Forgiveness is a funny thing. What does it mean to forgive, really? Does it wipe the slate clean for someone to practice bad behavior over and over? Does it make it ok for someone to hurt you, or continue to hurt you? Does it give other people license to treat you like a doormat and steamroll over your wishes? Nooooooooo, it does not. Not at all! Forgiveness is not even about anyone else but YOU. Forgiveness is about working through a situation and not harboring any ill will or negative emotions from it. Forgiveness helps you to move on from a difficult or hurtful or traumatic situation in a healthy way, for your own health and highest good.
I’ve experienced very deep hurts, and several traumatic events in my life. It has taken me a long time to understand what forgiveness really is. I have been blessed with several very significant people in my life. People whom I believed would be in my life forever. The actions of one of these core people in particular caused me great heartache and pain. Someone who was my best friend for nearly a decade, caused me deep emotional pain… not once, but twice. The first time, I was truly devastated. Nearly a year later when she contacted me, and apologized, I was still hurt but I chose to accept the apology and we became friendly again. I hadn’t really done much work on forgiving at that point, because at that time, I didn’t fully understand what forgiveness really meant. I just wanted the friendship back. And it was ok for a while, though the friendship was never truly the same as it had been. It wasn’t long before this very same person did the exact same thing again, and those actions caused me another deep pain all over again. I was left extremely angry, deeply hurt, devastatingly saddened, and emotionally shocked. It was like a sudden death had happened, and I felt the weight and depth of a tremendous loss in my life.
It has been nearly 2 years since this situation occurred, and I have since come to peace with it all. I no longer feel the deep pain and sorrow I carried for a while. I have worked really hard to release this situation from my emotions, to look at it objectively, and to learn from it, so that I could heal those wounds and truly move on. So how did I work on forgiving someone who’s actions hurt me so deeply? Forgiveness sure didn’t happen overnight, and it wasn’t easy. It took work and focus. But I was ultimately able to reach a happy place again, over time. Want to know how I got there?
Here are some of the things I practiced to help my own self to forgive and move on from a hurtful situation:
Yes, I grabbed a spiral bound notebook and just started writing. And I wrote. And I wrote some more. I wrote when I woke up, I wrote when I couldn’t sleep, I pretty much wrote whenever the idea popped in to my head. Some pages were just scribbles of rage, some were stained with tears, some I lit on fire, some I ripped up, some I even flushed… but writing stuff out was a great mental release. It got that negative emotion out of my head so I didn’t have it swirling around in my thoughts 24/7. This was not a job for a pretty, expensive journal. This was messy work, so I just got a cheap notebook for this exercise. Once I felt like I got it all out, I shredded all the pages and really let it go. This process took time. It was very therapeutic. Not at all easy, but completely worth the effort.
Crystal Healing, Aromatherapy, and Reiki
Science has proven that crystals carry vibration, and those crystals can be used for energetic balancing. Some crystals can bring a sense of calm and balance to the emotions. I carried crystals with me at all times, for balancing my emotions. Some days I wore a crystal pendant or a bracelet or earrings, other days, maybe I just had a crystal in my pocket. As a Certified Crystal Healer, I also performed crystal healing and energy balancing treatments on myself. (Want to make an appointment for a crystal healing or reiki energy session for yourself? Click right HERE to connect to my online appointment scheduler)
Essential oils also work to balance emotions and they positively affect both the energetic and physical layers of the body. In addition to wearing crystals, I would also layer on essential oils. In addition to topical application, I would also diffuse essential oils in to the air of my home and office to bring a sense of calm into the space when I was there. (Want to learn more about essential oils? visit my doterra website HERE)
As a Reiki Master, I also practiced self-reiki daily, to balance my emotions and bring a sense of calm and healing to my being. And since I didn’t want to do all of this healing on my own, I also went in for energy balancing sessions and reiki treatments with a reiki practitioner as well. (Want to learn more about reiki and crystal healing? Please visit my White Lotus Wellness Studio website right HERE)
We all create energetic cords with people we have contact with, from the guy bagging your groceries to the person you are married to. People you meet briefly may form a thin threadlike cord, but when you have known someone a long time, the cord can be thick like a tree trunk, and quite established. When they think of you, whether positive or negative, those thoughts can affect your own energy. I spent some time focused on cutting cords, both in guided meditation, and in prayer. When you cut cords, it’s like severing that energy connection. You still retain the lessons and the love and the happy memories, but you disrupt the connection so that no further energetic effect can occur. Cord cutting makes it energetically easier to end a bad relationship or even just say goodbye and mean it. Not sure how to cut cords for yourself? There are some really great guided meditations out there, I personally used Angel Therapy by Doreen Virtue.
Hawaiian Prayer of Forgiveness
Ho’Oponopono is the ancient Hawaiian prayer of forgiveness. This sacred ritual is a shamanic healing technique, where one works through the WHYs of forgiveness. This was a key practice for me. The other person does not have to be present for this process to be successful. The basics of Ho’Oponopono are “I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, and I Love You.” In my case, I clarified and stated my own personal reasons why for each of the four basic elements of Ho’oponopono, and doing so over time brought great clarity and calm to my own self. This sacred ritual is a positive way to release what no longer serves you, and to put blessings on the situation, ultimately bringing healing to all parties involved.
