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A Guide to Love, God, Prayer, Meditation, & Peace Within You—Right Now

The Forgiveness Solution

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The Forgiveness Solution Recently, author Phil Friedman sent me a copy of his new book, The Forgiveness Solution, for review. It was honestly the most practical book I’ve read on forgiveness. It’s very experientially focused and packed full of 40 practical exercises, so I asked Phil to let me share an excerpt with you below. If you enjoy the excerpt, check it out on Amazon. Below is a basic description of the book written by the publisher, followed by an excerpt from Chapter 11. Enjoy!

Description: In the Forgiveness Solution, Dr. Friedman introduces us to the new, highly effective healing techniques of Transformational Forgiveness and Energetic Forgiveness.  He shows readers precisely how they can accomplish genuine release from the immobilizing or imprisoning feelings that come with holding onto dark feelings. Dr Friednan takes a multi-dimensional, integrative approach to forgiveness, drawing from cognitive, behavioral therapy, body centered therapies, attitudinal healing, and energy work among others. Through working through their “attack thoughts”, grievances, judgments and “shoulds” and calling upon the Holy Spirit or a Higher Power, readers should be able to 1) shift their perception 2) give up the desire for retribution 3) discover that hurtful experiences were also learning experiences 4) experience deep peace, happiness, love and joy 5) heal their relaationships 6) reconnecct with thier inner Self and 7) develop an awakened sense of creativity and resourcefulness. (Caroline Pincus, Executive Editor-Red Wheel Weiser/Conari Press)

From CHAPTER 11

Four Powerful Forgiveness Imagery Techniques

 

“Forgiveness is not something you do for someone else, but to free YOURSELF from the continuation of pain and anger. It is a gift to your peace of mind, your self esteem, your relationships with others, your future. “ Kenneth Cloke, Resolving Personal Conflict


“Pray for forgiveness and an open heart” –Sonia Choquette, Your Heart’s Desire


“The inability to forgive comes from judgment. If one cannot forgive, it is usually themselves that they cannot forgive. They ‘should’ have known better. They ‘should’ have done better. They ‘shouldn’t’ have allowed this or that to happen or not to happen, and so on. When one forgives themselves, they are then able to forgive another, and not before then. So how do you forgive yourself. Forgiveness starts with compassion.” Holy Spirit’s On-Line Message through DavidPaul and Candace Doyle, 2008


As you will soon read, when Jane first came to see me she was very troubled and traumatized and had been for some time. Her personal problems were affecting her relationship with her parents, her husband and herself, and she was quite distressed. When I last spoke to Jane, two years after therapy ended, she was the very proud mother of two beautiful children. (When she entered therapy, she had no children.) She had changed jobs, had high self-esteem and was doing extremely well in her new position. Her relationship with both her parents and spouse had improved dramatically. Here is Jane’s story in her own words:

“There was a time when my life as an educated twenty-something with a promising job, supportive family and limitless future appeared perfect to others. Sadly, my view from the inside was not nearly as ideal as many would have thought. My emotional well-being was spiraling downward as I struggled to come to peace and ultimately forgive myself and the individual who drugged and raped me.”

“In the months following my rape, I struggled to trust others. I feared being alone in my home and in the presence of strangers. I often lacked the self confidence to make even the simplest, non-consequential decisions. After suffering with feelings of anger, self-doubt, and anxiety, I turned to therapy to help me gain more control over my life.”

“Simple, yet powerful therapy techniques proved beneficial to improving my emotional well-being. By appropriately naming the feelings I was experiencing, I was able to identify and confront the negativity. Deep breathing techniques that focused on allowing the positive white light to permeate my soul and push away the negative dark light helped to cleanse and invigorate my spirit. Empowering self-talk and positive thinking exercises reinforced the concept that I had the inner strength to again become the person left behind after being raped. Practicing these techniques changed my life.”

“I forgave the person who raped me; not only for the crime he committed, but also for the emotional devastation it inflicted. Most importantly, I forgave myself for the self-blame and disappointment I felt for so long. Therapy enabled me to harness the power within and evolve from viewing myself as a victim to becoming a self-confident and capable survivor whose wounds have healed.”

