Last week we looked at what happens when you release the hardened energy – resentment, defensiveness and anger – around your heart; in other words when we forgive. We discovered it actually creates space for love and generosity to enter the picture.
Today, we will look at dovetailing another beautiful practice to open the heart even more – gratitude.
You might be asking, “how does gratitude tie in with forgiveness?”
Actually, pretty powerfully. Forgiveness doesn’t always happen overnight. In fact, sometimes it can take years of emotional work, sifting through the layers of the hurt, until we’re truly able to release old, hardened emotions. Little by little we get to a peaceful place.
Gratitude is a tool you can use to close the gap quicker – one I’ve found to be very successful with clients and would like to give to you too.
Are you ready? I think you’ll love how simple it is and quick! It’s the practice of gratitude. The big question that can really move things forward if answered honestly is this: What can you be grateful for about this person who has caused so much pain?
Gratitude for Our Sacred Friends
The Dalai Lama has a wonderful quote about what he calls “sacred friends.” These are the people who come into your life and push you to grow – and often, it’s a very painful process. Here is what he says:
“Everyone has friends; we all have friends. Friends easy love, easy forgive. But we have our sacred friends. Sacred friends very, very difficult. Chinese government, my sacred friend. Not Chinese people, Chinese government. Chinese people don’t do this; this is Chinese government that does this. The Chinese government is my sacred friend because without the Chinese government doing what they’ve done, I would never have had to evolve my heart to be bigger than the pain they bring.”
What can you be grateful for with regards to the person you need to forgive? What did he or she teach you? How did you grow, what monumental shifts did you experience as a result of that challenge?
Here’s an example. I divorced my ex-husband when I discovered years ago that he was cheating on me with another woman. It was an extremely painful experience, and yet, if I hadn’t gone through that, I wouldn’t be doing the work I’m doing now. Helping women get to the other side of their profound pain – transforming it into peace and finding joy again is my passion and purpose.
Without experiencing the pain of my ex-husband’s actions and the subsequent ending of my marriage, I wouldn’t have realized my purpose.
Let Go and Let Gratitude
Energy cannot flow when you hold on to something tightly, and that includes harsh feelings that prevent forgiveness. When you release those feelings, energy can flow! Love can come in! Gratitude will flood your body!
This week, I challenge you to take on gratitude and forgiveness in a new way: is there someone out there who needs your forgiveness?
I challenge you to reach out to that person, either by writing a letter, calling them, or communicating with them through the ethers. Make the choice to let go of whatever they did or didn’t do and allow the gratitude to flow. A key piece of this will be deeply tuning into whatever it is about them that you can appreciate, whether it was a tough lesson they taught you, or even this process of learning to forgive.
If you’d like help tapping into your gratitude and forgiveness, it would be my honor. Schedule a private session with me today by clicking HERE.