Forgiveness is an emotion that most us of aspire to, but sometimes it’s hard to do. It’s perhaps easier to forgive someone for something they have done to you, than to forgive people who have hurt those you love, or perhaps the hardest person to forgive sometimes is yourself. We all mess up in life. But hanging onto past grudges will likely only harm you (others move on). Someone once said that not forgiving someone is like ‘drinking poison and expecting the other person to die’.
Forgiving someone for past hurts, does not mean that you have to see that person again, or become best buddies. But ultimately the main reason to forgive is so that you don’t spend your life going over and over things they did (or you did wrong). If they don’t care, they’re narcissists (so won’t give a jot how hurt you are). And if they do care and feel guilty, that’s good enough reason to forgive them, even if you never pass their way again. If you think that you could never forgive someone, it may help to read of those who chose to forgive in exceptional circumstances:
Alison Botha was a young attractive South African woman in the 90s. In her 20s, she was dragged off the road and raped by two men, who disembowelled her, stabbed her several times, slit her throat and left her to die. Saved by a passing veterinary student, she spent some time in trauma. But then forgave so she could move on. She started a peace foundation, fell in love and now has beautiful children.
Eva Mozes Kor was from a Polish family. She and her twin sister were ripped from their family (who went to the gas chambers). They became two of the children used in infamous experiments by sadistic doctors, which left her sister disabled (she died early). After emigrating to the US and marrying, she spent years feeling bitter. Then when asked to lay a wreath in memory of Jews who died in concentration camps, she agreed. But only if a former SS soldier could join her. He did – and said he had nightmares of guilt ever since. Many people were understandably angry at her for forgiving the Nazis. But Eva said just before her death that ‘Hitler did what he did due to hate. And I don’t want the world to have another Hitler’.
Today, I decided to forgive you. Not because you apologised. Or because you acknowledged the pain that you caused me. But because my soul deserves peace. Najwa Zebian
how to heal your heart chakra
On a similar note, many people of eastern philosophy say that the key to forgiveness is to heal your heart chakra. When you do this, you’ll find happy coincidences happening, as you finally let go of hidden grudges and resentments.
You don’t need crystals or strange essential oils to heal your heart chakra, the most effective way is simply meditation. Meditative Mind has some lovely sound meditations that take 20 minutes or longer. Practice these daily until you are able to forgive.
the ancient Hawaiian art of forgiveness
the ancient Hawaiian method of forgiveness
Ho’oponopono may be a mouthful to say (it’s Hawaiian for ‘to make right again, right again’) but it’s an effective method of forgiveness based on circle-type groups of getting along on a small island, when people fall out. It’s now used in modern restorative justice, when victims and criminals (not always of the same crime) sit down to talk on how their lives are impacted, in the hope to stop re-offending (with an 100% success rate in preventing juvenile crime).
The concept sounds a bit bonkers at first: we go a bit yogi-in-the-cave of ‘we are all one’. In a nutshell, everything that happens is because we are all linked energy. So if there’a serial killer, we have to collectively forgive that energy (not let him off), but try to discover why he’s like that in the first place. Then we repeat the phrase ‘I’m sorry, forgive me, I love you, thank you’ several times until we feel the anger has disappeared. This can be forgiving energy from this or past lives (a bit similar to Catholics who often chant ‘mass for the souls of the dead’ to release ‘ancestral trauma’ that can be the result of you living a self-perpetuating car crash of a life, due to unresolved DNA trauma from relatives.).
If you think it’s nuts, then read the story of the man who brought Ho’oponopono to the modern age. Trained by ancients, Dr Hew Len is a master of this technique. He was asked to become governor of a prison for the criminally deranged in Hawaii, where staff were so frightened of the inmates, they would often go sick. He agreed – but only on the condition that he did not meet the patients. Instead, he chanted the phrase over and over, while looking at their notes.
The story goes that within 4 years, the prison had to close, as all bar a few inmates got better. Of course, things are not that dramatic usually. But food for thought. People say if you ever feel angry with someone, then consider chanting this or read the book above. It could in theory help to create world peace, prevent fights (and prevent dog fights). If everyone just goes around in a state of inner peace, this creates world peace. Which if we’re honest, is probably how the world works.
The purpose of life is to be restored back to Love, moment to moment. The individual must acknowledge that he is 100% responsible for creating his life the way it is. He must come to see that it is his thoughts that create his life, the way it is, moment to moment. The problems are not people, places and situations, but rather the thoughts of them. He must come to appreciate that there is no such thing as ‘out there’. Ihaleakala Hew Len