Forgiveness - the best gift you will give yourself!

We all have been hurt at some point over our lifetime, whether that is by others or by ourselves with our thoughts or actions. Whether we like it or not we all hurt others too - intentionally or unintentionally. Some of us are quick to forgive, others hold onto these hurts letting them eat away at them for a lifetime. One of the best gifts you can give yourself is the gift of forgiving and letting go of previous hurts that others have inflicted.

At any time of year it is a nice time to reflect on things from the past that you would like to forgive, let go and move on from. It can be really hard to do but it allows you to move into a new year with grace and freedom. If you would like to explore this, here is a nice meditation for exactly that below. 

First, ask forgiveness for yourself for when you have hurt or harmed anyone in thought, word or deed - knowingly or unknowingly. We all at times act unskillfully out of our own pain and fear. Allow these instances where you have harmed others to come into your mind and heart and ask forgiveness.

Then ask forgiveness for the ways you have hurt or harmed yourself out of fear, pain, ignorance, neglect and dishonesty. Let images of all the ways you have hurt or harmed yourself come into your awareness and ask forgiveness.

Finally, let the wounds and sorrows you have suffered at the hands of others come into your awareness. Realise that you have been wounded and hurt by others out of their fear, pain and confusion. Feel the places in your heart that hold resentment and touch them with kindness and forgiveness and see if it is time to let go. Then, to the level that you can at this time, extend forgiveness to those who have hurt or harmed you – knowingly or unknowingly – in thought, word or deed. - By Jack Kornfield