In my book, Sally in the Afterlife, forgiveness never came easily to Sally. But she eventually had to learn about forgiveness, and now she wants to teach it to you with help from Roberta Grimes (http://robertagrimes.com). If you learn how to forgive now, you won't need to wait until your afterlife to learn it, as Sally did.
If forgiving others was easy, everyone would do it. Duh!
If forgiving others was easy, it wouldn’t be such a huge deal, and we’d be happy. But we’re not happy, and it is a huge deal, because it’s difficult.
I used to know those people, those monsters who definitely don’t deserve anyone’s forgiveness. In case you’re unfamiliar with this concept, forgiveness is for you, not the jerk who pissed you off. And for the record, forgiving someone doesn’t mean you’re okay with what they’ve done. It simply means you’re setting yourself free. And who doesn’t want that?
What ruins your day whenever this comes to mind? Or who knocks you off kilter every time you run into them or see their name on your phone? Remember your answers. You’ll need them for later.
Not totally convinced forgiving others is in your best interest?
Can you imagine how much lighter your life would be if you no longer had to lug around your rage?
My super smart friend, Gerald Jampolski, once said, "When we think we have been hurt by someone in the past, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. So the fearful past causes a fearful future, and the past and future become one. We cannot love when we feel fear… When we release the fearful past and forgive everyone, we will experience total love and oneness with all."
Still not convinced?
Anne Lamott, the famous writer, once told a friend of a friend of a friend, “Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” She’s smart.
Roberta Grimes has written the most beautiful books called The Fun Of series. In one of those books, The Fun of Growing Forever, she shares lots of helpful exercises on forgiveness. I recommend this great Forgiveness Balls exercise. It’s simple yet effective. If you don’t have access to her book yet, I’ll walk you through the exercise. But don’t let that stop you from reading her book full of wonderful content.
Think about that situation from earlier. Remember? The one that can ruin your day? When you have a picture in your mind’s eye, use your hands to form a ball in front of you and put in there everything about the situation. Include yourself if necessary. Form a ball with your hands, which is not an in-your-mind’s-eye exercise.
Once everything is wrapped up in a ball, with as much genuine emotion as possible, say out loud, "I forgive, and I release," and push the ball away from you. You’re giving the burden of your anger to the universe, no longer yours. Wait a few minutes, and if you’re still angry, try the exercise one more time.
If it’s people you want to forgive, you know, those jerks who knock you off kilter whenever you see them or their name on your phone, wrap everything into that ball in front of you and say out loud with genuine emotion, "I love you, I bless you, I forgive, and I release," and release the ball into the universe. Wait a few minutes, and if the anger persists, repeat the process.
Repeat this exercise as often as you need to. It might be dailyor even hourly. But if you're persistent, the frequency should diminish along with your anger.
Maybe you’re saying, “But Sally! This person makes me so angry, there’s no way I can say I love or bless them. I won’t even say the words!! Forget it!”
I hear you; I do. And I completely understand. Just say it anyway. It gets easier.
Soon you will find you have forgiven where you never thought possible.
Give yourself a gift: try Roberta's forgiveness exercise to help release some of your lingering anger and begin a path toward forgiveness. Seriously, you have nothing to lose.
Please let me know about your experience in the comments section below.