The power of Forgiveness

Holding a grudge? We tell you why forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. Follow these tips to make peace with yourself, others and move on

By Luke Coutinho
New Update
The power of Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a gift. The ability to forgive takes a lot of self-work and a lot of pain to accept and let go. It isn’t easy. It is easy for us to preach about the benefits of forgiveness. Still, it is not always easy for people to do this from their heart, as it involves the ego, pride, self-respect, an attack on one’s personality, trust, and belief system, yet, we must forgive for our benefits. That one main benefit is our peace of mind.
Doing away with the head and heart space we are renting out daily, to the person we cannot forgive is something we need to claim back.
The easiest way to forgive is first to start practicing the art of forgiving yourself. Reflect on anything that you need to forgive yourself for, be it in the past or the present. It is easier to start with forgiving ourselves, and when we are able to do this, we find it easier to forgive others. It starts with you, and that is the beginning of the journey of forgiveness.
Make a list of all the things you think you need to forgive yourself  for until now. It could include, fights with parents, bitter things said, some wrong actions, wrong behaviour, maybe you hurt someone, or did something, or said something that caused someone or some people pain. We are not perfect and cannot expect to be perfect. Start the exercise of forgiveness with yourself, and then move on to others.
We must first learn to forgive ourselves before we learn to forgive others, the same way we must first learn to accept, love, and take care of ourselves before we extend the same to others. The inability to forgive, whether it is holding on to the past, hurt, or betrayal is like rust that slowly eats us from within, robbing us of the finite time we have in this single life . Forgiving is not impossible; but it surely is difficult. 
Start the process.
Most people do not even try enough before saying that it is difficult. Forgiveness takes effort, willingness and patience.
Here are two powerful techniques to practice forgiveness.
How to forgive yourself?
It is important to be able to forgive yourself to forgive others. It starts with you.
1. Start by reflecting on the things or people you are unable to forgive yourself for. It could be someone you have hurt (consciously or unconsciously), and you are seeking forgiveness from them as well as from yourself. Make a list.
2. Now take one person at a time and write them a note about what happened and how it made you feel (this exercise is for you; you do not have to share this letter with the person).
3. Now sit back, close your eyes, recenter using deep breathing, and visualize yourself speaking to that person and asking for forgiveness.
4. Now seal this with 5 words – Happy, Healthy, Abundant, Loved, and Safe.  Visualise saying:
•  May you be Happy
•  May you be Healthy
•  May you be Abundant
•  May you be Loved
•  May you be Safe
Allow it to come from the heart.
Now open your eyes, go back to 
your list and write:
•  “I have forgiven myself from my heart.” 
•  “I have forgiven all of me.”
•  Tear the paper and throw it away.
How to forgive someone else?
1. Sit down and write the names of people you want to forgive but are struggling to. Besides the name, write the action or injustice the person did to you (for e.g., hurt, betrayal, bad-mouthing, and so on). As you write, you will notice clarity about your anger and the inability to forgive and also a lot of strength to forgive.
2. Now, sit back, close your eyes, and recenter yourself with the help of deep breaths.
3. Begin to visualize each person you are trying to forgive and imagine speaking to that person, share or express your true feelings with each person, and why you are hurt (go through the feelings). Have a conversation in your visualization.
4. After this, now confess that you want to forgive despite finding it very difficult, because you want to move on. You will find it very difficult to say this, but remember, this is an illusion that you are building, and it is getting transferred to your subconscious mind.
5. Now seal this with 5 words – Happy, Healthy, Abundant, Loved, and Safe. 
Visualise saying:
• May you be Happy
• May you be Healthy
• May you be Abundant
• May you be Loved
• May you be Safe
1. Allow yourself to say this from your heart. It will come with practice, if you find it difficult.
2. Now open your eyes, go back to your list and write:
“I have forgiven you from my heart.” 
1.Tear the paper and throw it away.
2. Use the same sequence of events for anyone you want to forgive.
3. It may not be easy for you to forgive in the first go, but repeat it over and over again. It gets better with practice.
 Use these techniques when you need to. It is powerful and free. It may take a long time, especially when the person is living with you, but practice over and over again. Teach this to others and help them too.