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The Process of Forgiveness
I strongly believe that love, forgiveness and gratitude are the keys to abundant living, and that harboring un-forgiveness will block the good that God has prepared for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Therefore, when I started the 7-day financial challenge, I felt led to do the Forgiveness Diet process as well. It was interesting because I don’t usually hold grudges or even get mad at people. However, as I turned within and asked Spirit if there was anyone I needed to forgive; six names came to mind- five of which were family, three generations deep, and one friend.
For 7-days before 12 noon, I wrote the following sentence 35 times: “I, Jo Anne Meekins, forgive (all six names written out within this sentence) totally and unconditionally.” And then before 12 midnight, I wrote the following sentence 35 times: “I, Jo Anne Meekins, forgive myself totally and unconditionally.” This is an abridged version of the Forgiveness Diet process created by Iyanla Vanzant included in her book, Tapping the Power Within.
I was surprised to find that the more I wrote my friend’s name, the angrier I became thinking about what I was upset about. On top of that, every time I started to write unconditionally, “unforgivable” came to mind. I had to laugh at myself because this was quite unusual for me or so I thought. When we talked on the phone, my mouth said “all is well and we were cool,” but I could feel and hear major attitude resonating in my being. I was discovering a deeper level of myself that needed to be cleansed and healed. I was still experiencing this phenomenon on day four of the Forgiveness Diet and felt like I had a long way to go. But on the flipside, I was writing the forgiveness sentence about myself with joy, gratitude and increased love.
I also felt the need to include the Ho’oponopono process of forgiveness, where you think of the person(s) or memory and say to yourself audible or silently, “I love you, I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you.” This method is discussed in Joe Vitale’s book, Zero Limits. When I learned the mantra, I was taught to include, “I forgive all.” I repeated the mantra whenever I felt negative energy about the people I was forgiving or the stories I attached to them.
By the morning of day five, I had sincerely released the anger and was able to write about and converse with my friend without conflicting feelings or attitude. My family un-forgiveness involved old residual pain from small hurts that apparently had not totally healed or had not been fully acknowledged. So, I used this opportunity to acknowledge it all and surrender it to God. On a deeper level, I released the resentment and blame I was holding for the deceased family members that came to mind; and I let go the offense and indignation I felt for my living family members and begin to experience a shift in the energy of our relationships. That shift began with me and in me when I worked the process and focused on increasing the love.
Spiritual tools and practices work if you work them and help us to live a life of peace, power, love and freedom. Forgiveness of self and others is essential to maintaining a right relationship with God and for experiencing, abundant living and our greatest good.