Forgiveness

A Forgiveness Meditation

Today I’d like to share with you a forgiveness meditation I used to do. A couple years ago, I created a habit of sitting cross-legged on the floor each morning, after drinking a glass of water and getting some fresh air, to go through this process and forgive all of the past parts of myself that needed forgiving — often times, I found myself surprised by the aspects of self that would emerge. And by the people and situations, present and past, that would bubble up to the surface, to be seen, recognized, healed — and forgiven.

I sat cross-legged because there is something about sitting on the floor or the ground in this way that feels grounding to me. I’ve recently returned back to this way of connecting with myself in the morning and I absolutely love it.

There is something about the feeling of where your body connects with the floor that is stabilizing, grounding, and connecting. A beautiful way to start your day.

I created this practice as a unique combination of practices from other spiritual teachers, as well as based on my training in a program for rewiring the nervous system and healing trauma.

That is why, for this meditation, I recommend keeping your eyes open. You can close them slightly when you get to the part about forgiveness, but to begin just sit cross-legged in a comfortable space. And begin to notice your breath.

Now put your hand over your heart. And feel your breath slow, and your chest expand — open. Breathing in more and more oxygen and energy into this sacred heart center.

Begin to slowly and gently look around the room in front of you, whatever you can comfortably see, and allow your eyes, our gaze to linger on each object, or pattern in the floor, etc. for a few moments before you move on. Doing this gently, scanning around you with you eyes. While also feeling your body and noticing your breath.

Connecting to both simultaneously.

The outside world. Taking in the details, the orientation, the location of where you are.

And within. Your body, your breath. Your brilliant soul shining through.

All uniting, all merging and living in harmony. A gentle and subtle awareness of both.

Begin breathing in and whispering “I love you,” to yourself, either in your mind silently, or aloud.

Then, “I forgive you.”

“I love you.”

“I forgive you.”

“I forgive you for all past regrets.”

“I forgive you for all the things you’ve gotten wrong.”

“I forgive you.”

“I am here with you.”

“And I love you.”

Continue on with whatever phrases come to mind. There might be specific phrases where you include your own details of forgiveness, such as “I forgive you for…” Or you might feel inclined to say, “I love the way you…” And you might find yourself saying the things you love or admire or appreciate about yourself. Even saying “Thank you for…” Or just plain, “Thank you.”

Allow your mind to really wander, and your heart to really explore, whatever words come to you — whatever words are asking to be said.

Say them with kindness, gentleness, and love.

And if you get stuck, or words are not coming to you…

Try asking, what words does my heart need to hear right now?

And still, if nothing comes to you, you can simply return to…

“I love you.” “I forgive you.”

“I love you.” “I forgive you.”

Let the rhythm of your words and your breath wash over you with ease, with grace, and with forgiveness.

Now, when you get to an opening, a space where you begin to feel open and clear inside, ask…

“Who needs to be held in the light of forgiveness today?”

“What aspect of myself needs to be held in the light of forgiveness today?”

You can ask one, or both of these questions — or any variation you like.

Hold the question in your mind, focusing on your heart center, and see what begins to arise.

If nothing does, simply imagine a golden loving light surrounding you, of whatever color comes to you, or comes to mind to imagine.

If an aspect of self or another person in your life, or a situation or past even comes to mind —

Visualize it being bathed, and held in a soft and golden healing light.

Or again, whatever color comes to you, maybe a purple, an emerald green, a light and gentle, healing and restorative blue…whatever comes to mind, go with it.

Allow your intuition go guide you and your higher self, your heart to guide the way.

You may even begin to have ideas of visualizations that might help, of that aspects of yourself are seeking.

For example, a small child-like part of your self, might want to be held in your arms. And you could imagine that sweet, innocent beautiful part of yourself being rocked gently in your arms.

Notice the way your body begins to feel as you do this exercise. What feelings do the visualization evoke?

Allow it to fill your consciousness, your heart, and your mind.

Allow yourself to be lifted up in the light and freedom and love —

And know that everything is forgiven.

You are healed and held in love, and you are forgiven in every way.

Continue with the mantra, “I forgive you,” if you like.

Or, “I love you.” Or, “thank you.”

“Thank you for showing me where healing light needs to go.”

“Thank you for showing me where and how you need to be loved. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for helping me grow.”

And as you finish saying the remaining words that come to you to speak, begin to look around the room once more. Returning to the feel of your hand placed over your heart. The sound and feel of your breath. The things around you in the room, or the space where you are seated. The place where your body makes contact with the floor.

