Forgiveness really is the eraser of anger. It is the key that unlocks the prison of the past and allows us to move forward with our life in a freer, far lighter way. Once we realize this we can start the process of healing that each of us deserve.
Bear these strategies in mind as you reflect and move forward on your journey of forgiveness:
-- Your main goal is to release the hurt and the anger that is feeding the pain. Just as you can recover from a painful thorn in your foot by taking it out, so you can heal from a hurtful experience by moving forward. When it no longer has a place deep in your heart and mind, it can not fester, and the hurt can finally come to an end. Deciding to forgive means you allow those bad feelings to leave your life once and for all.
-- It's critical to replace bad feelings with neutral ones. When the facts remain, but those facts no longer have the power to hurt, then you can move on from the past. You change from being a victim and become the victor. You are a human being, and so you can be hurt. Human beings really are resilient, and because you are human you can heal - from a love betrayal or awful, unfair incidents in your life. If you're still reacting, then you're still stuck in some kind of emotional mud. With forgiveness you can be free of those toxic reactions.
-- Humor is a wonder of healing. If you are able to smile about the love that once hurt you, or joke about the past you fought with a sibling, family member, or lover then you trade pain for a different emotion. That heavy load is shifted, substituted by a much lighter newfound feeling that can even put a spring in your step. The healing power of forgiveness springs from our ability to let go of our anger and resentment. These emotions don't really hurt those who have hurt us, but they certainly do hurt us. Once we forgive we're actually protecting ourselves; we clear our mind, our emotions, and a great deal of our time. Putting focus on more empowering and positive areas frees and distances us from the event or person who has hurt us.
Forgiveness removes us from harm's way. As far as we continue to dwell on and focus on past hurt, continually reacting to the damage somebody has created, we remain emotionally stuck with that person and with what they have done. Forgiveness breaks the chains that lock. With it we take a huge step forward with our lives, releasing the negativity and shielding ourself from toxic emotional involvement.
-- Constantly going over a hurtful experience over and again keeps it fresh in the mind, creating mental and emotional turmoil. Should the topic arise in conversation, it's a lot wiser to respond with: 'I've decided not to focus on that experience. I'm allowing it to fade from my life, and I'm looking forward to happier things.'
-- One of the most important factors of the emotional recovery process is our own self-talk. What we say to ourself is the strongest driving force. Picking phrases that feel true to yourself, we may say: 'I choose to feel wonderful today. Regardless what others may say or do, my happiness comes from deep within. Other people do not determine how I feel.'
Affirmations such as: 'I am now looking after the child within, and I am doing a wonderful job. I alone have direct control over my psychological wellbeing. I focus on the positive things in life. I get up every day and focus on what's beautiful and what's right.'
Once we at last come to see that our anger harms only ourselves, then we are able to reach that state where forgiveness becomes reality. Through forgiveness we draw that line under the past and allow ourselves to move forward with our life.
In this freer state, we can finally move on from the past, and at last start to live the life with which we have been gifted.
Peter Field is a leading UK therapist. Please visit his Hypnotherapy Birmingham website. His self-hypnosis MP3 download 'Letting Go of the Past' is now available.