I had a client once who was struggling to let go of the lingering anger she was still feeling for her former boyfriend who had broken up with her a few months before. The good news was that because of this break up, my client’s life was literally exploding with exciting new possibilities and opportunities.
But the low levels of residual anger kept draining her and she knew it. She also knew, in her head, that she really did not want to be with this man anymore, and she didn’t want to be angry with him anymore.
She had begun to engage in the 5 stage process of forgiveness, without realizing it. Over the coming weeks we moved her through the other 4 stages, until she came to the place of really feeling forgiveness – not just intellectually but really deeply in her heart.
If you find yourself wanting to move on and heal the past, and anger is holding you back, then I encourage you to give this a try.
1. Awareness. My client was aware she wanted to close this chapter of her life. She was aware that she didn’t want to be angry anymore. As you become aware, you focus the energy of your desire. That focus becomes the activation that begins to transform your energy about the object of forgiveness.
2. Acceptance. So often we put ourselves in resistance to the events of our lives, as though in doing so we can somehow get to do them over and get a different outcome! Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Learning to accept, and even embrace, the events of your life is a kind of forgiving in itself. When you move out of resistance and into acceptance you will feel lighter and less attached. Your perception about the meaning of this event in your life may change. You will begin to feel your heartspace expand.
3. Appreciation. As you move more fully into acceptance, as your heart starts to open and your energy starts to expand, you will find you can begin to appreciate this event, or person, or thing that has happened to you. You begin to focus on the positive versus negative aspects. What are you taking from this that makes you stronger, more authentic, better skilled, or more aware? When you can begin to feel appreciation, even in a small way, again, you will feel your spirit expanding and the anger receding.
4. Compassion. You may find that it takes a while to move into appreciation. It may take a while for you to feel appreciation in a big way. As you do, you will find that you become capable of feeling compassion for the others involved in this life event of yours. And, more importantly, you will feel compassion for yourself. You did the best you could with what you knew, and so did they.
5. Love. The ultimate expression of forgiveness. When you can flow love out of your heart for all that has gone before, for all who have wronged you or hurt you or disappointed you, when you can flow love to yourself for doing the best you could in whatever circumstances you experienced, then you have experienced forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the expression of the energy of love. It is the ultimate detachment from the moment in your life that you have been clinging to.
You release yourself from the past and place your energy in the present. You raise your vibration from the negative energy of fear, anger and regret to the positive energy of love, acceptance and allowing.
If you are struggling with anger somewhere in your life, then ask yourself: “Why am I hanging onto this anger?” Then make a commitment to yourself to venture onto the path of forgiveness. It will not only begin to heal your heart, but it will change your life.