Forgiveness Imagery Exercises

 

The four forgiveness imagery exercises below are very powerful. You may discover, like many of my clients, that you are able to make significant shifts in your ability to forgive from these exercises alone. You most likely will find them very relaxing, peaceful, healing and uplifting. They will also help you connect with a deeper, more profound part of your self, a part often referred to as the inner light or inner Self. These imagery exercises can be done alone or with another person reading them to you such as a friend, peer, spouse, coach, therapist or colleague. If you do them alone, either read them through a few times first or read them into a tape recorder or onto a CD. Many people will benefit from having soft, gentle music playing in the background. This will help you shift your consciousness so you are in a more relaxed and receptive mood. In addition, some people may benefit by first doing one or more of the energy forgiveness
approaches in the previous chapters or by doing the Psychological Uplifter. In any case, like the previous exercises, the more you practice them the more benefit you will receive from doing them. If you consistently do the forgiveness imagery exercises along with the energy exercises (i.e., the positive pressure point techniques) , the affirmations, the Psychological Uplifter and journaling you will get the maximum benefit from this book.

Remember that forgiveness is a process that unfolds over time. Practice it on everything and everyone. Life will no doubt present you with many opportunities to practice forgiveness, so be patient and yet persistent with yourself. Ultimately, the goal of forgiveness is to release the barriers between you and your true or divine Self and to dissolve the roadblocks or veil that separates you from others. It will also bring you greater peace, love, joy, happiness, gratitude, wisdom, harmony in your relationships and blessings in your life.

Exercise 1: Creating Well-Being Forgiveness Imagery Process

A. Forgiving Another

Part I. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. Relax. Allow your attention to focus on your breath. Continue to breathe slowly and deeply. Breathing in and out slowly and deeply, slowly and deeply. Concentrate on your breath as it rises and falls, slowly and deeply. Breathing in and out. Focusing on the breath. Now, repeat the words ‘calm’ on the in-breath and ‘relax’ on the out-breath. ‘Calm on the in-breath, ‘relax’ on the out-breath, silently to yourself. Breathing in ‘calm’, breathing out ‘relax’, slowly and deeply, ‘calm’ and ‘relax’, slowly and deeply, ‘calm’ and ‘relax’. Focusing on the breath slowly and deeply, ‘calm and relax.’ Now ask the creative/infinite intelligence, the divine, holy spirit to help you with the forgiveness process.

Part II. Now think of someone you dislike, actively despise or hate, someone you are angry at or just someone you are very ill at ease or uncomfortable with. Say to that person, ‘I forgive you. I forgive you for anything you may have done consciously or unconsciously, intentionally or unintentionally, that I believe has caused me pain or hurt. I forgive you for any thought, feeling, act or deed that you have done. I forgive you’. Allow your heart to open to this person you have judged, you have condemned. Open your mind to doubt.

Opening….softening…softening…opening…releasing…. Letting go. Now continue to breathe in and out slowly and deeply. Calm and relax, relax and calm. Opening, opening, more. Softening, softening more, releasing, releasing more, letting go, letting go more. ‘I forgive you (mention that person’s name). I forgive you for the hurt I perceive or I think you may have caused me. I am open to doubt. Perhaps it was just a mistake, an error. I forgive you. I release you. I release me from the pain, the hurt, the fear, the sadness, the incredible anger. I let it go, now….opening, softening, softening, opening, releasing, letting go. Breathing slowly and deeply, deeply and slowly. I allow myself to see your innocence. I allow myself to feel your pain, your hurt. I allow myself to touch your heart and be touched by your heart.’ It is so hard to keep oneself out of another’s heart. Feel your heart opening and touching this person’s heart.
Opening, softening, touching, releasing, letting go. I forgive you for anything you did that caused me hurt or pain. I see your innocence. I see your light. I see my innocence. I see your worth. I see my worth. I release you of all judgments I have made against you. I let go of all expectations I had for you. I release all judgments or expectation I have made against myself. I release the hurt, the pain, the anger, the fear, the darkness. I forgive you. I release you. I forgive me. I am at peace. I am at peace. Opening, softening, releasing, letting go. Breathing slowly and deeply. Calm and relaxed. Calm and relaxed. At peace. At peace.

