Forgiveness – Ending The Harm

Forgiveness – Ending The Harm

 Forgiveness means letting go of the hope for a better past ~ Lama Surya Das


Being unjustly blamed, punished for something you didn’t do, cheated on in a relationship, robbed, or suffering abuse of any kind are just a few experiences in a long list of life moments that can invite you down the path of forgiveness. These experiences are not limited to external sources of injustice either. You can just as easily do harm to yourself in the form of negative self-talk, constant self-criticism, incessant feelings of self-doubt that inflict damage you need to forgive.


Doing Self-Harm

Whether external or internal, betrayal, abuse and physical, emotional or mental attacks can cause hurt, pain, and suffering that lasts for years. You can find yourself shadow boxing with these events from the past that have caused you to build up meaning, stories and beliefs around what happened to you. This preoccupation not only changes you but it also ultimately harms you.

  • It might generate anger, resentment and bitterness that shuts out positivity and happiness.
  • Your anger or resentment may turn inward causing depression, low self-esteem issues or addictions.
  • You can become trapped in victimhood and blaming others for your suffering (the exception here is childhood abuse).
  • Your hurt and pain can bring toxicity into relationships.
  • You can reject love by building rigid protective boundaries from the fear of being hurt again.
  • Holding on to grudges can fuel righteous hostility that focuses your energy toward vengeful retaliation.
  • Your holding on to your story and its emotions can affect your physical health and mental/emotional well-being.


Undoing the Harm – Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a conscious choice to let go of the story you have made up about a past painful experience. It is not about forgetting the transgression or denying its affect on you. Instead, it is about unhooking from the energy drain that holds on to the grudge or filters other experiences through the lens of that hurtful event. It is also about taking responsibility for your part in the event (childhood abuse excepted) and accepting it as an opportunity for growth.


Steps You Can Take

 The process of forgiving another or yourself takes time. Yet it is the way of healing and moving on with your life in a healthy and emotionally intelligent way. It is important to give time for forgiveness to work within you. It is a process after all which means you may need to revisit aspects of healing as you move through its layers.


Here are three suggestions of actions you can take to help you let go of the burden you have carried:

  • Breathwork supports you to work through the emotions of an experience and provides a means of letting go and becoming more open to more positive aspects in life.
  • Journal the answers to:
  • Who do you want to forgive?
  • What is it you want to forgive them for?
  • What stops you from forgiving them?
  • What is the gift in holding on to your resentment or pain?
  • What is the vision for your life without the hurt and pain of being wronged?
  • Write a letter to anyone you need to forgive. Say whatever you need to say. Do not censor or edit. Empty the well of your emotions. When you are done DO NOT SEND THIS LETTER. Instead, dispose of it in some ritual way (burn it, bury it, tear it up throw it away). Let your emotions be released as you dispose of the letter.
What Do You Get Out of Forgiveness?
  • love, peace, joy, happiness, and gratitude,
  • the ability to move forward free from defining your life through your hurt
  • Less emotional and physical pain. (see this study ),
  • Less depression and more self-esteem and self-worth,
  • Healthier relationships – more room for love, understanding, empathy and compassion,
  • improved physical health ( lower stress, lower blood pressure & heart rate )
  • the ability to avoid similar triggering situations in the future.
  • heal victim consciousness
  • energy and room for more clarity, maturity, empowerment and self-determination

Earth Heart Yin Yang

When we investigate the stressful thoughts that cause suffering, our minds open and then our hearts. When we don’t shut down we find that life is love. Without forgetting or denying the reality of what happened, an abuse victim can recover her integrity as a person who can bring joy to herself and others. ~ Byron Katie




Feel free to share your thoughts about managing chaos in your life and be sure to visit www.johnstamoulos.com to find out more about the healing power of your breath through the powerful process of Breathwork.

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