Welcome to the Self Study Lesson on Forgiveness. There are several lessons on this topic below. Take as long as you want on each lesson, focusing on the action step at the end. Then, go to the next lesson.
Lesson One: What is Forgiveness?
Q: What is forgiveness?
A: Forgiveness is the gift of freeing yourself from the burden of resentment. Forgiveness is letting go of previous hurts or harm you may feel has been inflicted on you.
Q: Why is forgiveness so important on this journey?
A: Forgiveness transforms negativity and bridges the distance between yourself and others. It is the only way to erase past karma and stop future karma. Forgiveness is a powerful energy you can wield to change your future for the better!
Q: Why is it so hard to forgive others?
A: Often, as you attempt to forgive, you may realize that your ego is hanging on to bitterness. Remember righteous anger drains your energy so you have no energy to ignite new possibilities. Relinquish your feelings of resentment, resistance, and revenge.
Q: Why is it so hard to forgive myself?
A: I find that one of the hardest things about working through forgiveness is allowing ourselves to heal. Healing requires confronting our inner shadow — naming it, knowing it, accepting it and unconditionally understanding it so we can forgive it. Forgiveness sets you free.
Your process for forgiveness can be by means of meditation, journaling, ritual, or a combination of these techniques. You will know you have completed this work when your mind is at peace.
Lesson Two: The Observer Self and Forgiveness
Q: How do the observer-self and forgiveness work together?
A: First, you must see what is there for you to forgive. That is the role of the Observer Self. Then you can move inside those old patterns and let them go. By discovering the relationship between Observer Self, karma, and forgiveness, you will find the key to liberating your soul.
Q: Can you give me an example of how the act of forgiveness erases karma?
A: It works like this: 500 years ago, I ditched him. In this life, he ditches me. And if I don’t forgive him now, 500 years from now I will have to come back and decide whether I am going to ditch him again. That’s what happens when you don’t do your forgiveness work. I found out that the greatest benefit of forgiveness was to get off the law of karma and not create more karma.
Watch the following video to support your understanding of forgiveness:
Lesson Three: The Benefits of Forgiveness
Q: Why do I feel like if I forgive someone who has hurt me, I am letting them off the hook for their bad actions?
A: So often we think that if we forgive someone, we are “letting them off the hook” for something they have done to us. Most of us were brought up hearing something of this nature but ironically, the truth is the exact opposite — it is our own self that gets off the hook! By not forgiving, we keep ourselves tied to the person (or situation) which will cause us to come back for another lifetime with that person (or situation) and do it all over again.
Q: How does forgiving someone else help me forgive myself?
A: Forgiveness is an important part of your soul evolution, and a powerful force for freedom in your relationships. Forgiveness in the midst of difficult relationships can help you not only free past karmic entanglements with another soul in evolution, but also help you better understand and forgive yourself for issues you’ve brought into this life from previous lives.
Forgiveness erases karma. It is worth the effort it takes to do it, so you can become more conscious of your soul, your Infinite Self.
Q: How can forgiveness help you to discover more about your real Self?
A: Thoughts, emotions, attitudes, beliefs from your experiences get “stuffed” into your subconscious. Forgiveness helps you bring it up, look at it, and release it. The release is what allows new ideas, intuition, and opportunities for you!
Even though a forgiveness need may feel difficult to work through, it will always be worth it, bringing you new understandings about your true Self.
Q: How does forgiveness benefit those you forgive?
A: You not only have the ability to do this for yourself, but also for others. Whether they forgive you or not, it doesn’t matter. You give the other person a leg up, and they do not have to come into another lifetime with you.
Watch this video, then respond to the questions below:
1) How can forgiving another person lead you to forgiving yourself?
2) When in your life have you forgiven another person and it led to an experience of greater freedom within yourself? What happened?
Lesson Four: New Possibilities
Q: After I have forgiven someone, how do I open myself to new possibilities in my life?
A: The same way you started your forgiveness process – through gratitude and prayer! Say a prayer such as: “I am grateful for all the lessons and growth that have come through this experience. I am now ready to open myself to new horizons that offer many exciting alternatives!”
The absolute best tool to facilitate forgiveness can be found in Jane Elizabeth Hart’s Spiritual Power Tools: Support for Your Soul. It is called “Seven Steps for Successful Life Transitions” and is a process that, when completed, releases the energy that binds you to a person or situation.