Arriving Home :: The Freedom Of Forgiveness
The Freedom Of Forgiveness
When we need healing, forgiveness is needed too.
There isn't an easy, straightforward path when it comes to forgiveness. It is messy, hard, and painful. It shows us where we are holding onto our suffering and it points us to where our wounds are still open.
A lot of us may know that forgiveness is good for us. We have all heard that, "forgiveness sets you free." Yet it isn't until you actually feel forgiveness and bring yourself into the direct experience of forgiveness that your heart is able to heal, allowing you to finally feel free again.
What It Means To Forgive
Forgiving is letting go. When we acknowledge the pain and suffering you or others have caused, you can begin to let go of the past. This does not demean or undermine what happened in any way, but it does begin to allow the letting go of all of the extra suffering attached to what happened.
Forgiveness is inviting the mind to release everything extra. In our basic mindfulness practice, we learn that often it is not what actually happened that causes us suffering but the stories, opinions and meanings that we create from what happened. Over and over we practice to just be with our lives as they are moment-to-moment, whether it is pleasant, unpleasant or somewhere in-between. So when it comes to forgiveness, we let go of the additional stories, disapproval and opinions of what happened.
Forgiveness leads to happiness. When you forgive, you also are saying yes to happiness. Through forgiveness the heart becomes free again. You liberate, you find tenderness, you cry, you hurt and then you let go. It is a moment-to-moment practice and the moment of grace comes when you feel the first feelings of light-heartedness again which is the tall-tale sign of a return to happiness.
Forgiving is a purification practice. Forgiveness purifies the heart, body and mind. Traditionally, when people practice forgiveness, there is a ceremony at the end of the meditation where water is splashed on the body to symbolize the process of purification.
A Practice For Finding Freedom Through Forgiveness
One of the biggest obstacles to forgiveness is not feeling ready to forgive. The best remedy for this is to intend forgiveness. You can intend to forgive yourself and others.
During your meditation practice begin to silently repeat the following phrase in the mind:
"I intend to forgive ____ (me, them, this, what happened, etc.)".
Repeat this until you feel lighter, more tender, more courageous, more sure, or more healed.
May this practice purify your heart and lead you back into happiness and freedom.
With Love, Amanda