How to Forgive, Heal and Empower Your Relationships

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.”
~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Art by Emily Balivet
Art by Emily Balivet

 Sometimes relationships hurt and they are painful and we have to leave.

It can feel like a train wreck in our hearts.

When we love someone so much and have been close for years, it can feel so bad when it ends in a painful way.

Communication is the break down that I see.

Feeling defensive or righteous, we can ruin relationships that could otherwise be repaired.

We can destroy friendships that could thrive over the course of a lifetime, but what do we know?

We are little more than the sum parts of what we witnessed in relationships from those around us when we were children and how they related to us, individually, as well.

If we were not nurtured by present and attuned adults, then we likely didn’t receive the love we needed to lay the groundwork in our brains and our hearts, minds and nervous systems, so that we could be thriving, functional adults.

As adults, we no doubt attract in love relationships and friendships that trigger the very things we need to heal.

Yet, if we are righteous and blame, then we miss out on the larger lesson at hand and end up robbing ourselves and others of vital healing.

In the end, only you know what is right for you, but if you are suffering inside of a relationship full of pain, or you are free of that relationship, but still hurting and seething with anger, take some tips from me. Remember, we only teach what we need to learn, so I share this with you today as a reminder for me, too.

Here are ways to communicate successfully and save your relationships from ruin.

 Accept 100% Responsibility

Be cause in the matter of your life. This isn’t about being “wrong” or “bad.” It is about being willing to say, “This is my life, I am part of this, I am a powerful creator and I am responsible for this creation.”

When we are willing to step back and accept responsibility, we are restored to power. We give up being a victim. We take control of our life, in the only way that we can, which is to give up our judgements against those we love.

Whatever the circumstance, be willing to be cause in the matter of your life and say, “I did this.” Feel the power flow back in as you surrender to truth.

Admit You Are a Jerk

C’mon. Admit it. We are so busy justifying and rationalizing that we forget that we can act like a total jerk. Take a moment and put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Get their world. What must it feel like for them? Are they really just a soul-less, heart-less jerk, or, are they a wounded child, calling out for love? Perhaps you were the jerk. There is a saying that in all your conflicts, there is one common denominator. You.

When we can see that perhaps we acted in hurtful ways that contributed to the mess, then, we have power and can restore ourselves and our relationships to peace.

Get Their World

This means put yourself in their shoes. Seriously. Totally. Imagine you are they. How do you imagine they feel? What motivates them? What are their fears and their hurts that perhaps cause them to act out in the ways that they do? If you are still communicating with them, tell them what you see. Say, “I am sorry for being a jerk and I take total responsibility for our relationship. I imagine you must have been really hurt by me. Please forgive me.”

Say I’m Sorry

 You can be justified, or you can have love. You can be right, or you can have peace. It is all up to you. The reality is, as A Course in Miracles says, “There is no order of difficulty in miracles.” A miracle is simply a shift in perception. Be willing to shift how you view things and give up that it’s hard or will take time. You can have instant peace. It is a choice you make.

 Ask for Forgiveness and Forgive

Say, “Please forgive me.” Ask for their forgiveness. Give them yours. If you aren’t there yet, pick up A Course in Miracles or The Way of Mastery or take  a Ho’o’ponono class or read up on the practice. Use the tools around you to provide healing.

Pray for Those You Resent

 If you are still angry, pray to Holy Spirit, or Source, or your creator, for a miracle. Pray for the person you are angry with. Hold the two of you in the hands of God and know that anything is possible and miracles happen every day. When in doubt, pray. For, you did not create yourself, and therefore, you have a creator. Give it up and let God, or your source, resolve it for you.

Maybe it’s time to leave a toxic or abusive relationship. Maybe there is nothing particularly wrong with your relationship, but you are not happy. We get to say. We have the power. We can leave, or stay, but how we do either of those is the key. Carrie Fisher said, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Ultimately, we must look within and see if a conflict in originating inside. If so, it is likely only an old belief, ready to come up, heal, and be released so we can be ever more available for love.

If we can follow some wise advice and use tools around us, we can shift relationships in radical ways and bear witness to miracles.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
~Mahatma Gandhi

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  1. Why forgiveness? Because no matter how many caturangas we do, no matter how much wheat grass juice we drink, no matter how many kirtans we attend, we will not have a happy life if we are carrying resentment and hate inside of us. (It’s not what you eat, but what’s eating you.) Anger and resentment destroy our lives, whereas, forgiveness is perhaps the most powerful tool we have for healing the damaged, shadow aspects of ourselves. To forgive another, heals oneself, just as anger toward another poisons oneself. Even for the body to heal, often times what is most vital is to heal the broken heart or spirit.

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