Now that we're feeling all warm and fuzzy (and I trust you are from yesterday's practice of receiving), we're going to go a little deeper, for some a lot deeper, and practice what just might be the ultimate gift of kindness – forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a big deal, but I don't have to tell you that, you already know it. But, gosh is it ever hard to do sometimes. And, do you ever find it's easier to forgive others than it is to forgive yourself?
We carry around so much heavy energy from blame, and shame, and judgement that I thought today would be a great day to just let it all go, free ourselves and offer up the ultimate gift of kindness, both to others and to ourselves.
Today, I give you the beautiful and ultimate gift of kindness – forgiveness.
Here's the really great thing about forgiveness... it's energetic. It's the releasing of heavy energy that's holding us back from experiencing life the way we want to experience it. Since it's energetic it doesn't require we re-hash the experience or even go face to face with the person we've been holding a grudge for, we simply need to energetically let it go. Because in the world of creation, heavy energy is really the only thing that gets in our way of living a life of MORE.
If you're game, here's a little exercise based on the Ho'oponopono, the gentle Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. It will seriously change aspects of your life for the better you never knew could be improved.
- Forgiveness Step 1: Go chronologically through your life and write down any and all situations and people where you have memories of guilt, shame, blame, judgement and where you might be holding onto anger in the way of a grudge, until now haven't been willing or able to let go. Write them down on a paper. You may have 3, you may have 30, get as many of them down on the paper as possible.
- Forgiveness Step 2: The hard part is almost over because most people actually procrastinate doing the list in the first place, so give yourself a little bit of loving kindness and appreciate yourself for being brave and committed.
- Forgiveness Step 3: For each item on the list, read it, let any residual emotion come up and then say, "I forgive you. I'm sorry. I love you."
That's it! It's that simple. And even thought it's simple, it's working. If there's any doubt at all, I always offer the idea of "Sincerely Pretend!" Let go of any and all judgement or opinion until you've done this exercise at least three times. If after three times you don't notice any changes in yourself and/or in your life, then by all means I probably would doubt too (but since I'm a betting girl, I'm going to say that's probably not going to happen). This is a practice that requires practice and often oems we simply need to create the action without judgement in order to start creating opportunity.
And, by the way, all of this doesn't necessarily mean you condone or forget, it just means you release the energy that isn't serving you. Ah, the power of energy.
This is something you can do every year, every month, every day while brushing your teeth, because it can make you feel squeaky clean and usually your first time we just barely touch the surface and there's a lot more to clean out – kind of like taking a first pass at your closet and then taking a second and maybe a third and really cleaning out what isn't useful any longer.
And with all of that, I'll leave you with a beautiful quote from Thich Nhat Hanh, "No blaming, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.
And I'll add... Your heart will be filled with what Love is made of, Kindness.