Prayer and Meditation
I consider prayer and meditation to be one in the same for my own self, but some people choose one word over the other. However you choose to spend your quiet time asking God (or Creator, or Spirit, or Angels) for help and guidance, that’s what I practiced here. You have to be still to hear the messages from Spirit. I spend time in prayer and meditation often, and sometimes I do so holding a crystal, which is an amplifier of energy, or wearing essential oils, which calm and focus emotions. When you do pray or meditate, do so with a positive mindset and positive words, never negative. Pray for what you want, not for what you don’t want. And always pray with faith that the situation will improve. In this case, I often asked for blessings for all parties involved, and I asked to be healed and pain free from this situation.
It took some work before I came around to feeling gratitude. But today, I can look back and be grateful for having a friend in my life for so many years, and the blessings that came with that. I can look back and give thanks for the strength I have found in myself as a result from this situation. I can look to my future and the people currently in my life and give thanks that I am surrounded by good people who I KNOW truly care about me and respect me. I am grateful that I can love myself enough to walk away from what is not in my best interest. And I am uber-grateful for the lessons I learned from this experience, and from the lessons learned I wrote this blog post, so that my words might touch someone reading this, and possibly help them in a similar situation one day. Blessings are everywhere, even on the other side of pain.
It’s hard to draw a line in the sand and walk away from a relationship you’ve had for nearly a decade. It’s scary to wake up one day and realize that someone who you believed to be a good or positive presence in your life really isn’t anymore. Drawing a healthy boundary line is an act of self-love. It isn’t about the other person, it’s about caring for yourself and choosing what to accept and not accept in your life. It’s totally-completely-absolutely OK to draw a boundary line when enough is enough or you feel like something is not working. Love yourself enough to decide who and what you want in your life, and choose how you want people to treat you.
All of these practices combined, over time, created for me a positive head space and really helped me to drop the negative emotions and finally forgive. Forgiveness empowered me to let go of the hurt and pain, and ultimately left me in a happy place, with an open space to receive positive emotion and joy again. I can say today, that I am truly in a happy place, and I love my life, as quirky and non-perfect as it may be.
I truly believe that things happen for a reason, and there are no coincidences in life. I’ve had bits of this post written as a draft for quite a long time, but it just never seemed finished or felt complete to me. I chose to publish this post now, because over the past weekend I received an email message from this former friend. It’s been nearly 2 years since we have had any communication. All I saw was part of the first line that read “Hi. I just wanted…” I sat staring at it for a few minutes, knowing firmly that I wanted NO communication with this person. After some deep thought, it occurred to me… This is an opportunity for another healthy boundary. Guess what, you guys.. just because someone else wants something, it doesn’t mean you have to give it to them. Really. It’s ok to stand in your own strength and say your truth and know that you love yourself enough to not allow anyone in to your tribe, or back in to your tribe, if you feel they do not belong there.
To be honest, I didn’t even open her email. I deleted it. I don’t need to read that message. Maybe she wanted to apologize. Maybe she has something major going on in her life. Maybe she won the lottery and is buying some diamonds and a pony. Since I have been through this scenario twice before with this particular person, I was gun shy to open the message. The mere sight of her name and an unread message in my inbox gave me an instant physical stress reaction that made me want to breathe into a brown paper bag. So I chose not to open it. Honestly, I truly hope she is well, but I have no need to know what she had to say after all this time. Maybe that sounds harsh to some folks, but after the pain this person’s actions caused, and the time it took for me to heal from it, not opening the message was the right thing to do for me. So I deleted the email and chose my own emotional well-being and peace.
Then, after I deleted the email, I spent a long time considering her position. If the roles had been reversed, what would I have hoped would be the outcome. From this thought process, I decided to send her an email. I acknowledge that it was likely very hard for her to send that message. And knowing the person she used to be, she probably kept checking her phone a million times, waiting for my reply. No one should ever have to wait and wonder like that. Leaving someone to wonder is sometimes even more cruel than purposely causing someone pain. And I truly do not want to cause anyone pain. So, yesterday I sent her this message: “I received your email yesterday. I deleted it without opening the message. On two previous occasions, I have received emails from you that caused me deep emotional hurt and a huge sense of devastating loss. I hope you can forgive me for not wanting to open another message from you, even after all this time. I forgive you for previously causing any pain, but I am not willing to open myself up for a third chance at being hurt again. I am in a really good, peaceful place today. That being said, I do not wish to open up a line of communication with you. I truly hope you are happy and well. I hope the same for your kids and family. It is with love that I wish you all the very best and I pray for abundant blessings for all of you.”
Perhaps how I decided to react is not what most people would have chosen. I’m not writing this to debate the correct response, or ask permission regarding whether I behaved appropriately. I stood in my own truth and after much thought and consideration, I did what I felt was right, under the circumstances. I addressed and responded with love to a situation that held deep hurt for me, and I’m proud of myself for standing in my own power and establishing a healthy boundary for myself.
Sending that message was like finally closing a door. Do I feel bad? No, I don’t, not anymore. Choosing to forgive healed that for me. I felt bad for months, and I worked hard to release all of that pain. I’m ok now. I made a choice to forgive, for my own benefit and healing. I forgave so that I could be free from the prison of negative emotions I’d held on to for so long. Forgiveness is a choice and it takes a process to reach. To forgive is an exercise in self-love, and it’s rewards are powerful, and trust me, forgiveness is totally worth the effort it takes to reach that self empowered peace.
With Gratitude, Love, and Blessings,