Finding The Courage To Forgive
by Karena Virginia
It takes tremendous strength to truly forgive. Forgiving is not as simple as we learned in kindergarten. How free we would feel if the simple three words: “I forgive you” held the magic of a true release of pain? Our world is full of disappointments, but when someone in or close circle betrays us, the intensity of violation can create a deep anger or sadness. How do we find the courage to truly forgive when the betrayal lingers in our mind, body, soul and emotional state? As human beings, the triggers create a need within us to fight, flight or freeze and appease. How do we pause, reflect, rise above and move through instead? True forgiveness is a task based on deep inner work which often takes bravery to practice.
The three major triggers psychologists write about are; betrayal, rejection and abandonment. If we experienced any of these triggers in our childhoods (which most of us have), we are more prone to feeling the intensity of the sting when they appear in our adult lives. If we have not done the inner work of healing our childhood wounds, we often act out as adults instead of healing the past and then recognizing that an older wound has been opened by an act in the present time. Sometimes we are actually the ones we need to forgive as well. And if we do not forgive ourselves, how can we possibly forgive another? If we are sabotaging our own lives and then feeling shame around our own actions, we are hurting ourselves and then searching for a way out of the pattern by blaming another. We are complicated beings, but there are steps to finding the courage to freedom by learning the art of forgiveness.
- Forgive yourself. We forgive for ourselves whenever we forgive. We are not forgiving for anyone else. But we must forgive ourselves first. Once we recognize that we are actually spiritual beings in life school making mistakes and growing, we see that life is a process. We make mistakes so we can learn and evolve. After all, we are human.
- Forgive completely without forgetting. We keep ourselves safe by seeing a pattern in another that may be dangerous for us. Often these are people we love and that is why the pain is so intense. It is easier to forgive the stranger who screams at us because she is having a bad day than it is to forgive a loved one throws us under the bus.
- Forgive for peace. Holding onto anger is toxic. Choose peace. It is impossible to live a truly peaceful life when we are holding onto resentments. If we give peace a chance and create a habit every morning of making the choice to feel peace, we begin to release the burden. It takes courage to do this type of work, but we can do it.
- “Forgive them for they know not what they do” Is there anyway we can find compassion instead of anger? How wounded and miserable is the person who hurts others? Do they need love? Are they crying out for love? Are they in intense pain? Can we see them as eight year old kids who were bullied who have never truly healed? These are the questions to ask.
- Exercise. Move the body. Move the energy.
- Meditate. Take 5 deep breaths.
- Talk to a close friend.
- Practice Self Love (Walk in nature. Take a hot bath. Listen to music. Light some candles. Journal. Have a cup of tea. Plan a healthy trip)
- Cry. Punch the pillow.
- Spend time with children or animals.
- Volunteer and get out of your own way. Help someone in need.
- React without breathing and contemplating first.
- Get stuck in the story and repeat it over and over again in the mind.
- Over indulge with too much food, shopping or drinking.
- Sabotage. Hurt back. Act out.
Practice the miraculous Hawaiian Ho’oponopono healing mantra by repeating:
I love you. I’m sorry. Forgive me. Thank you.
Keep saying these four sentences and focus on self. It is for our own healing. It is profound how powerful this practice can be!
Practice Kundalini: (Kundalini 101: The Powerful Meaning of Sat Nam)
Karena is a member of Oprah Winfrey’s Belief Team, and a pioneer in the #Metoo movement who has discovered that the meaning of healing humanity starts with speaking truth and choosing love. She is passionate about helping others find their voice and heal. Her clients are often professionals and celebrities who find Karena’s style accessible and enjoyable. Karena is married with two beautiful children. She lives in the suburbs of New York City.
BASICALLY BEAUTIFUL WANTS TO KNOW…
BB: Do you have a favorite quote?
Karena: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
BB: What is your favorite flower?
Karena: Pink roses of course!
BB: Favorite playlist?
Karena: 1970’s love songs
BB: Favorite ice cream?
Karena: Banana peanut butter with dark chocolate covered pretzels
BB: If you could have one superpower…?
Karena: Heal the world!
BB: What is the best way to contact you?
(posted: January 2020)