Article written by: Aimee Mosco
Co-founder of IHS Unity / Intentional Healing Systems LLC
It’s not a big secret that forgiveness positions us on higher ground. Most human beings know that extending forgiveness represents a chance to lay inner and outer conflict to rest. When forgiveness is granted in an authentic manner, either by you to another person or to yourself, the wounds of the past are given the opportunity to fully heal. Forgiveness is a tremendously powerful tool of transformation.
The road to granting forgiveness can be a bumpy one though. As with any quality practice that inspires new outcomes, reaching a genuine state of forgiveness requires that you exercise an order of operations to achieve the highest potential of success.
When you choose to exercise forgiveness to improve to your life, the first order of business is to examine your perceptions and shift them to align with higher ground.
The underlying message of last week’s post “Honoring Your Journey with Gratitude” is that your reality is a product of your perceptions. Perceptions represent the way you view life in general and are influenced by your core beliefs.
If you can believe that you are here to learn for the higher purpose of soul growth, then it’s reasonable to consider that everyone alive on this planet has the same objective. When you frame your experiences with this perception – “We are all here to learn and grow as souls” you set yourself up to release pains that keep destructive anger and resentment alive.
For example: say you have been harboring anger toward a good friend because she borrowed $20 from you and never paid you back. She may have learned from the situation that she’s not as isolated and un-cared for as she may have believed she was before you extended that kindness. While it may have made you feel much more appreciated if she had paid you back, it would not have been a gift of unconditional love that way. The two of you created an opportunity to remember something important: you are a generous, giving person who helps others and she is not alone in this world.
An easy way to reinforce your adjusted perception is with an affirmation. We suggest you begin your journey to forgiveness with this affirmation: “All human beings, including me, are here to learn.”
The next order of business is to understand that your soul makes no judgments about how you learn. This is not to say that it is acceptable to intentionally behave in an unbecoming or irresponsible manner, because those actions don’t promote your development as a responsible creator. The point is that sometimes you learn most profoundly when you engage in scenarios of hardship, particularly with other people. Hardships often result of what you consider to be poor choices are not always “mistakes” from your soul’s perspective. Those “mistakes” may be what brings about a leap in soul or spiritual development and therefore are not judged as mistakes from a higher view. The same holds true for all human beings.
State this affirmation to acknowledge that you have learned from the event or exchange in question: “I have learned from perceived mistakes.”
The next stepping stone on the path to forgiveness requires introspection and application of the first two steps. When you believe that you are here to learn and that your perceived mistakes produced remarkable growth, it’s a natural junction point in which to express gratitude for that growth.
State this affirmation to express gratitude for the learning opportunity posed by your experience: “I am grateful for what I have learned.”
Can you see the progression? Can you see how this thought process helps to untangle the strings of perceived injustice? Can you see how it calms emotional reactivity?
The final stage in this operation is the expression of forgiveness itself. Your view of life is that all humans are here to learn, and one of the most profound ways we all learn is through actions that we sometimes perceive as mistakes. Once you express gratitude for the growth opportunity produced by your experiences and relationships, there are no more roadblocks to forgiveness. If you have been true to the process, you will have likely neutralized the anger and resentment that holds forgiveness hostage. Now it’s time to express forgiveness and mean it from your heart.
State this affirmation as an expression of true forgiveness: “I forgive myself and all others involved in this situation.”
While there is no shortcut to producing the emotions that fuel authentic forgiveness, this information may help you create some efficiencies in your process – and it may take some practice!
The effect of true forgiveness on your being and on those around you is enormous. Forgiveness allows you to release the pain and retain the lesson of any given situation. It puts the past where it belongs…in the past, and has you move forward on your sacred and wondrous journey in the most uninhibited way.
- “All human beings, including me, are here to learn.”
- “I have learned from perceived mistakes.”
- “I am grateful for what I have learned.”
- “I forgive myself and all others involved in this situation.”