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  • Writer's pictureKathy Rixon

Exploring the Power of Forgiveness

I have had a difficult time in forgiving others who do really bad things. I'm not talking about run-of-the-mill hissy fits and temper tantrums here. I am talking about extremely vindictive exes, people who harm children, animal abusers, narcissists, etc., etc. How does one forgive the unforgiveable?

A lack of forgiveness only hurts ourselves. We carry that anger around like a badge of honour almost, all the while making our own thoughts and bodies toxic with the power of hatred, anger, and unforgiveness. It's like the old saying goes, 'Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.'

I have used the Hawaiian Ho-opnopono Prayer. Like a mantra, say, 'I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.' Say this in your thoughts or aloud to yourself. Forgive yourself as you do this. Repeat it about the other person you are trying to forgive. At first, it will feel as if you are just mouthing the words angrily or feeling nothing at all. But after several times, a miracle starts to occur. You find yourself not thinking about the offensive situation as much. As you keep saying this beautiful prayer that is powerful in its simplicity, the anger and frustration start to lift until you are free of the hold the other person's behaviour had on you. You let it go. You're free.

Forgiveness can be extremely difficult if it involves family members, especially close family members. In the past, if your family was anything like mine, you would sweep it under the carpet and act as if nothing had ever happened. You were taught that was the 'Christian' or 'right' thing to do. But now I know that, in order not to allow ourselves to be destroyed by others' behaviour, some situations call for standing up and facing down the offensive behaviour head-on. And many times, that includes walking away entirely.

Our minds, bodies, and spirits need to be in a state of health constantly, as much as we possibly can, and that includes releasing what doesn't serve us. Cheers to forgiveness and double cheers to standing up for ourselves and drawing boundaries when needed.

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