6 Steps to Forgiveness

For many months now, we have been learning that loving kindness and compassion go well together. In this lesson, we are going to learn how forgiveness and gratitude work together.

forgiveOften, people have difficulty showering loving kindness blessings on themselves, and the reason for this is that they have not forgiven themselves of certain events, people, or other life circumstances. If you are sitting with a lot of charge, anger, and resentment for someone who needs your forgiveness, you will have tremendous difficulty sending them loving kindness blessings. The charge you feel for them will put up a ridge that will block your efforts to send loving kindness blessings.

This is true if you have committed some thoughts, words, or actions that you are not proud of and can’t seem to get rid of the charge it has left you with, especially when it comes to forgiving yourself.

When you practice these 6 steps to forgiveness, you’ll find that the charge you feel is eliminated and you will begin to feel grateful that it has vanished, as if by magic.

  1. Visualize the person who upset or hurt you. This is not the source of the negative charge (as you’ll see shortly) but it is the person to whom you are directing your anger and negativity.
  2. Ask this person to forgive you. That might seem counterintuitive, but this practice reminds you that we are all connected and that what one person does to another, he does to himself as well. Your negative thoughts and feelings toward this person affect you negatively.
  3. Forgive this person. Open your heart to compassion and realize that their actions came from their own inner pain, since no unkind or thoughtless act ever comes from love. At the same time, forgive yourself, because your own unkind thoughts toward this person come from your own inner pain. Compassion moves you from judgment to caring, from isolation to connection and from dislike to understanding. The beauty of this is that in this exercise, you apply these concepts both to the person who betrayed you and to yourself. It’s a true win-win.
  4. Send this person positive energy. Radiate unconditional love to this person. Give them an endless supply of love – it’s infinite and you won’t have any less for giving it. They need your love. They need your blessings. Feel the love radiate out from you, and at the same time, feel love filling every cell in your body. Let this feeling linger in you. If you feel a resistance to this, if you feel like they don’t deserve your love, go back to thinking about the source of their behavior. Their pain. Imagine what they themselves went through before they acted out their pain. Then, send them an energetic hug. You will feel much better instantly.
  5. Remind yourself that you do not have to condone their behavior. You don’t have to have this person in your life. However, once you have forgiven them, you release the negative charge you associate with this person. You become balanced and free.
  6. Finally, remind yourself that you are stronger for having forgiven. You have taken responsibility for your emotional reaction to someone’s actions. This empowers you! When you realize that you (unconsciously) chose to react in a certain way to someone’s actions, you are empowered to choose a better, more pleasing response the next time someone acts unthinkingly or unkindly. [Read More…]

There are also times when forgiveness can happen spontaneously. This happened to me just over two years ago.

I was visiting my son in New York and his mother was also there. We were in New York for Micah‘s solo cabaret show and spent the time together.

On the Sunday of that visit, we were about to celebrate the anniversary of my mother’s passing and I couldn’t remember the exact date. I called my sister to find out the date and she told me that my brother was in the hospital in Los Angeles and she was on her way there to help him.

Learning of his trauma caused an instant response in me. The response was to forgive him for the charge I was holding onto immediately. I sat down to listen deeply to what my sister had to say.

A few days later, I was able to at last talk to my brother without this charge. We hadn’t spoken for many years and when we did, it was very charged. The path is now open for us to be together and he visited me in April. We had a lovely time together.

Who in your life do you need to forgive? Can you begin to forgive yourself? Let us know!

By the way, these 6 steps to forgiveness came to you from Mindvalley. Click on the link or the image below to get a series of 8 lessons on Om Harmonics.


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