Hello Lovelies! I hope you had an absolutely wonderful weekend! I’m here today with a post all about the power of forgiveness and how to release yourself from your past. How many times have you found yourself reliving the past in your mind, wondering what if, or holding a grudge against someone for something that happened long ago?
So many of us live in a perpetual state of something in between resentment and self-blame. It breaks my heart when I hear someone talking about not being able to forgive, or not being able to move on. Who do you have in your life that you’re holding a grudge against? Who can’t you forgive? A friend, for not believing in you? A loved one, for something petty like forgetting your birthday? A spouse, for not doing enough around the house? A business partner, for making a decision without asking you first? How about the worst person you could ever hold a grudge against… yourself?
If you’re holding on to grudges, blaming others for small mistakes, or even blaming yourself for big ones… don’t worry, we’ve all been there! I know that I have often had a hard time leaving the past in the past. It took me a really long time to learn how practice forgiveness, to let go, live in the present, and not let the past drag me into a pool of sorrow and regret.
There was a time in my not-so-distant past when I wallowed in anger and sadness over things that happened to me as a child. It was killing me, making me a bear to be around, and it was a burden on my shoulders that I needed to drop. One day I woke up and realized that I did not want to live that way anymore. I knew that I had to quit living in regret, and start making a better future for myself without letting the past guide my path. I was lucky in that I was able to realize this on my own. I was able to look into myself and confront the things that were bringing me down and say “No More!”.
Unfortunately, there are so many out there who have not had that “ah-ha!” moment yet. If you are one of those people, I hope this post will help you have it right now! I truly believe that once you start the process of forgiveness and letting go, your life will begin to change in amazing and unexpected ways. Here are some steps that you can take this week to stop living in the past and start forgiving.
HOW TO PRACTICE FORGIVENESS & LET GO OF YOUR PAST:
Tell Your Story
We all have that one friend, that one person in our lives that we can talk to about anything. Sometimes just getting what is bothering us off our chest is the best way to let go. So often, just saying it out loud makes that regret sound less awful than it seems in our mind. If it is something deeply personal that you don’t want to share out loud with someone, grab a notebook and write it down! After you get it on paper, you can choose to shred it, burn it, or even keep it as a reminder of what used to hold you back. Whatever you choose to do with it, just remember that this is what is holding you back. Focus on how you can let it go and move on.
Realize That You Are Not Your Past
Some of you may not know this, but I spent 6 wonderful years as a child living in Costa Rica. While it was an amazing experience that I will always cherish, it was not always easy. I learned first-hand what it’s like to be “different”. Other children would often tease me about my white skin, and I never quite felt like I “fit in” even though I did make several life-long friendships along the way. For the longest time after I moved back to the USA, I struggled with thinking that I was “too white”. This trend continued into my adulthood and I found myself buying monthly tanning memberships, always trying to get more tan, and being super-envious of girls with dark bronze skin.
This is a prime example of how your past can define your beliefs about yourself. It took me many years to realize that this belief I had was not serving me. It was causing me so much stress (and money by the way), that this small little thing was driving my crazy. At the time, it was an obsession that ruled over me. When I look back on it now, I kind of laugh at how ridiculous it all was.
What beliefs about yourself are being dictated by your past? Bring them to light today, and see what kind of changes you can make. You’ll be so glad that you did.
We are often so reluctant to let go of our anger. If we still feel harmed now – weeks, years, or even decades after we first were – we can still feel that anger as vibrantly as we did when the offense took place. Forgiveness in this case can feel like we’re letting the offender off the hook without any recourse or “punishment”.
There’s one thing that I want you to realize right now: Forgiveness is all about YOU. The other person doesn’t even have to know! Forgiveness is about letting go of the power that anger has over you. Take back control over your feelings and you will gain an entirely new perspective. Finding the compassion to forgive will change release you from the anger that has been holding you back for so long.
Let’s face it. We’ve all done things that we are not proud of. We’ve all said something out of spite that hurt someone’s feelings. We’ve even made innocent mistakes that caused serious harm to someone that we cared about.
Forgiveness is a way to to face what we’ve done in the past, acknowledge our mistakes, and move on. Forgiveness does not mean that you are discounting the gravity of what you have done. You aren’t saying that it’s ok. You are not forgetting. You are simply acknowledging the fact, and choosing to move on and not letting it define you. You are in essence taking charge of your own future and not letting your past actions define who you are today.
In addition to these tips, I want to share a few forgiveness mantras that can be used in your meditation practice. Even if you are not into meditation, these affirmations can be very powerful to your subconscious when read out loud. Give them a try and let me know what you think!
9 FORGIVENESS MANTRAS
- I grow stronger and better as I forgive myself and move on.
- The past is gone. I live only in the present.
- I melt into an ocean of love and forgiveness.
- I live in the now and design my own future. The past has no effect on my present.
- I forgive others as I forgive myself: with ease, sincerity and loving compassion.
- I follow the principle of live and let live.
- I set my past free and forgive my participation in it.
- As I forgive myself, it becomes easier to forgive others.
- I release the past so I can step into the future with pure intentions.
If you’re a fan of mantras and affirmations, check out more meditation mantras here!
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Kara Benz is the artist and author behind Boho Berry, where she inspires her readers to lead a more centered, fulfilled, and inspired life. Kara also runs a successful sticker shop on Etsy – Boho Berry Paperie.