We have all been hurt in our lives. No one is perfect. We have also hurt others in our lives. I have had pain that has gone to the deepest part of my being that I thought I could never forgive. My pain is not your pain and vice versa. We can’t even begin to compare, nor should we, how hurt we’ve been. It could be betrayal, the murder of a loved one, rape, war, you name it. There are many forms of torture. Trust me when I say I was tortured. It affected me deeply and profoundly. But I got to the other side of it. I can talk about it. I can help others now who have pain. There is truly a peace within me where there once was bitterness, sorrow, anger, resentment, sadness and despair. It brings me great joy to tell you that you too can get to the other side!
It doesn’t mean I never think about what happened. But now, when I think about it, I remind myself that I have forgiven that person. That person will never be a part of my life again. I have let them go forever. That may be something you need to do as well. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean condoning anything they’ve done. You may ask, “If she truly forgave, why is that person no longer in her life?” My answer to that is simple. Having that person in my life does not bring peace to myself or others. I choose to live my life skillfully. Meaning, if there is a person, place or situation that I know will cause pain or harm to myself or others, I avoid it. That is not wrong. It is a wiser and more skillful way to live one’s life. There is something to be said about the company you keep. Plus, I happen to know that person has not changed their ways. It is not for me to change them either.
I can tell you what worked for me. However, I have to preface this by saying something that will likely piss you off. I don’t say it to be offensive but it is said from a place of truth. A knowledge that you are lacking, if you are seeking an answer from an outside source to bring you peace.
You will never find peace within, if you continue to look for answers about how to forgive from another person. The reason you are seeking is because you have an ego (as ALL of us do, unless you are an enlightened being). You have likely already dissected to death the situation which caused you pain. You, as I have, probably looked at it from every possible angle that you could imagine. And still didn’t have any answers. But there may be a part of you that still thinks you are right and the other person is wrong. AND THAT MAY BE TRUE! Life isn’t fair. People don’t treat others the way they want to be treated. And it sucks.
However, once you realize there is nothing at all to DO in order to forgive, you will forgive. I know it sounds to simple but it’s true.
What has helped for me is meditating. Not praying to God. Not reading self-help books. Not seeking without, but seeking within. I had to do a lot of introspective work these past two years. It hasn’t always been easy. I remember when I first started meditating. I thought I would never be able to do it for more than 5 minutes. I could not go ONE minute without my mind wandering. Spinning, really. My mind was like a wheel that was spun and couldn’t slow down. But, over time, I was able to sit for 5 minutes, then 15, then 2 hours, then eventually even longer. I think I could meditate for as long as I want to now. I often totally lose track of time. I have been up all night long because I lost track of time while meditating. I have been able to reach different states of consciousness that I never in a million years thought would be possible. And with that comes insights. Really meaningful, life-changing insights that are for me and no one else. I don’t really know where they come from. I just know they come. And they will for you too. I don’t write this to boast but to let you know what is possible for yourself. If there is ONE thing I recommend it is learning what meditation is and practicing it. I cannot stress it enough.
You need to get to know yourself. And know that you can’t change others. Meditating helps you do this. At least it helped me. When you understand your human nature, your shortcomings and faults and can accept them and learn to love yourself despite them, you become far less judgmental of others. There is a saying, “Our darkness and our light need each other and we need them.” Everything in life has a purpose. We can learn to make the most of any given situation and be happy despite the bad things that happen in life. We don’t need to conquer any human being. We only need to conquer that within us that keeps us from loving ourselves. Sometimes that requires investigation into our own mind. A difficult but important lesson to learn is that when someone hurts you and you don’t forgive them, you have chosen to hurt yourself over and over again every time you remember it. Rumi said, “Why do you keep yourself in prison? The door is open.” So walk through it!
According to this site it is also important to understand what forgiveness is NOT:
“To learn how to forgive, you must first learn what forgiveness is not. Most of us hold at least some misconceptions about forgiveness. Here are some things that forgiving someone doesn’t mean:
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are pardoning or excusing the other person’s actions.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you need to tell the person that he or she is forgiven.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any more feelings about the situation.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean there is nothing further to work out in the relationship or that everything is okay now.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you should forget the incident ever happened.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to continue to include the person in your life.
- … and forgiveness isn’t something you do for the other person.
By forgiving, you are accepting the reality of what happened and finding a way to live in a state of resolution with it. This can be a gradual process—and it doesn’t necessarily have to include the person you are forgiving. Forgiveness isn’t something you do for the person who wronged you; it’s something you do for you.”
Another thing that helped me is getting out in nature.
This is me! And below this is me with my husband!
Having someone to talk to helps a lot too. I am so lucky to have my husband who went through the ordeal with me and understands. HOWEVER, there is nothing that he, or anyone else, could say that could take away my pain. It is through the meditation and introspective work that I have been able to forgive and move on.
If you want to start meditating I suggest that you try YOUTube videos. There are some GREAT beginner guided meditations. I’m going to post a few here that I recommend.
Bells of Mindfulness. Short and sweet.
Daily prayer. Nice for morning and starting off on the right foot.
Letting go of thoughts that do not serve you. Spoken meditation.
I love Michael Sealey’s lovely voice. This is about clearing subconscious negativity.
Yoga Nidra– this one is longer but super relaxing and you do it lying down.
Another Yoga Nidra in a man’s voice, if that is more soothing for you.
I AM meditation (not for everyone but I like it). I find it very soothing and grounding.
46 minutes. Really relaxing. I love this Jack Kornfield meditation.
Just the sound of the sea. Waves crashing on the shore.
This is just the sound and video of a beautiful crackling fire.
Just wind chimes
I think that should get you started! I have a ton more in my playlist so if you want more let me know!
Shamanic drumming can be very powerful in achieving transendental states of consciousness. It is not for beginners but I post it here for those that have been meditating for a while and understand how to protect themselves prior to doing these kinds of meditations.
Shamanic Drumming. Very powerful. Ground and protect yourself first.
More Shamanic Drumming. I have entered deep meditation states with this.
How to ask for protection: Click here.
If you feel you want practical tips, this article from Dr. Wayne Dyer has 15 steps you can follow. I suggest that you work on each one for as long as it takes before moving on to the next one. Or re-visiting the ones you get hung up on. Click here for the step by step article.
Remember, it does get easier with time. So be patient with yourself. Keep loving yourself. Be kind to yourself.
I wish you happiness, patience in your practice and in yourself, peace and every success!