Across cultures, this is a great time of year to do the inner work of preparing for new growth & new life with the coming of Spring (in the Northern Hemisphere!), and the celebrations of Easter, Passover, and Ramadan to name a few. A significant part of that inner work is letting go of the obstacles that keep old patterns and negative emotions in place, in order to make room for new possibilities. Forgiving is a way to detach from past relationships, patterns, situations, or events–and is also helpful in resetting your close relationships, reducing inflammation & releasing pain in the body, creating more love, peace & harmony, and improving overall health.
Everyone has heard about the importance of forgiveness and there are many ways people talk about forgiving–what it means, who ‘should’ do it and when. Many even think forgiving is a good idea but few of us were taught a crucial bit of information–how, specifically, to go about it! Learning a practical, reliable process for forgiving others and self-forgiveness is like adding a new tool to life’s tool box.
Usually the discussion about forgiveness is focused on the people who have ‘wronged’ us directly (and it’s certainly helpful in those types of situations!) but it can also be used for anything that causes angst – including worry over a loved one, overwhelm, caregiver burn-out, resentment of a condition or situation that is beyond another’s control. And it may seem strange to think about forgiving private & public institutions, political figures or groups, societal patterns & movements, or other groups of people, but if they cause us to suffer, we can and, for our well-being, we perhaps must. Honoring our emotional truth, canceling our expectations that something different had happened in the past, and opening up to new possibilities going forward are the keys. The ability to have good will and see the good in ourselves, others, and events around us, allows love and healing to flow more potently in our lives.