The Power of Forgiveness
I am happy to introduce a good friend and early spiritual teacher of mine, Joan Gattuso. She has greatly influenced my spiritual path; I have known her since I was 16. I have seen her transform the lives of thousands of people all over the world through her workshops, stirring lectures and her best selling books. Her works include A Course in Life, A Course in Love, and The Lotus Still Blooms. I am happy to present a sample from her recently published book The Power of Forgiveness. In this very progressive book Joan gives her experience, stories and tools to help us move past the grudges that might hold us in very dark ugly places and turn our lives into very happy and vibrant places of light. Experience forgiving as a path to freedom today by ordering your copy of The Power of Forgiveness.
By Joan Gattuso
A very effective technique I call “forgiveness in action” comes from my new book, The Power of Forgiveness:
Affirmations can be powerful tools to unlock our blocks to forgiving ourselves and/or forgiving others. Try using the following affirmations in two ways: written and spoken aloud. Begin by getting a journal, then find a comfortable place to sit, where you will not be disturbed for awhile. Take a few deep breaths to ground yourself. Think about the person you feel has wronged you, who you want to forgive. Keep breathing deeply as you write down the following affirmations in your journal:
“I forgive you. I release you. I let you go. All cords that have bound us together are now dissolved. We are both at peace now and forever.”
Write it at least seventy times in your journal. As you write it in your journal, say it aloud as well. This will help you keep your mind and body focused on the same activity. Do this again every day for a week. At the end of the week, before writing the affirmations, stop and notice if you feel any different now. Do you have the same level of anger or sadness or ill will? Did you experience any changes during the course of the week that might be a result of your letting-go process? Can you see the signs of forgiveness happening? If you feel this completes your forgiveness process, then bless it and stop. If you still feel upset and that more forgiveness needs to happen, then begin writing the affirmation seventy times again each day for the next seven days, and then reevaluate. Take as long as you need until you feel the forgiveness happen.
You can also think of other affirmations that may help, to add or replace the ones above. For instance, if you are feeling that someone else victimized you, then write:
“I am never the victim of anyone in my world.”
Be creative, and find the affirmation or affirmations that will take you out of being a victim and into being forgiveness in action.
To truly heal our past and suture our wounds we must set a course for healing. Another very effective technique that I have taught others for years, and have done to heal my own painful history, goes as follows:
Take a fresh notebook (I always use a legal pad) and write the name of the person or organization that has harmed you most.
Being very specific, begin to list each grievance and negative experience by prefacing each with “I forgive you for (list the grievance). If you are dealing with more than one event, it is important to begin each statement with, “I forgive you for. . .”
Do this exercise for 15 to 30 minutes. When you are done with the session, take your list and burn it in the fireplace if you have one, in the kitchen sink if you do not. The burning is symbolic of turning your old pain into ashes—or nothingness.
Next, sit it a quiet place for 10 to 20 minutes in a meditative state, breathing deeply in and out. Breathe in healing light. Breathe out the memories, releasing them to whatever or whoever your spiritual anchor is.
The Buddha said, “The key to successful spiritual practice is never to lose your determination.” Be determined you are going to be free from the burden of this pain, to be free from your history. Be determined to have a future different from your past.
These two techniques are powerful, and they will work if you will work them.
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Contact Joan at lovehelpfromjoan.com. Order The Power of Forgiveness (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin) from Amazon or locally. It will change your life.