B. Asking for Forgiveness from Another

Part I. Repeat Part I of this exercise. And once again ask the creative/infinite intelligence, the divine/holy spirit or energy to help you. Select a person from whom you want to ask forgiveness)

Part II. Say, “I ask your forgiveness for anything I may have done consciously or unconsciously, intentionally or unintentionally that I believe has caused you hurt, pain or suffering. I ask your forgiveness. I ask your forgiveness [fill in the person’s name] for any thought, feeling, word, gesture or behavior that I did or contemplated doing that I perceive injured you in any way. I ask your forgiveness for any condemnation, judgment, complaints, gossip, expectations or deed I may have done that I think has caused you any distress or guilt or pain. I ask your forgiveness. Opening, letting go, letting go, releasing. I ask your forgiveness! I ask your forgiveness. I ask your forgiveness.”

Breathing slowly and deeply, deeply and slowly. Calm and relax. Relax and calm. Now say, “I release any judgment or condemnation, any anger or attack thoughts I may have thought or said or written toward you. I release them. I let them go and I ask your forgiveness.” Softening, opening, releasing, letting go. “I allow my mind to open, to trust. I allow my heart to open to your heart, I allow myself to be touched by your heart. I allow myself to feel your compassion, your love.” Opening, softening, releasing, letting go. “I ask your forgiveness. Touching your heart, feeling your compassion, experiencing your love.” Opening, softening. Breathing, slowly and deeply, calm and
relax. Calm and relax. Peace and love. Peace and love.

C. Self-Forgiveness

1. Repeat Part I of this exercise. Once again ask the creative/infinite intelligence, the divine/holy spirit or energy to help you forgive yourself.

2. Now, repeat to yourself: “I forgive me for anything I think I did consciously or unconsciously, intentionally or unintentionally that caused me or anyone else hurt or pain.” Say to yourself, “I forgive me (use your own name). I forgive myself for any feeling, attitude or judgment I may have contemplated, held or experienced that I perceive caused me or anyone else anger, guilt, sadness or pain. I forgive me.” Opening, softening, softening, opening. I forgive me (use your name) for any condemnation, criticism, or attack thoughts that I used against myself or another to diminish, demoralize or depress myself or another. I forgive me. I forgive me. I forgive me. Releasing, letting go, letting go, releasing. I forgive me for any self-hatred, anger or guilt that I used to devalue myself or undermine my self-worth or my self-respect. I forgive me. I forgive me for any thought, act, behavior or deed that I believe hurt or injured or caused distress
to anyone else or to myself. I forgive me.”

Softening opening, opening, softening. Releasing, all doubt, all judgment, all ‘shoulds’, all negativity, all expectations. Letting go of all the pain, all the sorrow, all the hurt, all the fear, all the anger. “I forgive me and I accept me.” Allow yourself to perceive your innocence. Allow yourself to see your essential worth. Allow yourself to experience your inner light and love. Say, “I forgive me” to you. Allow your heart to open to you. Opening, softening, softening, opening. Allow yourself to feel compassion for you. Touch your hurt with your incredible compassion. Touch your heart with your kindness and understanding. Opening, softening. Forgive yourself. Touch yourself. Love yourself. Allow yourself to be loved. Allow yourself to love yourself. Feel the incredible love you have for yourself. Feel your innocence. Feel your worth. See your incredible light and inner beauty. Feel your love for you. Relax and
calm. Love and peace. Allow yourself to love yourself. Deeply, unconditionally love yourself. Ask the creative/infinite intelligence, the divine/holy spirit or energy to help you to love yourself. Deeply. Profoundly. Unconditionally. Allow yourself to love yourself. Deeply, unconditionally love yourself. Say to yourself, “I love you. You are loved. I love you. You are loved. I love you.” Be at peace. Take 5 slow deep breaths, open your eyes and in your journal, write about your experiences.

