On July 7th of 2022, we celebrate Global Forgiveness Day, when everyone is encouraged to release pain, resentment, guilt, and shame and forgive others and themselves.
Originally founded by the Christian Embassy of Christ’s Ambassadors (CECA) in 1994, Global Forgiveness day brings awareness to the importance of goodwill and kindness among people.
Practicing the art of forgiveness gives solace and can help us find inner peace and strength so we can move on and embrace the blessings we have, rather than dwell on what we can’t change.
Why Forgiveness is Important
Finding the strength to forgive and let go isn’t an easy process, but it is crucial for personal wellbeing in so many ways. Here’s why…
It is Freeing
Past pain and resentment are limiting. Forgiveness allows us to reframe our lives and live now the way we want to live.
Holding onto past resentment takes away from the joy of the present moment and diminishes the opportunity to connect with what brings us light and joy. Forgiveness is a way to break the shackles of the past, free ourselves from old paradigms, defense mechanisms, and fear, and start living our lives as we deserve – freely and openheartedly.
It is an Act of Self-Love
The art of forgiveness is the ultimate act of self-love. It is a way to show kindness to yourself by accepting your shortcomings and the shortcomings of others without letting them define your value. By forgiving, we give ourselves the chance to see ourselves not through the lens of the past, but through the lens of our present, wiser, stronger self.
It is Crucial for Mental & Physical Wellbeing
Forgiveness cleanses the body and soul of negativity. Negative emotions can lead to mental health issues, such as anxiety, dissociation, or depression. They get stored in the body and can manifest in a variety of somatic ways, gradually diminishing health.
Learning how to forgive and let go allows us to release pent-up tension from our system and ease the pressure on our emotional, physical, and mental self.
It Brings About Peace & Wisdom
Practicing forgiveness opens up the doors to personal growth and maturing. Taking accountability and practicing acceptance brings inner peace and boosts self-confidence, allowing the transition from a victim mentality to feeling empowered.
Forgiveness gives us an opportunity to take the driving wheel in our lives and to use past experiences to gain wisdom and clarity.
How to Forgive & Let Go
Letting go and forgiving isn’t always easy, and it doesn’t happen instantaneously, but there are many tools and tips that can help. Let’s learn how to practice the art of forgiveness together…
Try a Forgiveness Meditation
Meditation creates space for things to be seen from a different, enlightened perspective. Forgiveness meditation allows us to awaken to the truth, accept what we’ve struggled to accept and find peace so that we can move on from the past.
Here’s how to do it:
- To practice the art of forgiveness this way, start by finding a place that gives you solace.
- Set a clear intention for your meditation. That can be forgiveness, but if you don’t feel ready yet, it can be inner peace and clarity.
- Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Visualize and try to evoke a feeling of serenity and calmness.
- During forgiveness meditation, let your anger, sorrow, or resentment surface, but don’t hold onto them. Let them pass and bring your focus back onto your intention, which is peace and forgiveness.
Use Forgiveness Affirmations
Forgiveness affirmations help release what is no longer serving our highest good by focusing on thoughts that are healing and beneficial. It’s a way to change the inner narrative that keeps us stuck in an old cycle. Then, we can choose positive thoughts to help us align with forgiveness and find peace.
When we are overwhelmed by the past, practice the art of forgiveness by repeating affirmations like these:
- I forgive myself.
- I forgive others.
- I release pain, sorrow, and resentment, and I welcome peace into my life.
- Every day is a new start and a new chance to grow.
- My past doesn’t define me.
- The past doesn’t define others.
- I am thankful for my past experiences, as they brought me wisdom and awareness.
- I let go of what has been, and welcome positive things that are yet to be.
- I am thankful that I now know better and can do better.
Write a Letter and Burn It
Fire and smoke have cleansing properties. On a vibration level, burning a letter is a ritual that releases accumulated tension and cleanses your energetic body from the low frequencies you’ve been affected by.
Writing a letter can help us bring heaviness, resentment, and difficult emotions we harbor from the past to our awareness, and then express and release them. Burning it afterward will instigate an inner process of letting go, making your energy instantaneously lighter.
- Write down all that weighs on you and express yourself on paper without judgment or fear. You can write a letter to yourself or a letter to someone else who has wronged you.
- Be honest, open, and authentic with your feelings, especially the difficult ones. The art of forgiveness lies in being true to yourself and honoring how you feel.
- Write down all that you wish to release, and when you are ready, burn it safely while visualizing the flame erasing all the difficult emotions you have been harboring.
Find Meaning in Your Pain
Every tough situation is a life lesson. Even though life isn’t always easy and past experiences can bring us down, challenging times instigate the biggest personal transformations and growth. Use your past pain not to define you, but to refine you and help you live more fiercely and authentically.
Although we can’t erase the unpleasant memories, we can choose to be thankful for the experiences we went through since we are now wiser than ever before because of them. It is the darkness that helps us really see and value the light, and that is what the art of forgiveness can help you see.
Go to Counseling
If you are having trouble releasing the past and finding the strength to forgive, the most courageous thing you can do is find a counselor that can accompany you on your journey. Counseling is a way to honor your emotions and process them with someone who can help you gain a better understanding of your inner world.
Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, but a sign of self-awareness and bravery. It’s an important step in learning how to forgive and let go. After all, everyone processes emotions and events differently, and that’s ok.
Soften Your Heart & Recognize Their Humanity
Resentfulness is a natural response to being wronged; it’s defense mechanism that is meant to protect us from similar experiences. Holding onto it and letting it close your heart can bring more damage than good, which is why it is important to forgive, let go, and allow yourself to trust in yourself.
People make mistakes due to a lack of awareness, poor judgment, or other shortcomings. Practicing the art of forgiveness and opening our hearts to trust again isn’t justifying the bad behavior. Instead, it is unburdening us from the negative grip of our past.
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean we should welcome them back into our lives. What it means is that we recognize that they have made a mistake and that they are imperfect, just like all humans are.
Forgiveness is like adding medicine to a deep wound. It might take time to heal, but the medicine will help mend the injury eventually. Ultimately, choosing to forgive is choosing light over darkness. It is allowing ourselves to re-define our present and future in a way that feels much more nourishing and much less defined by shame or guilt.