Forgiveness – The Ultimate Decluttering Technique.
This week we’ve been talking all about how to make the space in our lives for great things to come in to our lives in 2018 by clearing unhelpful, old emotions and thoughts that are cluttering up our mindscape.
And today I want to talk about one of the most powerful things we can do in terms of letting go of emotions that are holding us back and hurting us.
Today I want to talk about forgiveness.
First of all, what is forgiveness?
Forgiveness is the decision you make to release feelings of anger and resentment you are carrying inside you towards another person or group who has hurt or harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve that forgiveness.
And what isn’t forgiveness?
Forgiveness is not the process of denying the seriousness of the hurt or the harm you have suffered and forgiveness is not forgetting, excusing or condoning someone’s bad, hurtful or harmful behaviour. And, whilst forgiveness can heal relationships, forgiveness doesn’t even mean you have to reconcile with someone.
Forgiveness gives you back your power. It frees you from the anger and resentment that is eating you up in side. It lets you give up deep seated, corrosive emotions that are hurting you and that are holding you back.
So how can you start to forgive?
According to Fred Luskin, there are 9 steps to forgiveness that we can take.
- First of all, understand exactly how you feel about what happened and articulate what about the situation is not OK. Then, tell a couple of trusted people about your experience. I’ve given you an exercise to work through this step at the end of this post.
- Then make a commitment to yourself to feel better. Forgiveness is for you and no one else.
- Remember that forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciling with the person who upset you or condoning the action. Forgiveness simply gives you the inner peace that comes from being able to stop blaming people for the way you are feeling.
- Then get some right perspective on what is happening. Understand that you are generating these feelings NOW even though they might be rooted in events of the past. It’s time to remember that this is not STILL happening. It’s time to lay it rest.
- When you are experiencing stress as a result of remembering the hurt, try and practice stress management techniques to help you move through it.
- Stop depending on others for things they cannot or chose not to give you. Don’t rely on others to give you love, friendship, prosperity or health. You suffer when you demand that these things are delivered to you by someone else because you don’t have the power to make that happen.
- Try and find other ways to get your goals and needs met other than through situations that hurt you and that leave you feeling resentful.
- Remember that a life well lived is your best revenge. Instead of focusing on your hurt feeling, and giving power over to the person who caused you pain, learn to look for the love, beauty, and kindness around you. Put more energy into appreciating what you have rather than focusing to what you do not have.
- And finally, change the way you look at your past so you remind yourself of your brave choice to forgive.
As I mentioned in step one, a very helpful way to understand your hurt and to being to articulate it is to write a letter to the person you have chosen to forgive.
The letters do not have to be sent, in fact it is very often better to have someone you trust and respect listen to you read your letter out loud so you have the acknowledgment you need but then to burn it.
The first step is to decide who you want to forgive. Who do you need to write a letter to that you need to forgive for something they did or said or did not do or did not say.
In your letter set out what happened and what was going on in the lead up to what happened.
Express how you felt before, during and after the event and imagine how the other person felt too. What was going on in their life at the time? How do you think they felt about it afterwards?
Use words in your letter that express your emotions on the deepest level concerning the event or behaviour you experienced and that you want to forgive the person or group for.
Then think about what it will mean for you to be able to forgive them. How will you feel, how will you act?
All through this process write whatever comes to mind, don’t censor yourself at all.
And when you’ve finished you can choose to burn the letter or find some other meaningful way to sacrifice it. If you’re burning it watch the smoke rise and lift away, watch the paper turn in to ashes and know that that person or group and the emotions you feel about the situation are no longer controlling you. You have taken your power back.
Repeat this powerful process as many times as you need to, and remember to be careful when you burn your letters!
And remember, if you need any support with your emotional or home decluttering I am here to help. Have a look here to see how I can be of service.