Oh, the Ties That Bind. Our relationships are one of the biggest influences in all our lives. The people around us help us through hard times, guide us through difficult decisions, and supply us with great joy. They can also bring us great pain at times. For this reason, healing our relationships is vital to healing ourselves. Sometimes it may be a particular situation that is unhealthy for everyone involved. Other times it might be that we need to look within and do some self-work to heal those relationships. The truth is, we’re all the asshole sometimes.

But how do we manage to heal?

Sometimes people don’t deserve forgiveness. They don’t deserve a second chance. We need to work to separate ourselves when we consider the situation. I’ll let you in on a little secret; forgiveness does not need to include reconciliation. You have the ability to find peace and forgiveness in a situation without letting the person back in your life. Forgiveness is as much about you as it is them. 

Forgiveness is a long process. It often requires you to dig up feelings and memories that you’d rather keep stuffed deep down. When you forgive, you are replacing resentment and negativity with kindness. You are showing the other person mercy by extending them this gift. This helps to alleviate distress and bitterness in yourself!

Try to feel compassion towards those who have hurt you in some way. Think about their triggers— what is it that’s caused them to act in these ways. This exercise is not to excuse what they’ve done but simply to see what’s caused them pain. They are not untouchable but also vulnerable, just like the rest of us. Re-establishing the other person’s humanity can also help in healing our relationships.

There’s a saying: “Not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get hurt or die.”

This hits the nail on the head. When you choose to hold a grudge — and YES, it is a choice — you are ultimately choosing to poison your experience.

The moon is full and that makes it an excellent time to do some release work. The natural forces of the waning moon can assist you in letting go. This will help you accept the lost parts of yourself, the shadow, and allow you to be fully in your life. Aquarius shines a light on our tendency to get stuck in certain thoughts, such as holding a grudge. Stepping back, Aquarius allows us to see a bigger picture in our practices of thought, behavior, and self-expression. It is time to embrace our pasts, without judgment, so that we may meet ourselves and others with gentleness and self-love.

If you think you may be ready to forgive someone in your life, I applaud you! It takes courage to face the pain and acknowledge the burden, but it begins the process of healing our relationships. What we see in others are reflections of ourselves, which makes all healing self-healing.

Think about what the person did to hurt you. It might help to meditate on it. Allow the feelings to flow in unimpeded. Feel the weight of emotions as they travel through you — be it resentment, anger, sadness, rage, jealousy, FEEL IT. Let tears flow without self-judgement, knowing that you have the courage to face this stress and release this burden from your life.

If you’re ready, practice doing the above during meditation. Say out loud while doing deep breathing:

Breathing in I acknowledge the burden of pain I’ve been holding. Breathing out, I release this suffering from my heart and mind through forgiveness.

None of this is easy, but it can be done. Forgiveness is the first step towards healing our relationships. Furthermore, it allows us to exist on a high level of self-awareness. After all, we have to forgive ourselves too.

Self-blame can be destructive and paralyzing, destroying our confidence and faith in our ability to make decisions. All too often we self-blame when we don’t follow your own intuition. We act in some way that is not in alignment with our feelings or beliefs and it backfires. We become embarrassed. But we are human! In the words of Maya Angelou:

Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.

We get stuck in these cycles of shame in our lives. It might be involving our sexuality, our social conduct, our problems with substance abuse, our lack of motivation in the gym, our relationships with our parents or family, our work, etc…We feel guilt about things we’ve done, but we keep doing them. Giving up and giving in to it. Forgiveness is a vital step to starting anew!

It is that simple. Healing our relationships requires practicing forgiveness.
Learn from your mistakes.
Move forward with gratitude.
Act humbly.
Love yourself.

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