In my practice as a certified hypnotherapist and personal empowerment coach, I teach the forgiveness formula which is first, understanding the person, the situation, and their highest intention. Then comes forgiveness by separating the behavior from the true spirit of the person. After forgiveness is compassion, which requires feeling within yourself what a burden it is to suffer so much that you can hurt someone else. Finally comes love - the true essence of who we are.
Sometimes during a hypnosis session, the forgiveness process is delayed because the client doesn’t want to let go. They don’t understand that forgiveness is freedom and that personal freedom is more beautiful than any belief in justified revenge or wishes of punishment for the offender. Getting the client to feel compassion for the offender is difficult when they can’t forgive.
What I’ve learned from my personal journey is that I really truly forgave when I felt compassion for the person who offended me by going through a similar hardship. Now I didn’t lash out and hurt others as the offender in my life did, however I realized that I was living one of the same experiences they had had. Things that I thought were trivial and over dramatized by this person were suddenly important and significant to me when I was going through them. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and the image of this person popped in my head. The vision was so strong that I got emotional. I realized that we were connected. I was that person at that moment. This vision happened a number of times on my journey through that hardship and each time the feeling of compassion grew even stronger.
One Sunday morning during a meditation, I got a vision perfectly clear. I got my answer that this thing I was going through was part of my lesson in humility and compassion. That person in my life had been there all along to teach me. I felt compassion as I had never before because I needed it myself. I felt compassion because I could feel how that person was hurting and suffering. I knew how helpless they felt. In this meditation I felt their story as if it were my own. I cried for them. I felt compassion strong and pure. It was without the need to get something for me from it. It was for them. Then I realized…you get what you give. It was for me after all. It was my lesson. The experience led to the true knowing. How could I teach others and give others what I didn’t have or know myself.
I believe that God uses us when we allow. I surrendered to the Devine power and thought my life would be a bed of roses. What it has been is a journey of peaks and valleys. What is wonderful about this surrender is that now the valleys have meaning. There is value in the lows. When I remember to look and ask for the lesson, I then move forward more complete, more knowing, and wise. With that knowing comes peace.
With this new knowing of true compassion, hypnotherapy clients that experience a delay in forgiveness are taken through a compassion experience. They are prompted to go to a time when they needed others to understand and have tolerance, kindness and empathy for them. I ask them to go to a memory of something they couldn’t control and desperately wanted to. Perhaps to a time when they had hurt someone while trying to stop their own suffering. A time when what they needed most from others was, sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, mercy, leniency, humanity, or charity. When this is done in hypnosis, compassion comes quickly, followed by understanding and forgiveness.
Dee Woolridge , CCIHt, CLC, RMT, Rev
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