Forgiveness is often portrayed as an ultimate spiritual answer to just about any problem in life, but explanations of its power are often very vague. We are told that it is a gift we give to ourselves more than anyone else; or that living in a state of unforgiveness is like taking poison and hoping our enemies get sick, but this can give rise to one big question in minds:
" What does it actually DO when we start to practice it? "
In order to find that out, we need to take a look at what a state of unforgiveness is. Over the course of our lives, we accumulate all sorts of angers, hurts, fears, negative beliefs and bad memories, which are all stored in both the subconscious mind, and in our energy vibrations. These then become part of the auras around us which underpin what and who we attract into our lives.
Metaphors for living in a state of unforgiveness, abound. It can be like a water pipe which gradually fills up with sludge. Or a laptop hard drive which gradually fills up with viruses. Or even, a flying in a hot air balloon with the sandbags still attached; but the bottom line remains:
When we live in a state of unforgiveness, our energies become clogged, and normal life cannot flow in our favour.
The resistance from our negative memories and beliefs attracts recurring situations and circumstances which have been called prison patterns (from The Hidden Power of Your Past Lives, by Sandra Anne Taylor). Usually these are rooted in the experiences of our early years, and if left unchecked or unresolved, can create a lifetime of stress, misery and unoptimal living. For instance, if you were abused by your parents, and didn't resolve the memories through forgiveness, then you will probably carry on attracting abusers throughout your life, who are similar.
Health is a major area in which unforgiveness has an effect, because the physical energies of unforgiveness impede the natural life force of good health, and attack the body at cellular level, resulting in afflictions in symbolic areas. For instance, a lack of love in early life may manifest as heart disease; or a deep-lying hurt or anger nay manifest as a cancer.
All of these prison patterns will stay in place until released, and forgiveness is a way of doing this. What this means is employing different and calmer thoughts, in order to dissolve the negative beliefs you hold, and the subsequent realities they attract. It's a process which you can start and maintain, using forgiveness affirmations such as
I FORGIVE AND I MOVE ON
I FORGIVE ALL PAST EVENTS
I FORGIVE AND I NOW FLOW
or to cover all bases
I FORGIVE AND I AM FORGIVEN
You could even use the affirmation for Ho'oponopono (the Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness) by visualising the person you are angry with, and repeating the words
PLEASE FORGIVE ME
I LOVE YOU
What this will do is activate a chain reaction of improvement in your thoughts, feelings, and attracted realities, and the first thing you notice is that you feel different, more relaxed and at ease. Things which bothered you before, aren't such a big deal any longer. And then it moves to influence yourbehaviour patterns (feeling better about yourself and not so walled-in and fearful) before finally, you find that your reality starts changing for the better. Life flows, problems clear up, solutions manifest, and stuck areas of your world begin to move. Finally, sustained forgiveness starts to attract the really big stuff: healings, miracles and dramatic shifts in reality. The goodness which the Universe has in store for you (the Divine's plan of bounty and prosperity for you) will be allowed to unfold because it isn't being impeded by lower energies any longer.
The reason for this is quite metaphysical. Energy which was bound up in past hurts and resentments, starts to be transmuted by the Universe and the Higher Power. Healed and transformed from negative to positive, and crucially, moving from being clogged up in the past, to being right into the present moment. This is why people who really forgive can experience dramatic shifts in reality; it is because more energy becomes available to flow into the blocked areas of your life, and to the unhealthy cells of your body. There are far fewer burdens to drain them of their life force, so normal functions can be restored. There is also a theory that forgiveness can slow down or even reverse the ageing process, for this very reason.
When it is said that forgiveness is a gift that you give to yourself, it means the gift of extra energy and life force.
When you make forgiveness a habit, you may experience positive things which you have never encountered before. If you have always lived in scarcity, then you may start allowing abundance. An abused child can start to become a self-loving adult. An alcoholic may start along the path to sobriety, and attract the help they need; and someone who has had a life of chronic illness, may start to enjoy health and fitness.
But it is not just from your current lifetime that prison patterns can originate, because you may also be carrying residual energies from issues which weren't resolved in previous lifetimes. For instance, if you were a miser in a previous life, you may reincarnate as a pauper in this one. If you were an abuser in a previous life, you may incarnate as a rape victim in this one. Or if you were a love cheat some lifetimes ago, you may reincarnate as someone who is chronically cheated upon in this one. These could be the reason why you have had a circumstance, fear or limitation, and you don't really know where it comes from. It is something you just always seem to have had. Karmic prison patterns such as these can go back and forth for many lifetimes, but up doesn't mean that they are set in stone and you are going to be forever burdened with them, because they can also be dissolved and transmuted in the same way - through forgiveness.
As with any LOA process, you need to persist with forgiveness for it to have a lasting effect. You may have years, decades or even lifetimes of hurt and anger to work through, but that's not to say that it has to be difficult, or weigh like an Albatross around your neck. Gentle persistence creates traction and momentum; and as you forgive and more and more energy becomes available, the easier it becomes.
You don't even need to know HOW to forgive either. Often, the source of your hurt may be long gone; the mugger unknown or the bully long since deceased, but you don't need to worry about that. The Universe knows what you need and how to carry out the process, you just need to be WILLING TO FORGIVE. Your Higher Self will take care of the rest.
So start to forgive now: the gift you give yourself is also the key which unlocks your future.