>> The Power of Forgiveness – Now you can also listen to this article via my Simply Authentic podcast.

I read a lot of books. One of the books that I go back and reference regularly is a book by Diane Harmony called 5 Gifts for an Abundant Life. In it, she shares her experiences and lessons she learned along her journey. One of the lessons on the power of forgiveness.

Late last week I had my own shift take place for some healing that was long overdue. I still have some work to do to fully heal, but the shift has begun. Forgiveness is in sight and love shall set me free.

The difference alone, in how I feel this week compared to last week, is amazing. I never could have imagined experiencing such a profound impact on how I feel just by allowing myself to experience and feel the emotions that I had locked away so many years ago.

What’s even more amazing, is how so much of the healing that was needed wasn’t even what I thought it was. It wasn’t so much that I needed to forgive the situation or the other person as much as it was about forgiving myself.  Once I realized how much of the pain was self-inflicted, the forgiveness and healing started to flow from me like a waterfall.

The resistant feelings and emotions I had around it all, were gone.

We cannot truly forgive others until we first forgive ourselves.

Forgiveness is like opening a door to set someone free, only to realize it was you who had been trapped all along.

Today, I’d like to share with you my experience around the Power of Forgiveness.  Everything you need for healing, you already have within you.

Love is the emotional and spiritual energy that ties you to those who have hurt you. The issues that defy forgiveness are always aligned in some way with love: the love you never received, the love that you offered and others rejected or betrayed, the love that was used to manipulate or control you. Love is the basis of your life’s well-being, but in tying your spiritual energy reserves to old hurts you are severely limiting the energy of love available to you in the present moment. Perhaps this is the time to search your heart for those you still need to forgive more fully.

Meredith L. Young-Sowers (Angelic Messenger Cards)

Forgiveness is the act of releasing of the painful, and fearful emotions within our spiritual energy field so that we can once again feel love, compassion, and happiness toward those who have hurt us. Forgiveness does not me we must accept what transpired. It simply is a release of the emotional tethers that bind us to the past so that we can once again move forward.

Our emotional and spiritual ties limit our growth as spiritual beings. As we forgive, we awaken our Spirit and become more in alignment with our True Self.

The Power of Forgiveness

In her book, 5 Gifts for an Abundant LifeDiane Harmony talks about the importance of forgiving others and the profound effect that complete forgiveness can have on us.

We all have emotional ties or tethers to others that begin in our childhood. Whether we fully recognize these or not, does not mean they aren’t there. Sooner or later, one-by-one, these emotional tethers surface. For some of us, they surface on a fairly regular basis. Whether or not we notice what is happening and receive the message that is trying to be shared with us, is an entirely different story. But a pattern around these emotional tethers is bound to appear and continue to appear until we get the message.

That message, may or may not be received in this lifetime. But given time, love will always overcome fear.

Last week, during an energetic healing session with my colleague and close friend Barret Hedeen, a door that had been closed for 25 years was ready to be opened for healing.

I didn’t know what was coming. I didn’t know what was going to happen. The healing that takes place during these sessions isn’t pre-planned. We simply allow the space for whatever needs to come through. What surfaced for me last week was definitely long over-due.

A big part of me was afraid to open the door to those past thoughts and emotions even though consciously I had no idea why I was feeling so resistant. I didn’t even want to be on the call that day and I tried to get out of it a couple of times. But Barret, bless his heart, was insistent that we keep our scheduled call because he could see what was coming without the bias of my ego and the fear that clouded my judgment.

He understood the power of forgiveness and the strength it possessed for setting me free.

Buried in Darkness

For 25 years I kept a door closed to a portion of my life. I had never shared any of it with anyone. At least not the deepest parts of what I had locked away. My husband had known of bits and pieces but he had never fully known about the true pain and thoughts I held deep within me.

My feelings and thoughts confused me, so I didn’t feel safe in sharing my thoughts with anyone, even him.  I didn’t feel I should be having them in the first place, either.  How was it that something from so long ago in my past could still be bothering me so much?

I judged myself for everything I was feeling and rather than working through the feelings, I chose to bury them. That seemed easier. It seemed safer. It wasn’t really a conscious decision – it just was. I didn’t deliberately hold things in. I just didn’t know how to process them.

The only reason I can articulate any of this now is because the power of forgiveness has opened the door and healing has begun.

Closed doors are like blinders. Until they open, we really can’t see where we’ve been or where we’re headed.

I was ashamed of my feelings and thoughts. To have thoughts of someone in my mind from so long ago felt wrong.  These weren’t lustful thoughts. Just emotion-filled, painful and hurt thoughts – like a wound that just kept surfacing and never healing. I longed for some kind of resolution or closure so that I could just move on.

The fact that I couldn’t seem to just move past them, to close that door and walk away bothered me. It felt wrong. I felt weak and somehow broken.

Out From the Shadows

Now that the door to forgiveness has been opened, my perspective on all of it has completely shifted. The changes I feel are remarkable.

  • The chains I’d put around my thoughts and emotions from 25 years ago are gone.
  • I’m no longer afraid to feel the emotions and experience the thoughts.
  • I no longer feel ashamed for feeling them.
  • I no longer feel unworthy of this healing.
  • I no longer feel responsible for his pain.
  • I no longer feel weak or broken.
  • I finally understand that the emotions and thoughts in my mind aren’t a deep, dark secret that needs to be buried.

Instead, I see now, that the relationship I had with this person 25 years ago was exactly what it was always meant to be.

It was really the turning point or the beginning of my journey toward awakening.  What I see now is all of the positive and wonderful things that came from that short time in my life.

He and his family taught me faith. They helped me to open my heart to God and for the first time in my life, to have a relationship with God. He and his family taught me about love, acceptance, compassion, and growth.

They helped me to step outside my comfort zone. They helped me to break through some of my walls and to be myself. They encouraged me to reach for my dreams. I was never judged by them. I was perfect just the way that I was. They were like my family away from home and welcomed me with wide open arms and hearts.

Their family wasn’t perfect. They too had their bumps, but the strength of their faith was inspiring and helped to awaken my soul. I am forever grateful to them for that experience.

The only pain I still feel, is with how abruptly it all ended when I had to move back to Wisconsin less than 6 months from when it all began. But that too, I know will pass with time and more healing.

It was an important step in my life and one that I choose to look back on fondly now, rather than through pain. The pain I experienced was deep heartache and over the years it turned bitter and more painful. I can recall portions now and such deep sadness from being separated from this family that had adopted me as one of their own.

During my childhood, that togetherness and solidarity that they shared with me, however imperfect or broken things might have seemed for them at the time, was something I desperately needed. It was a fresh start and it filled my soul. They felt safe. I felt safe with being myself.

To be separated from that was painful. But that pain is no longer filled with bitterness and anger. Instead, it’s filled with compassion and understanding.

Witnessing the Power of Forgiveness

I hadn’t been brave enough to reach out to his parents before, but I can see now, that doing so is definitely a possibility in my not-so-distant. If for no other reason, than to simply tell them “thank you” for all the love and compassion they gave me all those years ago. I have never stopped loving any of them and they will always hold a special place in my heart.

And to him… I wish nothing but peace, true happiness, and healing.

Additional Resources


>> For more on the Power of Forgiveness and to begin your own journey toward healing, stay tuned for my next article,  4 Exercises For Forgiving Others, where I share exercises you can use for forgiving others.

Everything you need for healing is already within you.

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