By Shawn McAndrew
In the Process, forgiveness is one of the avenues we take to get to the other side of emotions and patterns that keep us stuck in a life that is unproductive and not from spirit.
Recently, I marked the anniversary of my mother’s passing with the use of the tool of forgiveness. I didn’t really grieve her death until after I took the Process. I had been tough, stoic, publicly unemotional in the days leading up to her leaving, and more so after. We can have unrequited love, but we can also have unrequited grief and other emotions.
Forgiveness is not always easy to arrive at. I wanted to hold on to the stain of her leaving. I feared that forgiving meant that my memory of her would fade with time, and my connection with her would mean nothing after a time.
Forgiveness & Letting Go
But, simply put, forgiveness is just a way to let go of pain. It does not mean the connections and memories leave. In fact, just the opposite can happen. Forgiveness is letting go of the pain and suffering so that love, comfort, support, care, and all things mothering can be up front and present again.
In the Process, we do a self-forgiveness/self-love walk. Self-forgiveness is perhaps even harder to do for ourselves than to forgive another. But it is perhaps the most important aspect of forgiveness. If we cannot forgive ourselves, we have left half of the work undone. We can’t give what we don’t have.
Forgiveness & Appreciation
As a way to commemorate my mother, I walked a labyrinth in a park that I visit occasionally. As I touched my foot onto the rock-defined path, memories came flooding in. All the ways we treated each other were fodder for forgiveness and appreciation. As I paced through the inbound direction of the labyrinth, I declared my forgiveness of my self and my mother for the things we did out of negative love.
As I circled back out of the labyrinth, I examined my love and appreciation for her. I spoke of the ways that I love her, and myself; of the many things she gave me in the short time we were in each others’ lives. Without the forgiveness, I could never have known or felt that love and appreciation.
You don’t need a labyrinth to do a forgiveness walk. You can do it anywhere you feel safe and supported. Below is the Self-Forgiveness/Self-Love Walk meditation. Take a walk in nature, around your house, or around the block. Where does not matter; doing it does. It’s powerful, it’s connecting, and it’s revelatory.
Find a quiet space where you can walk, uninterrupted if possible.
Stand still and feel your integrated being — your intellect, emotional self, body, and spiritual self. Experience the light in you.
Silently state your commitment to forgive yourself for all that you have done in your life out of negative love patterns; also state your commitment to love yourself.
Reach up your arms to the sky and look up into the limitlessness of the light.
Reach out your arms to the horizon that encompasses the whole world, and slowly turn around completely to acknowledge your connection.
Then reach your hands down to touch the earth that supports and grounds you.
Stand straight and breathe into your commitment to be authentic and present.
Start walking slowly. As you walk, state softly to yourself each of the things in your life you have done out of patterns for which you forgive yourself. Use the phrase, “I forgive myself for…”
Continue until you have forgiven yourself for everything you can remember. Then say, “I forgive myself for everything I have done out of my patterns.”
Once again do the Commitment Ritual.
Start walking slowly.
Begin by saying, “I love my whole self just as I am.”
As you walk, speak softly about how you love and appreciate yourself. Speak of your whole integrated being, and of each of the four aspects of your being: body, intellect, emotional self, and spirit.
End by saying again, “I love my whole self just as I am.”
Complete your walk by once again doing the Commitment Ritual.
Labyrinths can be found all over the world. To find out if one is near you, check out this link: https://labyrinthlocator.com/