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Over the past few years I have found myself in workshops or at gatherings where we recite this prayer, or something very similar to it.
Using this prayer repeatedly over the years, has shown me how quickly things can build up.
And how necessary it is to sift through the quality of our relationships and tend to anything that may be in need of some extra love and attention.
Every time I’ve used it, it’s been radically different but equally powerful.
It’s amazing to see the shifts that have taken place in both my inner and outer world once I recite it.
I always feel softer, lighter and more at ease within myself.
I’m left feeling more open and clear in my relationships.
Bit by bit, day by day, we are constantly weaving the quality and foundation of our relationships (or sometimes creating and contributing to their unraveling).
Moments before the first time I recited this prayer during a workshop, we were asked to do a few self-reflective journaling exercises. I’ll never forget one of the questions we were asked:
Who is your most unhealthy or challenging relationship with?
I mentally scanned all my relationships, feeling them out for any tension or resistance.
Although a few faces and situations came to mind, my answer was both surprising and unsettling.
It was quite clear who the most unhealthy, challenging and destructive relationship I was in was with.
It was my relationship with myself.
With a heavy heart I remember thinking,
“When did I become my own worst critic and enemy? When did my relationship with myself become so dysfunctional and destructive?”
I wrote pages and pages on my abundance of self-limiting tendencies, self-sabotaging behaviors and beliefs.
After a rather uncomfortable and eye opening journaling exercise, we got into partners to recite the prayer.
We sat cross legged, knee to knee, soul to soul, looking directly into each other’s eyes—seeing our selves reflected and safely held in our partners steady gaze.
I was filled with a whirlwind of emotions.
My pulse raced, my mind spun and my heart ached deeply from the disturbing awareness of my self-destructive inclinations.
With our gazes locked, we took turns saying it out loud to one another.
We then recited it once together:
“If there is anyone or anything that has hurt me in the past, knowingly or unknowingly, I forgive and release it.
If I have hurt anyone or anything in the past, knowingly or unknowingly, I forgive and release it.
If I have hurt myself knowingly or unknowingly, I forgive and release it.”
There was an instant shift in energy.
In a significant yet subtle way.
I felt a series of adjustments and recalibrations within every nook and cranny of my being.
My pulse slowed. My breathe became more fluid. And my mind felt at peace.
I’ve recited this prayer in workshops and ceremonies.
Silently and out loud.
In the presence of other people and in the confinement of my own personal space.
It’s been incredible to witness the reverberations that this potent and powerful prayer catalyzes.
When move into a state of forgiveness, we let go of fear, tension and resistance.
We create more freedom in our minds and more space in our hearts.
We make way for more love, more intimacy and more compassion.
We form healthier relationships in both our inner and outer worlds. With each other and with our sweet selves.
We must continuously move into a state of forgiveness.
For ourselves, for each other and for the wellbeing of our global community.
Together, we can weave a strong foundation comprised of the subtle yet powerful energetics of compassion, clarity and unconditional love.
And isn’t that a big part of the reason we’re all here?
To experience more love and more harmony? To be in more compassionate, authentic and honest relationships? In both our inner and outer lives?
I have found this forgiveness prayer to be a very important seasonal ingredient in the upkeep of these qualities.
Holding onto anger, resentment and self-sabatoging tendencies are a really, really heavy way to go throughout this life.
I know I don’t want to spend my time and energy carrying those feelings and behaviours around anymore.
So I come back to the prayer. I surrender and move into a state of forgiveness.
It is never too late to forgive. To let go. To clear up any muddy waters that may be present.
Again and again.
Your heart will thank you.
Author: Alexa Torontow
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Image: Courtesy of the author, credit: Jana Roemer