Mindfully letting go: the power of forgiveness

It can feel impossible to forgive when the pain goes deep and it can also require great strength because it’s far braver give up the need to prove a point or right a wrong than it is to let go.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean excusing or condoning an action that’s been taken. What it means is you’re finally able to move on, you’re finally able to heal. It releases anger, resentment and breaks the chains of the past, creating closure and freedom.

The cost of not offering ourselves and others forgiveness is that it uses up our energy and mind space as well as preventing us from moving forward.

Forgiveness isn't something you do for the person who wronged you; it's something you do for yourself.

Next time you are faced with a challenging situation see if you can use this mindful breathing exercise to help you move forward and heal your hurt.

Place your attention on the time you felt betrayed, misunderstood, rejected, or deceived.

It could be a time when someone let you down, or a time you didn’t feel appreciated or respected… Bring to mind that scenario, and start with something small if it’s your first time practicing this exercise.

See if it’s possible to connect with what’s beneath that hurt. Breathing into the feelings of that experience.

Bring that person to mind, and really get close, connecting with the emotion of what happened.

See if it’s possible to connect with what’s beneath that hurt. Breathing into the feelings of that experience.

Now see if it’s possible to find the slightest compassion for this person, knowing that we all make mistakes, we all make poor choices and lack foresight.

See if you’re able to connect with the slightest understanding of why the person you’re envisioning may have acted in this hurtful way.

See if you’re able to see past the exterior into the hurt or fear or confusion that might have been driving that person.

If you feel unable to release anger, pain or resentment in this moment, that’s okay. Accept that forgiveness isn’t something that can be forced.

Ask yourself: am I ready to let go?

See if you can invite a softening and free yourself of the pain you’re holding.

If you feel you aren’t ready to let go of your hurt, you might ask yourself:

“Would I rather have this feeling, or would I rather be free?”

And just sit with that question for a moment.

Again, there’s no right or wrong answer, just the answer that’s true for you right now.

So spend a few moments, connecting with that place within yourself that wants to be free and see if the slightest amount of forgiveness is possible.

You don’t have to necessarily focus on the person, simply sink into what peace and freedom would feel like.

Breathe in to that place of hurt and offer it some warmth, offer it space and compassion.

Breathe into what’s here, seeing if you’re ready to accept the invitation to let go.

On your next inhale, breathe in forgiveness, then, as you exhale, feel the release that comes with letting go.

Follow the breath drawing in forgiveness, and on the out-breath, feel into the release of letting go.

Let the feeling of freedom breathe through your entire body.

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