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Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as "to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offense or debt."
I get to grant a free pardon?
So today's Manifestation Challenge is twofold:
In the comment section below write where you can experience forgiveness in your life, whether it be towards another person, or the Universe, or God, or whatever it is you believe in. The second part is a biggee: Where can you forgive yourself? What for? Are you willing? Be brave.
When I do the forgiveness meditation in my Manifestation Yoga® Workshops, people always weep. Some just sniffle, but most flat out have snotty noses and red eyes and heaving chests.
It always reminds me that this experience, this very human experience, is such a Universal One. This is what draws me to teach yoga. Why are so many people so profoundly affected by this theme of forgiveness?
Because we're all connected.
Even if it isn't yours personally, you can relate to the idea of walking around with something that no longer belongs to you, can't you?
Haven't you ever left a yoga class with someone else's shoes and not realized it for 3 hours? (Welcome to my world.) They look just like your Nikes, but something is a little off.
They hurt a little and are more scuffed up than yours but you need to wear shoes so you keep them on. Then you just keep walking and forget that they aren't yours.
(Yes I have forgiven myself for stealing someone's shoes.)
I can tell by the way the people are crying in my workshops that it's like a huge weight is falling off their shoulders when I ask them to forgive themselves. As if, they have been waiting for years for someone to give them permission.
I have written about forgiveness often. The last words I spoke to my dad right before he died when I was 8 years old were "I hate you" as I have oft written about.
He promised he would stop smoking 4 packs of cigarettes a day and he hadn't and I was scared he was going to die.
He did die.
And can you imagine even an inkling of the guilt and anger I walked around with for so many years? Sure, at him. But more so, towards myself. I must have killed him with my words. Or at least my thoughts. And what if he believed me and the last thing he heard in this world was "I hate you"?
Just to be clear, I loved my father more than words. Still do.
I grant myself a free pardon: I forgive myself. It took a long long time and many years of self-hatred but I forgive myself 100%.
I made it to the other side and now I am not only someone who does NOT hate herself but who inspires others to love themselves.
I let go. I forgave myself. For not being perfect. For telling my dad I hated him. For letting my dad die (as if I could have stopped it.) For being mean to my mom at times, because I was angry. For being disorganized and a little messy. (Okay, a lot messy.) For being shorter than I would have liked. For having hearing loss.
I know, I know. Some of these seem like "Why would you ever hold yourself accountable for having hearing loss? Why would you be upset at something an 8 year old said without knowing any better?"
Because I am a human being.
I am working on the "being" part everyday.
We be nutty sometimes. We be beating ourselves up a lot when we could be loving ourselves. We be holding onto our past and letting it drag us down. We be thinking we should be perfect. We be a lot of things that don't make a lot of sense at times.
Let it be.
I invite you to forgive. I invite you to shed that 700-pound elephant on your back and send him out into the wild to be free. He likes it better there anyway.
It's over and done with. You have a chance. Right now, right in these comments below to free your mind. And as the song goes, the rest will follow. "Free your mind, the rest will follow."
So to my friend whose baby is dying of Tay Sachs: It is not your fault. Forgive yourself.
To my sister whose son has Prader Willi Syndrome and all my friends in the same boat: Again, forgive yourself, it is NOT your fault.
To my friend whose marriage is failing: Forgive yourself.
Whatever it is that you need to do, do it.
I will be here waiting.
And if it is any encouragement, I already forgave you a long time ago.