Forgiveness as a Liberating Freedom Practice

Emily Belle Freeman defines mercy as ‘especially active compassion.’ I love the thought of self mercy or mercy towards others being an active practice. As you continue your mindful self-compassion practice this week, letting go and leaning into discomfort, consider how that could be especially active or merciful in your life.

In week three, we review the steps to forgiveness as a liberating freedom practice. If you’d like to know more about forgiveness, there are two books that I have found especially helpful; Dare to Forgive by Edward M. Hallowell and Forgiveness; the healing We Give Ourselves by Cheryl Carson.

We all know that continuing to hold a grudge is like walking around with a heavy weight tied to us. What we don’t understand, though, is how to take that miserable weight off. This week will help you loosen the bonds keeping you from becoming free of the grudge and anger forever.

Consider something that makes you angry. Someone who has hurt you and not made things right. Inner angst can be an exhausting thing. Could you decide to let that go this week? If you did, how would you feel about your decision to resolve the conflict within your heart and mind? Hopeful? Good.

As we begin, choose an area where you would like to feel better. Maybe it is directly forgiving someone who has harmed you or providing support for the hope of forgiveness by resolving inner turmoil and conflict. Both are valid and good.

Choosing a person is easy. We all have several, or at least one. Growing a framework of support to be able to forgive may not be quite as clear. Consider these to create the scaffolding to inner peace:

• Build in a daily quiet time where you can consciously choose to contemplate the good in your life.

• For two minutes every day (yes, set a timer), choose to think kindly of someone who makes you crazy.

• Take a daily walk outside.

• Curate your media choices to things that only bring peaceful feelings. If it agitates you, nix it. Consider options in social media, television, acquaintances, and music. (Family is optional)

• Create a sleep schedule that gives you a full measure of the rest your body needs each week. Rest is essential to both physical and emotional healing.

Inner turmoil can be relentless, and putting down the gauntlet of anger and picking up a soothing cup of grace can make all the difference in your forgiveness to freedom process. So, your assignment for the next few days is to decide whom you will forgive or what you will do in building a framework of preparation for that forgiveness. Both steps will liberate a large part of you and bring measurable gains. Could you write it down? Could you share it with a trusted friend? Could you share it on the forum? We’re here for you, and we’d love to share!