Cultivating a forgiveness practice can be one of the most important things you can do for yourself, especially if you’ve received messages throughout your life that somehow you’re wrong or broken. Now, I’m not talking about forgiving other people. Sometimes that’s not possible to do and many psychologists are now seeing the harm in forcing someone to forgive when they’re not ready. Rather, we need to begin by forgiving ourselves, and a good way to do that is to create a forgiveness practice.
I like to pair forgiveness and gratitude. Not only does this release stuck memories and emotions, but it also provides a serotonin boost as we remember what we’re grateful for. Even if it’s small things or things outside of our control, being grateful helps boost our energy and our sense of self-love.
It may sound a bit cliched, but I like a forgiveness and gratitude journal. It can be a cheap spiral notebook from a big box store or something more elaborate. I do prefer to handwrite my items. There’s something about writing vs. typing, which really helps the message get into my mind.
Sometime in the evening, I’ll write three things I’m grateful for and three things I forgive myself for. If it hurts to mention specific things, then I may just write “I forgive myself” three times. Then, I do some deep breathing and try to sleep with a lighter heart.
The practice doesn’t have to be elaborate. I also like to incoporate EFT-TFT (tapping) into my practice, as this helps me to verbialize the feelings and shift the energy. A brief meditation or yoga sequence would not be out of line either. Again, creating the practice is all about what feels good to you and what you can handle on any given day.
Do you have a gratitude practice you’re doing now? I’d love to hear more about it. Reach out on social media.