I’ve experienced a lot of pain in my past—criticism in school, friends who lied, boyfriends who betrayed me and the list goes on. The wounds were so deep that I thought I’d never heal.
At the time I didn’t realize that I was hurting myself by holding on to the anger and resentment. Being unable to forgive only prolonged my pain. As I got older I realized that forgiveness isn’t just about letting go for the other person’s sake; forgiveness will set you free.
In Joan Gattuso’s new book, The Power of Forgiveness, she gives readers the tools to let go of the past—powerful visualizations and practical exercises they can use to experience a life of inner peace. Written in a conversational yet informative way, she offers guidance to move past the suffering to a place of compassion and acceptance.
I’m a firm believer in practicing affirmations to rewire your way of thinking. If you’re struggling to forgive, try these inspiring affirmations in this excerpt:
Affirmations can be powerful tools to unlock our blocks to forgiving ourselves and/or forgiving others. Try using the following affirmations in two ways: written and spoken aloud. Begin by getting a journal, then find a comfortable place to sit, where you won’t be disturbed for a while. Take a few deep breaths to ground yourself. Think about the person that you feel wronged you, that you want to forgive. Keep breathing deeply as you then begin to write down the following affirmations in your journal:
I forgive you, I release you, I let you go. All cords that have bound us together are now dissolved. We are both at peace now and forever.
Write it at least seventy times in your journal. As you write it in your journal, say it aloud as well. This will help you to keep your mind and your body focused on the same activity. Do this again every day for at least a week. At the end of the week, before writing the affirmations, stop and notice if you feel any different now. Do you have the same level of anger or sadness or ill will? Did you experience any changes in the course of the week that might be a result of your letting-go process? Can you see the signs of forgiveness happening? If you feel like this completes your forgiveness process, then bless it and stop. If you still feel upset and that more forgiveness needs to happen, then begin writing the affirmation seventy times again each day for the next seven days, and then reevaluate. Take as long as you need until you feel the forgiveness happen.
You can also think of other affirmations that may help, to add or replace the ones above. For instance, if you are feeling like someone else victimized you, then write:
“I am never the victim of anyone in my world.”
Be creative, and find the affirmation or affirmations that will take you out of being a victim and into being forgiveness in action.
Excerpted from The Power of Forgiveness by Joan Gattuso with the permission of Tarcher Perigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Copyright © 2015 by Joan Gattuso.