Noticing all these things, and scanning once more, aware of the inside — your breath, your body, your own emotions and feeling sensations. As well as the outside — the details and objects you notice in the room around you.

Allowing yourself come back to a place of grounded center to return to and go about your day.

This meditation is best performed in the morning, even while you’re still a little bit groggy and connected to your higher self — in a more relaxed state from your sleep the night before to help the situations, people, aspects of self to surface, and the healing phrases to arise.

But, of course, this can be done anytime during the day — especially if you find yourself in a moment of being especially hard on or critical of yourself. Stop, take a breath, put your hand on your heart, and even if you simply breath in and out, and say the words “I love you,” surely this is enough to help bring you back to center, to a state of calm and of peace, a place of knowing that you are loved.

And that you are forgiven.

Namaste.

I hope this helps you! And I’d love to hear all about your positive experience in the comments below. 🙂

Much love to you, now and always,

Caitlin

P.S. If you’d enjoy an audio version of this meditation, please email me and let me know!

Forgiveness Meditation

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Forgiveness

Healing through forgiveness.

Earlier this week, I sat on my bedroom floor, Dino curled up in his bed…my mind returning to lamenting some of the decisions I’ve made… the kind of thing where, just as you get to a new layer of forgiveness, it seems to pop back up–the judgments of others cascading or ping ponging, or whack-a-mole-ing back into your mind.

And I said, that’s enough. In my mind. And aloud, I said, “you know what Dino, I think we need a Forgiveness Jar.”

And with the slap of my legs, I hopped up, grabbed a 32 oz. mason jar, a stack of post-its and started writing.

Now this is a variation on an exercise I used to do, where I wrote aspects of my situation or current experience down on little slips of paper (lovely varied color card stock, to be exact) and put them into a lovely glass vase…they were beautiful. And they helped bring me back to my present experience. The act of writing them down, and declaring how I was feeling, honoring my experience in that way, and then putting them into the vase held serious healing power for me.

And now, I found myself in need of that healing again.

My road down the lane of forgiveness…or perhaps we shall call it a river, has been flowing for quite some time.

Sometimes it’s like raging rapids asking to be calmed with the power of pure intention and a loving heart, and other times it seems to flow along peacefully with a light blue energy of Mother Mary…and a knowing that “they know not what they do.”

There are times where these, to me, feel like some of the most peaceful words ever spoken. A soothing salve for the wounds of the soul.

And sometimes, in fact most of the time, the one so often in need of forgiving, in need of our pure loving and infinitely giving and abundant presence, is our very own self.

I have needed to forgive myself more times than I can count. And it seems just as I reach a new layer, more things will surface…so the journey goes, I suppose.

But every step of the way, we know we’re going deeper, we know we’re getting closer and closer to the light of our true selves.

And that is my hope for you today as I share these prompts…

That in offering yourself any tidbit or sliver of forgiveness that you are able, that a bright shining part of you will be able to shine through all the brighter, and light this world with love.

Because the very first person in the world, who always deserves more love…is you.

So love yourselves hard today, dear ones. Hold your sweet little child self close and whisper to her that it will be alright. Tell her she is doing a good job, reassure her that all is well…

And if she asks, be willing to speak the words, “you are forgiven.”

For as you forgive yourself, you open the pathway to being able to forgive others with such tenderness and grace.

And let’s be honest…I think the whole world can use a lot more of both of those things right now.

Oh! And if you want to create a forgiveness jar…

This is what you do:

  1. Pick a jar or container (coffee can, vase, cookie container…whatever you can find) and declare it your FORGIVENESS JAR.
  2. Place a stack of post its or pieces of paper nearby. (I found that writing on the post its upside down and then folding them in half so that the bottom half sticks to the back works well.)
  3. Whenever you notice yourself feeling hard on yourself for something, or notice a regret pop into your mind, write it down… “I forgive you for…(and fill in the blank for whatever it is you feel needs forgiving),” fold it in half, put it in your jar, and let the worry and burden of it fall away.
  4. You’d be surprised how quickly this can bring relief! When I did mine, I wrote several all at once, and then the next morning when one regret that I’d written about the night before popped into my mind, my immediate thought to myself was “I forgive you” or “you’re forgiven” and I went about my merry way.
  5. I hope this works for you as well as it did (and does) for me… and if you try it, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below…

Much love to you always,

And may forgiveness radiate through your heart to bring healing to all in sight,

Caitlin