It’s January and most people set about making resolutions. The most common resolution is to lose weight. Well I just finished reading two amazing books by Geneen Roth. Women, Food, and God and When Food is Love. I’ve also ordered her workbook Why Weight? and cannot wait to start revealing my thinner inner self, especially after eating ‘too many to count’ holiday cookies.
The main premise of Geneen’s books is that when we allow ourselves to feel our feelings and not use food as a way to numb ourselves from the pain of our childhoods; then we will naturally make healthier choices, stop eating compulsively, and revert to our ideal weight. There are many more revelations I experienced in the books and I highly recommend any woman with any kind of eating issue (which is most of us) to read them.
The main revelation the book brought to me was the reminder that part of releasing childhood trauma, pain, and/or dysfunctions is to forgive our parents (or any other adult from our childhood) for whatever actions they performed that felt damaging to us. Forgiveness does not make their actions acceptable, but it frees us from the mental prison we have ourselves locked up in, since we haven’t wanted to let go of our stories.
I recalled a powerful process I experienced when I attended a workshop held by spiritual leader Sondra Ray about six years ago. The Forgiveness Diet originated from one of my favorite spiritual texts - A Course In Miracles. The concept centers around writing statements of forgiveness every morning and every night for seven days to elicit healing in your heart toward those you feel have wronged you. As an added component, each day at the end of the day you forgive yourself.
A therapist of mine recently reminded me of the process, and shared that she was successfully able to forgive the man who beat her daughter. Instead of being in jail, he lives with her daughter and they all have a pleasant, casual, and trusting relationship without animosity. The power of forgiveness is incredible.
After that session with my therapist, I went home and performed the forgiveness diet myself. I was able to forgive and release my mom for neglecting me as a child. I gave up the need to have her call me and I to call her. As a result, I only called her when I felt inspired to instead of feeling I had an obligation to call. Nobody was keeping score except me. It was such a feeling of freedom to not have to worry if she was going to get mad if I didn’t call her.
I also fretted endlessly, about my mom putting her husband and her job before me, to the degree that she did practice serious neglect of my sister and me. Once I forgave her and realized that she had her own wounds to deal with from childhood, and I was willing to give up my story, I received the most amazing gift from her this Christmas.
She took an entire week off from work, and took two nights away from her boyfriend (she reunited with her high school sweetheart just a few years ago after my step dad died.). For the first time in my life I felt that I mattered to my Mom more than her work or her man. I couldn’t be more grateful. Unfortunately, when we struggle, and strain and fight against our story, we don’t receive the love, attention, affection, we so desperately crave. It’s not until we give it all up that we receive the fruits of the joy on the other side of our pain. Forgiveness truly does set you free.
Commit to this simple, seven day process and notice how subtle, yet significantly powerful changes begin to unfold for you.
The Forgiveness Diet
All you will need for this exercise is a commitment of 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night, and a brand new notebook!
Select a time in the morning when you will not be disturbed. On a clean page in your notebook, number 1 through 35, skipping every other line. Write the following sentence 35 times:
"I, [your name], forgive [a person you blame] totally and unconditionally."
Do not pick and choose who you will or will not forgive. Do not think before you write. Write whatever name comes to mind. Try to write 35 different experiences, however, if one name or experience continues to come forward in your mind, it is fine to write it as many times as you think about it. When you have completed the exercise, take five to seven long, deep breaths, and close the book.
Repeat the exercise just before you go to bed. This time, write the following sentence:
" I, [your name] forgive myself totally and unconditionally. I am free to move on to
wholeness and completeness."
You may not know why you need forgiveness, but it does not matter, Spirit knows the reason.
You must repeat this exercise every morning and every evening for SEVEN days, forgiving others in the a.m. before noon, and yourself in the p.m. before midnight. If you miss a day, you must begin again. True forgiveness requires work. Missing a day reflects the resistance of your unconscious mind to releasing the pain. Be gentle with yourself and keep trying.
Spirit will show you whether you have truly completed your task, so don't be alarmed if you see or hear from the very person that you are forgiving. Pay attention to how you respond to the situation. When you have totally forgiven others and yourself, you will experience a completely new sense of freedom.
The Forgiveness Diet is originally presented in A Course In Miracles, and is offered here by Stacy Corrigan of Manifest Your Man®.
This article was originally published at Manifest Your Man . Reprinted with permission from the author.