Learn How To Forgive, Even When It Seems Impossible

A path to forgiveness, loving kindness meditation

Over the past several months, I’ve been painfully reminded, we are not invincible. One can work hard to lead a balanced life; eating healthy, exercising, healthy relationships, a fulfilling career, and nurturing spirituality will all increase your quality of life significantly, but it won’t make you invincible.

Over the past several months, I noticed a growing feeling of anxiety. In my mind nothing had changed. I was eating healthy, working­out, meditating, and my relationships were thriving. What was making me feel off? The more I tried to find out where I was out of synch, the more anxious I became.

What had happened that I felt this way? How do I fix it? I forced myself to really focus on what I was feeling. The first emotion I could put a name to was anger and then the dreaded “H” word;

“Hurt”.

We are not invincible to hurt and hurt is one of those engraining emotions that has the tendency to stick around. Being hurt causes stress, which activates the fight or flight response. The result of the stress response varies widely, surfacing as under eating, overeating, irritability, tension, and anger to name a few.

In my case, I was hurt by someone I loved very much. People who love us are not supposed to hurt us. When they do, it can be very hard to come to terms with the damage. Worse yet, is when the person knows they caused pain, yet ceases to apologized. In my situation, they continued on as normal, as if my pain wasn’t real, as if I didn’t deserve to be repaired. This lack of concern for my feelings caused even more stress. I continued to attend family functions waiting for an apology that never came, over­time I dwelled on this, which fed my anxiety. How can I forgive her until she says she is sorry?

The pain began to affect all aspects of my life. I became edgy, I found myself craving sugar, and it just seemed like everything was off in my once balanced life. It was unfair, I hadn’t caused the pain, yet I was the one suffering. My spiritual balance was in desperate need of some retuning. I had to accept that I was not going to get apology, more importantly, I had to accept that you do not need an apology to forgive someone. I’ll state that again:

I had to accept that you do not need an apology to forgive someone.

I was out of balance spiritually and mentally because I was allowing hurt to take over. I was holding a silent grudge. Instead of coming to terms with it, I chose to let it grow and fester into all areas of my life.

I remembered a very famous quote,

“Forgiveness is an act of compassion. It is not done because one deserves it, it is done because one needs it.”

I needed to forgive and move on for me and my health. To forgive does not mean I forget, rather it meant I gave myself the gift of peace. I was able to get my life back in balance. We will be hurt by others, after­all we are all human. We will hurt and feel pain and only we can determine if we will move on or let it fester. If you are ready to start the process towards forgiveness, use the loving­-kindness meditation daily until you reach balance, peace, and compassion.

Loving­-Kindness Meditation

  • Find a quiet, comfortable place.
  • Place one hand in your lap and the other hand on your heart.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Take a deep breath in through your nose. As you breathe in, say to yourself ‘I am at ease’ This could be changed to something else ‘I am at peace’, ‘I am calm’, ‘I am relaxed’, etc.
  • Take a deep breath out through your mouth. Really envision that you are relaxed, at ease, and calm.
  • Now take another deep breath in and really focus on yourself. Be present in this moment with your mind and body. Now repeat May I be well, May I be happy, May I be filled with Loving­Kindness.
  • Next think about someone who you care deeply for and love. With them in mind, repeat the phrase. May you be well, May you be happy, May you be filled with Loving­Kindness.
  • Next think about the person who has caused you pain. With them in mind, repeat the phrase.
  • May you be well, May you be happy, May you be filled with Loving­-Kindness.

You may feel your anxiety increase on this last one and that is ok. This is a process and your body and mind are working through letting the pain go and ultimately fostering forgiveness, compassion, and empathy.

Repeat daily.

Expert Coach Center is a 10-month Virtual Wellness Coach Certification Program, composed of a 6­-course curriculum series in Coaching Foundations, Nutrition, Fitness, Stress Management, Relationships and Life Balance.

Guest Post Provided by Lisa Rice, Expert Coach Center Graduate

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