Whilst forgiveness may be instant in some cases, it can certainly involve stages, rather like grief. Trying to forgive through a wall of anger, for example, is unlikely to work. You may need to process feelings, give yourself space and time for healing and reflection, perhaps look at a possible bigger picture for deeper understanding, and asking for divine support can always help.

To also forgive YOURSELF for whatever circumstance you are wanting to forgive in your life, to see if you’re aware of any ‘blessings in disguise’ around that situation, or what you can learn about what’s going on inside.

Below are some key blocks to forgiveness. Recognizing and acknowledging these alone can help them dissipate and prevent them standing between you and forgiving.

1) I’ve found for me personally and with family and friends I know, there can be certain things that seem easier or harder to forgive.

That can vary for all of us depending on what particularly presses our buttons, feels most painful/offensive/traumatic, and plugs most into our wounds, beliefs, stories, shadows, etc.

It can be because of that personal ‘plug-in’ that we may experience more resistance or difficulty forgiving. Having a reflect on this and possible patterns in your life to view the situation from a bigger picture can be a great help with facilitating forgiveness.

2) Letting go is always a part of forgiveness, and because of that, there can be resistance to it.

I remember after my father died from alcoholism many years ago my sister had a lot of anger for some time. Sure, there were things she could be angry about, but she discovered this anger was also a means for holding on and not going to the next level of feeling and healing – the pain beneath that anger, the grief, mourning and letting go.

That was her resistance to forgiveness – if she forgave our father, she’d have to let him go. Her anger towards him ironically offered some kind of connection and closeness.

Sometimes we don’t forgive because we don’t want to let go.

3) Another resistance to forgiveness is a fear that if you forgive someone you would have to ‘hang out with them’ or lose your boundaries in some way. Obviously this isn’t the case, you get to choose who is or isn’t in your life, and just addressing this often hidden fear can help free it.

Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to hang out with them, it just means they don’t have to hang out in your head.

4) Another resistance is a sense that if you forgive you are essentially condoning the behavior of the person you are forgiving.

Obviously if you don’t like the behavior you may have a resistance to forgiving them if you hold that association.

Here it helps a lot to address the difference between forgiving the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’.

You don’t have to focus on forgiving the act or deed, whatever that be. You can forgive the reasons behind it – the inner pain, ignorance, dysfunction, mis-alignment, beliefs, shame, insecurities, etc. that may have caused someone to act the way they did.

As the saying goes, it is the hurt-full who are hurtful. Bad behavior is ultimately a cry for help.

Beyond that, there is the why YOU attracted, allowed or created the experience. What was your story, wound, belief or hidden agenda? Or was it a lack of self-worth, or sabotage? Or was it, in retrospect, a blessing in disguise?

Take responsibility and forgive yourself if necessary. Doing so will help you more easily forgive others. You are the common denominator of your reality. What ‘why’ within you regarding any situation can you address, become conscious of, and forgive yourself for (or thank yourself for if there’s a hidden gift there).

5) Lastly, the ego will resist forgiveness. Anything unforgiven is fertile ground for the ego, which doesn’t want you to forgive because then you’ll be free of the grip of its ego traps. Simply being aware of the ego’s resistance can help!

As mentioned, there can be stages to forgiveness. Don’t feel bad if you’re not feeling anywhere near forgiveness, or feel like you’re unspiritual or unevolved for not managing to forgive quickly or easily.

Honour your journey, your process, your feelings, yet know forgiveness is always there for you.

Love & Joy Annie xxxxx

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