It’s true the little kid in us needs to have revenge before we can begin to forgive.
Instead try this Exercise recommended by the wonderful Louise Hay.
After just practicing a week you will feel a difference – it’s amazing!
Exercise to Practice:
Close your eyes, sit quietly and peacefully.
Think of the people who are hardest to forgive.
What would you really like to do to them?
What do they need to do to get your forgiveness?
Imagine that happening now.
Get into the details.
How long do you want them to suffer or do penance?
When you feel complete, condense time and let it be over forever. Usually at this point you feel lighter, and it is easier to think about forgiveness.
To indulge in this every day would not be good for you.
To do it once as a closing exercise can be freeing.
Now we are ready to forgive. Do this exercise with a partner if you can, or do it out loud if you are alone.
Again, sit quietly with your eyes closed and say, “The person I need to forgive is ___________ and I forgive you for ___________.”
Do this over and over. You will have many things to forgive some for and only one or two to forgive others for.
If you have a partner, let him say to you, “Thank you, I set you free now.” If you do not, then imagine the person you are forgiving saying it to you. Do this for at least five or ten minutes.
Search your heart for the injustices you still carry. Then let them go.
When you have cleared as much as you can for now, turn your attention to yourself. Say out loud to yourself, “I forgive myself for ___________.”
Do this for another five minutes or so.
These are powerful exercises and good to do at least once a week to clear out any remaining rubbish. Some experiences are easy to let go and some we have to chip away at, until suddenly one day they let go and dissolve.
In my personal practice I found Forgiveness challenging. My students admit issues they considered forgiven and done keep surfacing during yoga meditation or practice. Many times we may think we have forgiven but instead we may have pushed the issue deep inside to avoid feeling the pain. Forgiveness takes practice and we have to dig deep to let go.