Love is always the answer to healing of any sort, according to Louise Hay, and, the pathway to love is forgiveness.
Forgiveness dissolves resentment. Forgiveness of ourselves and of others releases us from the past. When we are stuck, it usually means there is some more forgiving to be done.
When we do not flow freely with life in the present moment, it usually means we are holding on to a past moment.
It can be regret, sadness, hurt, fear, or guilt, blame, anger, resentment, and sometimes even the desire for revenge. Each one of these states comes from a space of unforgiveness, a refusal to let go and come into the present moment.
There are different ways in which you can approach this. The exercises below will help you dissolve the dark clouds of resentment most of us carry. For some, it will be very difficult to do.
Exercise: Dissolving Resentment
There is an old Emmet Fox exercise for dissolving resentment that always works. He recommends that you sit quietly, close your eyes, and allow your mind and body to relax. Then, imagine yourself sitting in a darkened theater, and in front of you is a small stage. On that stage, place the person you resent the most. It could be someone in the past or present, living or dead. When you see this person clearly, visualize good things happening to this person — things that would be meaningful to him. See him smiling and happy.
Hold this image for a few minutes, then let it fade away. Do it once a day for a month, and notice how much lighter you feel.
For some of us, there is a step that is necessary before we can totally forgive. Sometimes the little kid in us needs to have revenge before it is free to forgive. For that, this exercise is very helpful.
Close your eyes, sit quietly and peacefully. Think of the people who are hardest to forgive. What would you really like to do to them? What do they need to do to get your forgiveness? Imagine that happening now. Get into the details. How long do you want them to suffer or do penance?
When you feel complete, condense time and let it be over forever. Usually at this point you feel lighter, and it is easier to think about forgiveness. To indulge in this every day would not be good for you. To do it once as a closing exercise can be freeing.
Now you are ready to forgive. Do this exercise out loud. Again, sit quietly with your eyes closed and say, “The person I need to forgive is ___________ and I forgive you for ___________.”
Do this over and over. You will have many things to forgive some for and only one or two to forgive others for. Then imagine the person you are forgiving saying to you, “Thank you, I set you free now.” Do this for at least five or ten minutes. Search your heart for the injustices you still carry. Then let them go.
When you have cleared as much as you can for now, turn your attention to yourself. Say out loud to yourself, “I forgive myself for ___________.” Do this for another five minutes or so.
These are powerful exercises and good to do at least once a week to clear out any remaining rubbish.
Some experiences are easy to let go and some we have to chip away at, until suddenly one day they let go and dissolve.