative feelings toward my ex-husband and his lover. But I finally realized I had attracted the situation into my life so that I would end a marriage that was not giving me any moral support at all. Then I understood that all of the hurt I went through was because I would not have had the nerve to end my unhappy relationship myself because of fear. I was afraid of being alone. I have a neuromuscular disease which makes it hard for me to do certain things and I was afraid of being alone without any help. (Though the fact is that my ex-husband was rarely around, and when he was he was not willing to help me very much at all.)

I was also afraid of not having enough money to survive. Clearly, I was not trusting Source to deliver a replacement for my husband’s paycheck. When I am being lucid, I know that my husband’s paycheck was not my real source of support. My real source of support is Source.

The relationship needed a drastic jolt in order for it to end. I realize now that my ex-husband’s relationship with the other woman allowed me to get out of an unhappy relationship. I have forgiven them both and I have moved on. In fact I have realized that there’s nothing to forgive.

Yes, I went through some difficult times at first. I had not lived alone for so long, that I had to learn how to do that again. I had to face some fears, and I had to know that Source has my back.

I found a very nice video on YouTube about the importance of forgiveness and how it lets us release the past that is often holding us back from making progress in our lives. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Text Copyright © 2011 by Victoria Young

End of Year Ritual

Everybody is familiar with the New Year Rituals — making resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, be a better person, get a better job, etc. But, it seems to me that the sudden turning to “what’s next” without taking care of “what’s past” causes old issues to come up again — soon after the shine has worn off the New Year.

Those old energies can be like troublesome relatives or acquaintances. The New Year arrives and you move to get away from the negative energy of those people. You are ready to start new and fresh, with a clean slate. You didn’t tell those people your new address.

Even though you didn’t tell them where you live, they find you anyway and cause the same old trouble — or — you meet new people who behave in the same ways. You just can’t seem to get rid of that energy for long because you did not take the time to deal with it before setting out on the new path.

I developed an End of Year Ritual to clean up the old energies before going forward into the New Year. I find it is very helpful in tying up the old loose ends that can trip you up like un-tied shoes. Click the link to read the ritual process. Continue reading

Forgiveness is for You (Not Whoever You are Forgiving)

One of my favorite quotes, attributed to Swami Muktananda, says we need to keep forgiving until we realize there is nothing to forgive. Over the years since I heard it I have come to grok it on different levels and from different points of view.

Obviously, if you accept the notion that you create your reality — all of it — no exceptions — then it makes no sense at all to blame someone else for anything in your life. If you create it all, even what someone else does in your life that affects you was created (or attracted) by you. So, if you are feeling like a victim of someone’s deeds, start out by forgiving them. Keep forgiving them until you realize it is all your creation and no forgiveness is required.

Continue reading

Affirmations – 7 Steps to Make Them Work – Part 2

In part 1, I gave you some sample affirmations and started explaining the seven steps that successful people use related to affirmations and changing their lives. I also covered the first three steps:

  • Make Peace with Where You Are
  • Practice Forgiveness
  • Repetition Helps You Start to Internalize It

Here are the remaining steps to help you successfully use affirmations to improve your life.

Move Your Attention From “What Is” to “What Can Be”
When you first start saying affirmations, it can feel like they are untrue. After all, you are affirming (saying) something that does not appear to be true right now. Saying the affirmation “I have lots of money” when you know your bank account only contains five dollars can feel like a lie.

Try to remember that the current condition of “I only have five dollars” will be perpetuated if you keep thinking that, even though it appears to be true at this point in time. Paying attention to and thinking about “what is” will only cause it to continue. Saying a positive affirmation, even if it does not currently seem to be true is an important step toward bridging from only having five dollars to having lots of money.

Continue reading

Affirmations – 7 Steps to Make Them Work – Part 1

I’ve known lots of people who tried affirmations to no avail.
For those new to this, an affirmation is a positive, present-tense statement about something you want to create in your life. Here are a few examples:

Money comes easily to me.
I am healthy, whole and complete.
I am loving and lovable.
I am thankful for my new job.
My romantic partner is loving and kind.
I am the perfect weight for my height.
My life flows easily.
People are friendly and helpful.
My life is full of joy.
My income is constantly increasing.
People appreciate my contributions.
I am successful.
I love myself the way I am.

Continue reading

Beyond Forgiveness

Is forgiveness a necessary step towards healing ourselves from real and perceived hurts? We have been told that the process of forgiving and not forgiving is really a matter of choosing how quickly we want to learn our lessons about love, compassion, attaining happiness, being aware of our feelings and staying present in all areas of our lives. But this is only part of healing ourselves.

Why do most of us choose to forgive some situations? We want to feel good about ourselves, an apology is given, we are already aware of why the conflict occurred in the first place or there was a misunderstanding that led to the conflict and we are willing to let it go.

Then there are times when and many reasons why we find it challenging to forgive. For instance, we may feel we have a right or are justified to be a victim, we may try to seek revenge, or we might try to use these situations to emotionally blackmail the person who caused the harm.

When we choose to forgive or not to forgive, most of us only focus on what we will get out of it; we make forgiveness a selfish motivation. We don’t look beyond the act of forgiveness to see the spiritual impetus for the experiences that have caused us to feel hurt, pain, bitterness or resentment. We also don’t always recognize the how and why we may have attracted these situations in the first place.

So how do we move past these negative motivations and really begin healing ourselves? Continue reading

Ho’oponopono

I lived on the Hawaiian island of Kauai for some years. There I learned some of the Hawaiian customs. One of them is called “Ho’oponopono” — a practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. It was used by shamans or “Kahunas” to heal sick people. In order for healing to take place, all transgressions in the family had to be discussed and forgiven. It was believed that ones errors were the cause of illness. This is true in many Polynesian cultures.

They believed that the “sins of the fathers” fall upon the children. If the child is sick, the parents are suspected of quarreling or other misdeeds. Rituals were performed of mutual family confession and forgiveness to release the memories of wrong doing and free the sick from bad karma.

Whether you subscribe to these ideas or not, owning up to one’s errors, apologizing for them and receiving forgiveness can be very healing go to. It releases the great burden of carrying around unconfessed feelings of guilt. And forgiving someone for perceived “wrong doing” can heal the forgiver, as well. Feelings of anger and victimhood create a cascade of chemicals in the body that cause problems with stress and health.

When we forgive, we stop creating all of those nasty chemicals that contribute to dis-ease.

So, in that spirit, I offer the lovely video I found called “Hooponopono.” The phases repeated for Ho’oponopono are:

I’m sorry.
Please forgive me.
I love you.
Thank you.

So simple and profound.

And another video that gives instructions on practicing Ho’oponopono.

Text Copyright © 2009 by Victoria Young