Exercise 2: Light Imagery Grateful Heart Technique (LIGHT)

1. Imagine a bright white light, the light of your soul, entering you through the top of your head. This white light is infinitely intelligent, wise, compassionate and loving. This white light of your soul comes down from above, through the top of your head, through your eyes and nose and cheeks and lips, right down into your neck and shoulders and then enters your HEART.

2. Let the white light of your soul, which is so infinitely intelligent, wise, compassionate and loving, circulate through both chambers of your HEART, the right and left chambers of your HEART. Since the white light of your soul is so infinitely intelligent, wise, compassionate and loving, it knows exactly what to do and where to go to bring peace, harmony, forgiveness and balance to your entire body, mind and spirit. It knows what to do and where to go to heal any hurt, anger, resentment, guilt, bitterness and pain that you may be experiencing related to unforgiveness of yourself, someone else or some unpleasant circumstance. Feel the white light within you now.

3. Let the white light of your soul which is so infinitely intelligent, wise, compassionate and loving travel into every artery, vein, tissue and cell of your body even into the DNA in the cells. As it does the white light brings even more peace, harmony, forgiveness and balance to your entire body, mind and spirit. Once again the white light knows what to do and where to go to heal any hurt, anger, resentment, guilt, bitterness and pain that you may be experiencing related to unforgiveness of yourself, someone else or some unpleasant circumstance. Feel the white light within you now.

4. Count slowly from one to ten as the white light becomes stronger and stronger and stronger. Let it become stronger and stronger as it enters every particle of your Being, every artery, vein, tissue and cell of your body even into the DNA in the cells.

5. Put one hand over your HEART. Imagine someone or something that you love very much in your heart. Feel the warmth and compassion. Feel the love in your heart. Sense your personal inner power. Release even more distress, unforgiveness, hurt, anger, guilt, pain and negativity you are experiencing while continuing to hold your hand over your heart.

6. Focus on all the experiences you have had in the last week that you are grateful for. Review them slowly one by one.

7. Focus on all the experiences in your life you have had in the last 3 months that you are grateful for. Review them one by one.

8. Focus on all the experiences that you have had in the last year that you are grateful for. Review them one by one.

9. Focus on all the experiences you have had in the last 5 years that you are grateful for. Review them one by one.

10. Focus on all the experiences in your entire life that you are grateful for. Review them one by one.

11. Allow a very wise, compassionate teacher or Being of your own choosing to enter your heart. Let this wise, compassionate teacher within your heart speak to you about the challenging person or situation you have been experiencing whom you have held out of your heart. Ask this wise inner teacher how you can see things differently regarding this person or situation and how you can also see this other person or situation surrounded by loving light. See this person or situation surrounded by loving light, embraced by light and radiating light. Feel the compassion that comes up within you now.

12. Listen within to what your heart and your loving, inner teacher wants for you today, tomorrow, next week, next month, etc. regarding this person or situation. What is he/she saying to you? Allow yourself to feel grateful for the guidance your are receiving. Know that you are always guided, guarded, protected and loved by the white light and by this loving, wise and compassionate teacher.

Take 5 slow deep breaths, open your eyes and in your journal, write about what you experienced.

Exercise 3: White Light Self-Forgiveness Exercise…

  • tjmolinaro

    This is not only beautiful, but really clear and helpful. I just bought the book and it is wonderful! Thank you for posting this!

  • You are welcome! I agree. A really good book.

  • sorowenmicheal

    The whole body of the word forgiveness starts from ones heart not even to be taught but it should just flow without any force and it should also be allowed the room to have a place to the person given. the word itself brings peace and harmony to the two parties in case of any conflict. All in All i have liked the way you have put it.

  • sorowenmicheal

    The whole body of the word forgiveness starts from ones heart not even to be taught but it should just flow without any force and it should also be allowed the room to have a place to the person given. the word itself brings peace and harmony to the two parties in case of any conflict. All in All i have liked the way you have put it.