The Importance of Forgiveness by Dr. Matt Turner
I remember when I first heard Dr. Matt speak. It was a few years ago and he was the acting minister of some mutual friends Andrea and Nick. He had a great positive energy and was very uplifting with a powerful sense of humor. He definitely captivated the audience! Little did I know, we would connect later over blogging and helping others to heal especially that of the LGBTQ community. We have a lot in common and are on similar missions! He also has shared his beautiful story on his own struggle with addiction (check it out here: https://www.addictionofchoice.com/post/addiction-has-many-forms-meet-dr-matt ).
Reminder, most of us have addictions that just look differently. It's not always a substance or drug but could also be a behavior. I am not a doctor and do no prescribe, evaluate or encourage anyone to do anything drastic without their doctor's or a professionals consent. What I do, is talk about my experience and how i've overcome struggles, pain and the past. I mention what has worked for me and also talk about how your perspective or outlook in life can change your future drastically. I appreciate the great feedback and strong following so far and am excited where everything will take me and my blog - stay tuned for more! If you do find value in this please drop your email on the main page of www.addictionofchoice.com and subscribe for exclusive content and also product giveaways!
When I came across his article on forgiveness, I was dying to share! We have to forgive others, we have to forgive ourselves and let go of resentment and trauma to move on with our lives. Here is his piece and I promise you this can help you move onward, upward and forward. Thank you Dr. Matt Turner for letting me share! Enjoy and I'm eager as always for feedback at email@example.com
How do I forgive? By Dr. Matt Turner
Forgiveness is often an elusive topic. Dictionary.com defines the word FORGIVE as to grant pardon to or to cease to feel resentment against. I believe this definition lacks feeling. So, I created my own. I define forgiveness as the process of restoring Love, compassion and understanding where it has fallen out of alignment with harmony and well-being. I often hear others talk about forgiving someone or saying I forgive you. This is one of the topics I speak about most to clients who are seeking to heal from past hurts and wounds. I feel like I have been told so many times in life, “you just have to forgive them.” And I am always left wondering, how do I DO forgiveness. What does it look like? Sure, it sounds good but show me how to do it.
On my journey as a healer, I have often asked Spirit to teach me how to make healing and spirituality more practical and accessible when sharing with my clients and students. I believe that knowing things is great but understanding how to apply and put that knowing into practice is even better. One of the first things that I asked spirit to teach me was a process for forgiveness. I wanted to understand how to do it beyond just saying, “I forgive you.” I said those words more times than I can remember and I often felt the same afterwards. It never really seemed to work or help me.
In my conversations with Spirit, they began talking to me about forgiveness as alchemy and the importance of using it as a practice in moving energy. Forgiveness is an expression of Love. Our wounds and pains are an expression of fear. I like to think of alchemy in its simplest form as transforming one vibration to another. Forgiveness as alchemy allows us to transform our fear energies into Love energies. For a moment, think about all that you are still holding onto in your life. Think about all of the situations where you have felt wronged or have wronged others. It does not feel good to carry this weight. It bleeds out into all of the areas of our life, affecting and diminishing life. Forgiveness is for restoring Love where we have fallen out of harmony with it. Remember, when we give forgiveness to painful and traumatic situations, we restore harmony with Love within ourselves. We need this harmony and Love in order for life to flow in a way that leaves us feeling good and contributes to our well-being.
IS YOUR LIFE HEAVY AND NOT WORKING? THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE THAT SOME ASPECT OF YOU AND YOUR LIFE NEEDS FORGIVENESS.
Forgiveness is something that is possible for each of us. Everyone is worthy of it, no matter what you have done in your life. No one is immune from forgiveness. Withholding forgiveness from others or ourselves places conditions on our Love. Making someone work for your forgiveness is an example of withholding and placing conditions on your Love. Give forgiveness simply because it is an act of restoring Love. Restoring Love in a relationship does not mean that the relationship has to continue. It simply means that you can move forward in your life without dragging heavy baggage behind you. It is a way to clean up the energy as you move forward, being at peace with situations where there have been upsets. This is important for our mental health. Remember, just because you forgive someone does not mean that you have to move forward with them in your life. Use discernment to know when to keep someone and when to move on with your life without them.
