“Forgive and forget” doesn’t work. Try this instead.

by Dr. Lara Fernandez on August 28, 2012

“How fast can you forgive the past and move on?” This is the mantra of most New Age and spiritual teachings, and you know what? I disagree. At least in part.

Here’s the deal: Most of us have been taught to forgive and forget the heartbreaks of the past, so we can just move on to see that there’s “plenty of fish in the sea”. Humph.

What’s been forgotten is the importance of feeling your feelings first. You see, if you squish down your true feelings of anger, hatred, fear, worry, mistrust it’s like trying to hold a big ball that’s full of air under water in a pool. That ball will keep popping up and you will spend a lot of energy trying to keep it underwater, trying to keep your stuff down and your true, yet “undesireable” and “negative” feelings hidden. Some people overeat to keep those feelings at bay. Some people practice self-deprivation. Others drink too much alcohol, or do drugs, or become sex addicts. And others become over-spenders and debtors. Someway, somehow, that ball will just keep popping up until you deal with it. The pain will just keep coming back to haunt you if you don’t fully express your “negative” feelings first, before you get to the forgiveness part.

Johnny, the quintessential born-and-raised New Yorker, really wants you to get how important this is. If you’ve done any consciousness raising, personal growth, or studied any metaphysics, most of the time, you’ll see a race toward forgiveness, before even allowing you to get mad or sad. Add those teachings (which are really wonderful and helpful most of the time) to a society that rewards us for being “nice” and not necessarily truthful or authentic, and you have the makings for a time bomb in your consciousness.

Here are the 5 steps to start clearing this energetic stuck point in your life:

1. Get mad. Feel your feelings 100%. Express them in a safe way. Yell, cry, punch a pillow, feel it fully.


Let go and forgive. I have a very powerful process for you here as well that has helped hundreds of our clients over the years.

Ready? This is a highly experiential exercise. You will need time alone in your home, no one else nearby (you’ll see why in a minute). Block out plenty of time to go deep. At least one hour.

Here we go!

2. Get Clear & Real. Start by writing the name of the man or woman who really caused you the most pain. You know the one I’m talking about. Write his or her name here: ______________________

Now write out what happened. This is a great opportunity to just get real. Tell the truth about your feelings. Don’t mince words and don’t try to lessen what happened. Be raw, real and gritty if you can!

Let it all hang out here.

Now is the time! Here’s a sentence starter for you:
I’m angry about…I was hurt when he/she…____________________________ (write as long as you want).

3. Find the Bless in the Mess. Now that you’ve gotten your true feelings out… it’s time to look at what you’re thankful for from that relationship. There was a blessing in there somewhere.

Dear ________ , from you I learned…____________________. (And just share the blessing – in a non-sarcastic way– that you did receive from being with this person. There is at least one there somewhere, don’t give up until you find it and state it out loud.)

Now it’s time to practice forgiveness. If you are not forgiving someone, this puts out a signal to the Universe that there is something that someone has done (and could do in the future) to cause a sense of lack or not-enough-ness within you. Your emotional body will then take on the consciousness of not-enough-ness and because everything is energy, this consciousness will make all of your experiences in your life feel like it’s just never enough. And you’ll never feel enough, unless you can truly let go and forgive.

When we are unable to forgive others and there is an actual feeling of resistance to letting go and forgiving, it’s important for you to remember that you are not forgiving the actions of the other person to set them free, you are doing this to set YOU free finally.

4. Release them…and yourself. The next logical step here is a powerful forgiveness practice that I learned from Rev. Michael Beckwith a long time ago, it’s also adopted from his book “Spiritual Liberation” , and have used with hundreds of our clients and it has had the most profound effect for them. Many of them after doing this exercise have experienced some amazing things, like the person that they did the forgiveness exercise on called or wrote them a letter just a few days later when they haven’t been in touch for years!

Not that that is what you are going for. You are simply letting go of the energetic cords that bind you to this person. That’s what forgiveness does.

So are you ready to finally let this go? Yes? Yay! Let’s do this!

Find a room or space in your home where you won’t be interrupted. Turn off your cell phone and give yourself 15 minutes of you time. Find a comfortable spot to sit on and sit in a position of power– which is your spine straight, shoulders back and down, and your heart space open. Consciously allow your chest area to relax and soften and open. Gently allow your thoughts to settle on the image of the person you want to forgive. Mentally broadcast a powerful forgiveness message to this person, such as,

“I forgive you and I set you free. Your actions no longer have power over me. I acknowledge that you are doing the best that you can, and I honor you in your process of unfoldment. You are free and I am free. All is well between us. Peace is the order of the day.”

5. Repeat as necessary. You may have to do these processes over and over again. But I promise you, if you are willing and you do them, you WILL be more able to finally let go for real and move on toward the life you dream of. It takes courage and it’s not an overnight process, but you can take a huge step by doing this.

You can do it!

Here’s to your healing and freedom,

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