The holiday season, for me, brings with it a sense of reflection. This year, as 2014 comes to a close, I couldn't feel more relief. It has been a challenging year with family illness, a big move and a deeper re-connection to passionate work in my life. The more people I talk to about their 2014, the more I find I'm not alone in my experience. So, I've begun reflecting on that idea - of being alone.
Everyone is alone in how they experience their world. There is no one else who has the same history, the same path, and the same future as you. There are no two people that see the exact same color or object. No one will breathe the same smells as you or have the same emotional reaction to things. However, with all of that, it does not mean you are alone.
We are all connected through the energy we put out into the world and the power of our intentions. That feeling of loneliness that we get when we believe there is no one else in the world that could possibly understand us or support us comes when we hold on to the fear of isolation and when we choose not to connect to those around us.
So, why would someone choose that even if subconsciously? Because of pain and resentment. This is where forgiveness comes in. Forgiveness is letting go of the hurtful emotions that guide your relationship to a particular experience. The act of forgiveness is a powerful, loving gesture toward yourself. You forgive to create more love and freedom for yourself. It is not about excusing the actions that caused those hurtful emotions, but getting to the point of understanding why that action was taken.
Has there been someone in your life that physically or emotionally abused you? Maybe you had a bully in elementary school? Maybe a friend or relative backstabbed you? Did a boyfriend or girlfriend cheat on you? Whatever it was and whatever the degree of pain, it is ok. It is ok to feel that hurt and anger and acknowledge that what occurred was not ok. It was not enjoyable, but you can learn something from it.
Start by giving yourself permission to feel. Allow yourself to move through whatever comes up and know that even if you're by yourself the energy you're releasing is being supported by someone else in the world. Maybe your neighbor, maybe a sibling, maybe a friend is thinking about you in that moment. Know you are not alone.
Next, write a letter to that person you perceived to have hurt you. You don't necessarily have to send it if you don't want, but it's important to get out what you need. Begin by asking for their help. I know that might sound strange, but in order to get what you need from them you want to be careful of putting them on the defensive. Here's an example:
I have been exploring things in my past and am letting go of what doesn't serve me for the future I'm building. I feel that our time living together and how we ended things really effected me. I need to understand why things happened the way they did and have a better relationship with how I think about them. If you are open to having an honest, wholehearted conversation around the questions I have I would be open to hearing your response."
Then go into how you felt about what happened and explain your perspective. Get out everything you'd want to say to that person and hold your judgment.
After you've written the letter and signed it with love, you can do one of two things. Either send it to that person if you feel comfortable and safe doing that, or craft a response back to yourself. Write a letter from that person to yourself and include everything you need to hear.
Once you're finished with both letters tear them up and set them on fire to release the energy from both (outside, in a fireplace, or in the sink - somewhere safe!). Once you've released these feelings of hurt, anger, resentment or whatever came up, it's natural to feel lighter and have a new connection that shows up in your life. If nothing seems to happen, just know that you're creating space to love the part of yourself that needed it most.
Share in the comments what feelings that exercise helped release. Have you felt more open? If you are still having trouble releasing your feelings, reach out to me through the Contact page and we can work on it together.