“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
-Lewis B. Smedes
Did you know that forgiveness goes hand-in-hand with self-love?
I remember the first time I heard all forgiveness is self-forgiveness and I didn’t quite get it but as I did my own forgiveness work it became clear. When something horrible happens to us we get angry at the person we feel is responsible for our pain. But the truth is most of the time we are even angrier at ourselves (although most likely not on a conscious level) for letting it happen, not standing up for ourselves, not setting boundaries, not speaking our truth, not believing we are worthy, etc.
When we forgive ourselves we start to soften and begin letting go of the anger and resentment that is literally blocking our heart from the very thing we want – love!
As we forgive and shift the constricted energy around our heart center, we allow love to come in. The anger and resentment, the pain, the defensiveness; all those tough emotions block love from coming in and keep us separate from the people who want to love us.
Forgiving allows you to experience more love, joy, and freedom in your life. By releasing the past, you can have gratitude for what’s going on right now, in the present moment.
But I know forgiveness is not always easy. You cannot truly forgive yourself and others if you don’t feel, deeply and truly, that you deserve the freedom that comes with forgiveness.
I personally understand just how hard it can be.
When I released a huge piece of pent-up resentment and hurt around my dad that had been wallowing somewhere inside me for years. It was tough. And over the years, at times I had truly believed that I’d released it only to find that it was still there. Fortunately, I was able to finally let it go for good.
And believe me… it is incredibly powerful to let it go! It’s such a freeing feeling, which underlines an important point: the practice of forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re “letting someone off the hook” or “excusing poor behavior.” Not at all!
Many of us unconsciously hold the belief that our anger protects us – if we forgive someone, we might be susceptible to allowing that person back in our lives. We might secretly fear that we’ll fall in love with him again or put ourselves into an unhealthy or undesirable situation.
Understandably, that belief creates a barrier to forgiveness. But the reality is that when you forgive someone, you’re just dissolving the negative emotional bond to the person or incident. You’re simply releasing yourself from the prison of fear, resentment, and defensiveness.
If you’re ready to shift forward into a paradigm of love, freedom, and forgiveness, I have just the right solution: The Soul Sparkle Retreat!
The theme of this virtual womens’ weekend is “Release | Rise-Up | Renew.”