Forgiveness happens in layers and is more than a one-time process. Often, the wounds that we are forgiving are inter-tangled with other wounds. Forgiveness is a process that is meant to be done each time that the wound, fear or judgement arises. Each time we give it forgiveness, we are giving it Love, transforming each layer a little at a time. This is key for the healing to stick and be permanent.
It is important to remember self-forgiveness. Really, this is all that you have control over, anyway. This is not talked about enough in the conversation of forgiveness. We often discuss giving and receiving apologies from others. Giving forgiveness to another person is not a requirement for your own healing. It is an opportunity to lend a helping hand to another for their healing. Absolutely, if you have wronged someone, you may want to give an apology to that person. This can help their healing process. Giving forgiveness to another can remind them that they are worthy of forgiving themselves.
What we often forget to forgive ourselves for is the judging, shaming, wronging and blaming that comes after the upset or trauma has occurred. Most humans are hard on ourselves when we make mistakes. We live in a culture of shame and judgement, which only perpetuates our pain. This is the kryptonite that keeps us stuck in the wound reliving it over and over, growing the pain or fear into something larger within us. This energy contributes to the external upsets in our life around us. Remember, the outer world is a reflection of the inner world. TO SHIFT YOUR OUTER WORLD, FIRST SHIFT YOUR INNER WORLD. THE FORGIVENESS LETTER The process that spirit taught me for forgiveness is the Forgiveness Letter. It is a structured process, specifically designed to move the energy by first getting in touch with the pain body and moving that energy out of you, by writing it on the page. Next, write what you are grateful for in your life. This does not specifically need to relate to the topic in the letter because it is simply a bridge to get you into forgiveness with less resistance. Gratitude, like forgiveness is Love. Going into forgiveness from Love rather than directly from fear and wound space, creates less resistance and more ease moving into forgiveness. In the last part of the letter, where the forgiveness occurs, it is important that you express compassion and understanding. Most of us react from our wound space, unconsciously. This is not meant to excuse our behavior but is meant to help us remember that we make mistakes and sometimes forget who we are in the moment when our pain or wound is activated. Once this letter is complete, DO NOT REREAD it. Rereading can lead to doubting and questioning the things that you wrote and sometimes talking yourself out of it. This will negate all of the energetic work that you just gave yourself. Writing this letter is an exercise in giving energy work to yourself. Trust that whatever you wrote is enough for that particular moment and letter. You can always write another letter. In fact, DO write more letters. Wounds exists in layers. Each letter that you write transforms that layer. You will need to write more letters to clear through all of the layers. Once the letter is finished, burn it. The burning is the completion for the process to support you in releasing and letting go of the energy within it. Fire is a powerful purification and alchemical process. This step is important to support you in releasing the wound or pain that you are writing about. Burn all of that old energy up!
You do not have to be writer to write this letter. All you need is the willingness to take a little bit of time out of your day to write down your thoughts. It doesn’t need to sound good or poetic. You are not writing something to be published. You are simply writing down your thoughts and feelings. This can be challenging for some of us because it means we may have to confront those thoughts and feelings. Writing this letter may be painful but by the end, you will feel lighter than you did before. You are worth it. THE STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS: I. Address to self
If writing to someone else, address letter to them. You will not show them this letter. It is for you.
II. Take out the trash
Write all of the wound, judgement and fear things down. This part is not meant to be pretty. Write until it feels complete.
III. Write gratitude
Write what you are grateful for in your life. It can pertain to this situation or not. This is meant to be the bridge from the wound into forgiveness. Write until it feels complete.
IV. Write forgiveness
Write with compassion and understanding for yourself. It is okay to make mistakes in life when you are willing to accept accountability. The compassion and understanding is the thing to give you access to forgiveness. Write until it feels complete. End with, “I forgive you.”
V. Do NOT reread the letter
This can erase the energy you create as you write the letter through your doubt, questioning and judgement of your words.
VI. Burn the letter
Give yourself this cathartic release of old energy and baggage that no longer serves you.
*Repeat as often as necessary
August 26, 2019
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