Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. – Buddha
Do you have a friend who’s been divorced for many years yet still refers to the ex in the most disparaging terms? Or is there someone you know who keeps telling the same old stories about their terrible parents/ siblings/ bosses/ neighbors? What if the unfortunate person described here is you? You may think you have good reason to continue being angry and resentful over past wrongs. It really hurt. But do you know how much it keeps harming you in body, mind, and spirit to stay in the world of “they done me wrong?”
Holding on to resentments and anger can ruin your quality of life. The only person who suffers from your failure to forgive is you. The other guy may have long forgotten—if they were even aware of the wrong or acknowledged it as something they were responsible for. When you have suffered a wrong, or even a perceived wrong, the resulting hurt and anger you feel can burrow deep into your heart and energy field and cause great harm. And the longer you hang on to resentment and bitterness instead of forgiving the wrong, the greater the chances that those negative feelings will cause discord in your system, creating blocks in your chakras and eventually even physical symptoms and illness.
From energy medicine, you know that holding on to negative emotions, burying them deep in your subconscious and deep inside your body, can cause things to go wrong in your life. Relationships falter and fail, money issues pile up, your health can take a nosedive. It really matters that you face the anger and resentment, and the pain, and take steps to erase the negative tape loops in your head. When you acknowledge your feelings, you can begin to forgive and to release the positive, free-flowing energy needed for healing.
Here are 5 tips for setting yourself free:
- Forgive yourself first. You may be feeling guilty for your pain, wondering if you might have caused all the grief yourself. Self-forgiveness is possibly more important than forgiving others. If you are constantly beating yourself up over past mistakes, that blame and anger can cause blockages in your personal energy field. There is nothing to be gained from wishing you could change the past. As a spiritual teacher and energy healer, I encourage students to learn from the past, forgive themselves, and let it go.
- You aren’t condoning. Forgiveness is not excusing what someone did to you. There are likely very real betrayals and traumas in your life that are not excusable, and you shouldn’t feel the need to minimize what happened. Forgiving is you letting go of the residual emotions like resentment, anger, hurt, and bitterness. You stop feeling hostile and release any need or desire for revenge. This is not weakness, but great strength. It takes a lot of courage to forgive and working toward it will aid your spiritual growth.
- Focus on the positive. In forgiveness, remember that your goal is to release the negative emotions of anger and resentment. You can use your ability to focus on the positive, the light, the love, and the beauty in your life to let positive energy grow within you as the negative is released. Bring yourself into contact with the good and loving things you enjoy. Take a walk in nature, meet with friends, play with your pets, and speak in positive ways that reflect your hopes and dreams. Although forgiveness can be very difficult, it may be the most important thing you have ever done for yourself.
- Remember to reach out. As you seek to forgive, you have infinite resources to help and uplift you. You can go deep in meditation and ask your spiritual guides and angels for help. You can ask for help from counselors, therapists, or study energy healing so you can start to get your energy flowing in a positive direction.
- Journal about your feelings. Journaling sets your negative feelings free from your body and energy field, and allows for fresh universal energy to fill that space.
Let go of old resentments and you’ll be astonished at how much lighter and freer you’ll feel!
Learn more about getting in touch with your innermost feelings with a mantra-based meditation practice. Meditation is the key to self-discovery and healing those wounded parts of you that keep you stuck.