Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Accept, Forgive, Release

Letting go is not easy. Even when we know that people, places or things no longer have a place in our lives, we still sometimes hang on to emotions that affect every aspect of our beings and keep us from moving on. Sometimes our minds and hearts are filled to the brim with "coulda, woulda, shouldas", regrets and things we wish we had said and done. We look for "closure" when the only closure we really need is that this person/place/thing has served its purpose, we have learned the lesson and we are on to better people/places/things. But it's not always that simple, right?

An exercise that I have found works very well in clearing out all the negative thoughts about the past is to write a letter. It sounds very elementary but it can be a huge release. Often, for example, a person with whom our ties are now broken, is long gone before we realize that there were some things we wanted them to know. Of course now, it would serve no purpose to try and communicate with them. But by writing them a letter, we can say all those things--they will never read it of course, but it will feel better after having gotten it out of our systems and now the negativity can no longer fester and cause us heartache.

I wanted to share one such letter that I have written:

"I forgive you for everything that you have done that has caused me pain. I release the notion that you owe or have ever owed me anything, other than to be yourself and to reveal the truth of who you are. I release you from any obligation that I perceived you to have to protect my feelings. I am grateful to you for leaving my life and making room for someone else to come in--someone who is good for me, right now, right where I am.

I forgive myself for any pain that I have ever caused you. I forgive myself for not always showing you the truth of who I am. I forgive myself for any times that I was not as loving as I could have possibly been or that I didn't try as hard as I could have. I forgive myself for trying to keep you in my life when it was time for you to move on, and for not being strong enough to let you leave before our relationship was broken beyond repair. I allow myself to have the peace of knowing that I loved you, had your best interests at heart, and was as honest with you as I could be based on the information that I had about myself. I am thankful for the lessons I have learned that now allow me to know more about myself than I did before. I am thankful for all the growth I experienced through my relationship with you.

I release all hurt, anger, guilt, shame, resentment, regret and sadness tied to you or to what we once had. I now open myself to receive healing, comfort, love, compassion and peace. I am love...and like attracts like. I am thankful for the new things that are in store for my life."

After you have written your letter, read it whenever you start to question what life has in store for you. When you start to long for things past, things that can no longer fill you up or bring you joy--read it. When you're overwhelmed by fear, sadness or anger, read it out loud. By spilling these words from your mouth, they will eventually make their way into your heart and surely begin to manifest themselves as your reality. As you accept the change, you can be forgiving. As you forgive yourself and everyone/thing involved, you can release them. And when you have released them, you too are free.


Anonymous said...

This is the kind of insight i was looking for. This might be life changing. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Kim Jackson said...

Then I am so glad you found it! This exercise was absolutely freeing for me; so I can attest that it is life-changing. I wish you strength in whatever you're going through.

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