Forgiving others is essential for spiritual growth. Your experience of someone who has hurt you, while painful, is now nothing more that a thought or feeling that you carry around. These thoughts of resentment, anger, and hatred represent slow, debilitating energies that will dis-empower you if you continue to let these thoughts occupy space in your head. If you could release them, you would know more peace.
Below I share how to forgive someone who has hurt you in 15 steps:
Step 1: Move On to the Next Act
Your past history and all of your hurts are no longer here in your physical reality. Don’t allow them to be here in your mind, muddying your present moments. Your life is like a play with several acts. Some of the characters who enter have short roles to play, others, much larger. Some are villains and others are good guys. But all of them are necessary, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the play. Continue Reading
I’m 72 today. Around the time of my birthday last year, I was privileged to be working on a new film project from Hay House called My Greatest Teacher. The story is based on my experience at my father’s grave in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1974.
It was a moment of forgiveness that turned my whole life around and changed everything—from my writing to my career to my relationships. I stopped drinking and doing so many things that were debilitating to my body. In that moment, I got rid of the anger and rage against my father that I had carried around inside of me since I was a child.
The film has a contemporary setting with an actor playing the young me—angry, impatient, careless of the feelings of others—until he faces his greatest teacher. Essentially, he can’t go on with his life until he settles up with the huge burden of blame he is carrying. A Course in Miracles says, “If you didn’t blame, there would be nothing to forgive.” Continue Reading
Notice each day whether you are choosing to live in fear or love. Fear can keep you disconnected from the loving presence inside of you. Causing fear is a tactic of the ego, whether it be your own ego or the world’s ego. The world’s ego is a reflection of individual ego power and the amount of fear that is active. Fear is present when we forget that we are a part of God’s divine design. Learning to experience authentic love means abandoning ego’s insistence that you have much to fear and that you are in an unfriendly world. You can make the decision to be free from fear and doubt and return to the brilliant light of love that is always with you. Who you really are is that unclouded love.
Here are some ideas for bringing love rather than fear into your life: Continue Reading
A recent caller to my radio show told me that although she could forgive other people easily, the hardest thing to do was to forgive herself. In thinking about this very common problem, here’s what you have to consider: Everything that you’ve done in your life up until this moment, you had to do. The proof of this is that you did it!
Everything you did is over now. You can’t take any of it back. In The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, the poet says, “The Moving Finger writes: and having writ,/ Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit/ Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,/ Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”
The fact that we can’t erase the past says something to us. We are called on to forgive ourselves, to honor what is past, to love and respect it. Look back and say, “That’s what I needed to do, that’s the person I needed to be at that time in my life. I did that, and I’ve learned from it. Now I can move on.” Continue Reading
Many years ago, when the holiday season arrived and certain relatives were due to make their annual appearance, I felt a sense of increasing dread. Far too many of us suffer from the pain of family get-togethers, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Somehow we allow the expectations and demands of our family members to be the source of so much unhappiness and stress, when what we really want is to be authentically ourselves and at peace with our relatives. The conflict seems too often to be a choice between being authentic, which means no peace with certain relatives, or having peace at the price of being inauthentic. Being peaceful and authentic can define your relationship with your relatives. First, though, you may have to assess your relationship with the closest relative of all—you.
In order to change the nature of family relationships, you’ll have to change your mind about them and consider that you are the source of the anguish in your relationships, rather than the individual whom you’ve pegged as the most outrageous, the most despicable, or the most infuriating. Over the years, all of these individuals have been treating you exactly as you’ve allowed them to with your reactions and behaviors. This can miraculously change when you choose to be at peace with everyone in your life—most particularly, your relatives.
If the focus of your inner dialogue about your family members is on what they’re doing that’s wrong, then that’s precisely how your relationship with them will be experienced. If your inner speech centers on what’s annoying about them, that’s what you’ll notice. But if you’re thinking, I am authentic and peaceful with this relative, then that’s what you’ll experience—even if that relative continues to be exactly the way he or she has always been. Continue Reading
I was having dinner with my friend Ram Dass not long ago and talking about forgiveness, a subject I’m studying for my new book. He leaned over and said to me, “Wayne, I’ve never believed that it’s up to us to forgive anyone. That is not our role.” Let this profound statement sink in and think about how it might apply to your own experience.
First, we have to face the notion that in order to consider forgiving someone we must have been blaming them for something. We must have anger, resentment, blame, even hatred going on in order to feel the need to forgive. Forgiveness is really an act of letting go, releasing the anger, the hatred, the bitterness, the thoughts of revenge that we have been carrying around. We can do this letting go without even encountering the person we want to forgive. It was one act of profound forgiveness toward my own father, whom I never saw or talked to, that turned my life around from one of ordinary awareness to one of higher consciousness, achievement, and success beyond anything I had ever dared to imagine.
We forgive by releasing all resentment, anger, and bitterness and thus set ourselves free from the negative feelings that weaken us. Continue Reading
Do you blame other people and circumstances for keeping you from achieving the level of success, happiness, and health you’d like to enjoy? Blaming others for deficiencies or any of the conditions of your life keeps you from fulfilling your own highest destiny. Everyone in life does exactly what they know how to do given the conditions of their lives. That’s the way I’ve chosen to look at the story of my life. My mother had three small children under the age of four; and an alcoholic husband who walked away without ever providing any support. She placed one of my brothers and me in a series of foster homes, while my other brother lived with my grandmother until I was ten years old. This is not a story of pity or blame; it’s precisely what had to take place in order for me to learn about self-reliance firsthand. Because I’ve lived self-reliance, and then gone on to teach it to millions of people, I don’t find fault with anyone for any of the conditions of my life. I see all of my early-childhood experiences as necessary gifts, even the ones laced with pain and sadness.
Be willing to accept total responsibility for every facet of your own life. You didn’t inherit your personality traits from anyone in the past—you’ve repeatedly chosen them, even though you may be unaware of how or why. If you’re shy, loud, Continue Reading