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There is a simple practise we can do to cultivate forgiveness. First we acknowledge what we feel – shame, revenge, embarrassment, remorse. Then we forgive ourselves for being human. Then, in the spirit of not wallowing in pain, we let go and make a fresh start. We don’t have to carry the burden with us anymore. We can acknowledge, forgive and start anew. If we practise this way, little by little we’ll learn to abide with the feeling of regret for having hurt ourselves and others. We will also learn self-forgiveness. Eventually, at our own speed, we’ll even find our capacity to forgive those who have done us harm. We will discover forgiveness as a natural expression of the open heart, an expression of our basic goodness. This potential is inherent in every moment. Each moment in an opportunity to make a fresh start.

-Pema Chodron

I was blown away when I read this paragraph. I have been grappling with this for the past month when my T asked me whether I can forgive my mother. I told her that it is difficult to forgive especially when I face it often. Moving on requires that you forgive and eventually let go of anger or any resentment towards the person. I am still at the stage of acknowledging the pain.

An article I came across last night, mentioned working through those feelings such as anger, sadness which was caused by the person (not necessarily needing to express those emotions towards them but perhaps through therapy or in a safe environment). It is only through acknowledging and expressing can you inspire forgiveness within yourself. I find this approach rather enlightening having to release those deepest feelings pent up for years, and finally setting yourself free from any emotional shackles. Sounds easy, but I can imagine the time it will take to reach forgiveness.

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