The Power of Forgiveness: Freeing Yourself from Emotional Imprisonment

Anunziata Laganis
Feb 20, 2024By Anunziata Laganis

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you."  Lewis B. Smedes

The Weight of Unforgiveness

Carrying the burden of unforgiveness can have a detrimental effect on our mental, emotional, and even physical well-being. It can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and even depression. The negative emotions associated with holding onto grudges can consume our thoughts and drain our energy.

emotional freedom

Letting Go and Moving On

Forgiveness is not about excusing or forgetting the wrongs done to us. It's a choice to release the heavy emotional burden that keeps us locked in a cycle of negativity. By forgiving, we let go of emotions such as anger, resentment and bitterness, creating space for peace and personal growth.

Research has shown that forgiveness can have numerous benefits for our mental and physical health. It can lower stress levels, reduce blood pressure, and even strengthen our immune system

It takes courage to forgive and move forward. It is not an easy path, or a swift one, especially when the hurt runs deep.  It's a conscious act that allows us to transcend hurt, release negative energy and emotions, and reclaim our personal power. 

Start by acknowledging the pain and hurt that you have experienced. Allow yourself to feel the emotions that arise, but also recognise that holding onto them will only prolong your suffering. Choose to let go and forgive, not for the sake of the person who hurt you, but for your own peace of mind.

The Power of Self-Forgiveness

When we forgive, we hold the key to unlocking our own inner freedom. This includes extending forgiveness to ourselves.

Here are 5 reasons why it can be necessary:

1. We all make mistakes, experience failures, have moments of regret. and experience situations where we are not to constantly berating ourselves for these shortcomings can lead to self-criticism, low self-esteem, and even mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. 

2. Unresolved guilt, shame and self-blame can weigh heavily on our emotional state. Forgiving ourselves is a way to release these negative emotions and find healing. It allows us to acknowledge our mistakes, learn from them, and then let go of the emotional burden associated with them.

3. Childhood trauma can have a profound impact on our lives, shaping our beliefs, behaviours, and self-perception. In some cases, individuals who have experienced trauma may internalise feelings of guilt, shame, or responsibility for what happened, even when it was not their fault. Recognising that as children, we lacked control over the circumstances we faced, and that the responsibility lies with the individuals that perpetrated the harm.  By forgiving ourselves, we can begin the healing process and release any misplaced blame or shame we may have carried. 

4. Forgiving ourselves helps us cultivate resilience, which is the ability to bounce back from challenges and setbacks. It enables us to face difficulties with a more positive and growth-oriented mindset, rather than getting stuck in self-destructive patterns.

5. Self-forgiveness plays a vital role in our relationships with others. When we hold onto self-blame, it can affect our interactions and prevent us from fully engaging in healthy connections. By forgiving ourselves, we can develop healthier and more authentic relationships based on self-acceptance and empathy.

I've been guided to include the following self-forgiveness prayer for the collective. Feel free to replace "God" with "the Divine" or any other term that resonates with you. 

Divine Forgiveness Prayer - Instant healing by Dr. S Shumsky

The forgiving, releasing, and healing power of God works in and through me now. All judgement, resentment, criticism, and unforgiveness are now dissolved and healed. 

With the love and peace of God within my heart, I forgive everyone of everything - including myself. I now forgive all past experiences. 

I now forgive myself for all seeming errors, mistakes, and wrongdoings.

I bless myself. I AM forgiven. I AM free.

Thank you God, and SO IT IS.