We generally take fairly long time to realize the importance of forgiveness, if you have reached this page just out of curiosity, then I would suggest you to first read the post, ‘ Why is it so important to forgive?’ Most of us have misconception that we do a favour by forgiving someone, the truth is forgiving others is in our own benefit. At this point the conscious mind may resist this statement but it would not after you read the post ‘9 lame excuses we make to avoid forgiving others’. Lets get started into the process of forgiving.
- First of all forgive yourself: This exercise itself gives us enough reason to forgive everyone else. As we attempt to forgive ourselves we come across various hurdles, as we cross these hurdles and succeed in forgiving ourselves we experience the joy of living with an unburdened heart. The post ‘How to forgive our own self’ suggests methods useful for self-forgiveness.
- Be humble and seek forgiveness at conscious and sub-conscious level: One important aspect of forgiving self is to seek forgiveness from people whom we have hurt or harmed. Seeking forgiveness becomes even more important when we try to forgive someone else. As we need both palms to clap, it is improbable that we haven’t done anything against the person whom we want to forgive now. I have mentioned some methods to seek forgiveness from others in the linked post. I am sure they will help everyone in seeking forgiveness.
- Reap the benefits of forgiving: Once you know the seven sure shot benefits of forgiving then it would make more sense to forgive. The value of peace, success and healthy relations is far more than that of grudges that we might be holding. Out of innumerable benefits of forgiveness, I have mentioned seven in the linked post.
- Visualization: visualization can be effectively employed for reducing animosity, grudge or hatred against someone who has ignorantly harmed us in some way, or, has intentions to harm. Below is a suggested visualization exercise that would help all us to be free of the harms of harboring negative thoughts and feeling in our hearts.
Sit quietly preferably in a closed room with all modern modes of communication switched off. Once you are as calm as you can be, imagine a soothing sphere of white light originating out of your heart; this expanding sphere is the sphere of universal love and compassion. Everyone you care about is now present in the room. This light of love is transforming everyone including those who have differences with you. They all are thanking you for you forgave them; they are reciprocating love by giving you a smile with affectionate look in their eyes.
- Forgive Subconsciously: Before going to bed, concentrate and bring the person you want to forgive in your vision, talk to him/her and forgive in spite of all his shortcomings or weaknesses. You can also program your mind for meeting the person at an astral level in dream, and resolve differences. I have written an account of my experience about forgiveness through dreams here.
- Affirmation: Affirm deeply, “ I forgive you with all my heart”, feel this emotion, feel peace and happiness. The mind has tendency to oppose affirmations initially, don’t bother about it, and keep affirming with all the intensity.
- Through a photograph: a Forgiveness affirmation when practiced in front of photograph of the person in question becomes even more effective. The anger and resentments starts to dissolve within a week of starting this practice. It is important to practice this daily until free from all the negative emotions.
- Consciously: Once you forgive in your heart it becomes very easy to forgive others consciously as and when the situation requires.
Test Progress: After we forgive someone we can know it by monitoring our emotions in presence of that person. The best is to find an opportunity to talk to him/her peacefully about a neutral matter and Observe if anger, resentment, threat or any other negative feeling is felt. We can practice mentioned methods until completely free from all negative emotions.
Another important thing, we need to know that forgiveness can only be practiced by strong and it is important not to allow anyone to act in a way against us that would make him/her feel guilty in future. Remember the old proverb ‘Prevention is always better than cure.’ I have made this point more clear through a story given here.