The Importance of Forgiveness and Four Methods for Forgiving or Asking for Forgiveness

By Stella Vance

My mother\’s final words of wisdom to me were, “Stella, have you forgiven everyone?”

“Yeah, I think so, Mom…”

“Well, dig deeper! It\’s really important!”

Those were the last words I heard from her before she died of cancer.

As we boomers age, we need to think of forgiving everyone, and asking for forgiveness. Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, not others. As I was writing my memoir, Dancing with Duality: Confessions of a Free Spirit, I was able to let go of that last layer of resentment I felt for every player in the game of my life. I saw the bigger picture and how even my seeming “enemies” had helped me transform.

As the generation who pioneered the sexual revolution, we Boomers had to go where no one had gone before. We had to figure out our limits. Our mothers could rarely give us advice, most of them having married as virgins. As a result, like many of us, I experienced abortion, date rape, sexual harassment on the job, betrayal from the man I thought I\’d marry (with my sister and close friend!), sexual addiction to a man who physically and verbally abused me, and more.

On top of everything, I lost one of my best girlfriends ever (for 27 years) due to one joke I wrote about her in my memoirs. This was very traumatic for me, as we had been through so much together over three decades. And she had always been able to laugh at herself. (In fact, her husband was the one who made up the joke, and we all laughed!) So, I had to forgive her for writing me off as a friend for that one sentence, and forgive myself for making that error that cost a dear friend.

Here are some of the powerful forgiveness tools I\’ve learned along the journey of life:

The old fashioned method. Ask the person for forgiveness, or forgive the person face-to-face or in a letter. If the person doesn\’t accept your plea for forgiveness, it\’s their problem, not yours. You have done your part. And as for forgiving the person, you are doing it to lighten your own load-not to excuse or condone their behavior.

The Silva Mind Control method. Get very relaxed, until you are in the “alpha brain state.” Imagine your “Higher Self” meeting up with the “Higher Self” of the person you want to forgive, or ask forgiveness from. Interact in the dialogue with your imagination.

The Ho\’oponopono method. This originated in Hawaii and is very powerful. Simply think of the person and repeat inwardly or aloud: “I love you. I\’m sorry. Thank you.” Do it every single time the issue comes up in your mind. Even if you feel that you haven\’t done anything wrong, you say “I\’m sorry” as a part of taking responsibility for creating the whole scenario. Even if you are the one that is doing the forgiving, this really works.

The Talmud method. If someone believes you\’ve wronged him/her and you want to be forgiven (even if you don\’t think you\’re in the wrong), you have to ask that person three times before the next Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). If he/she won\’t forgive you after the third request, then you\’ve absolved yourself in the eyes of God, who forgives you (and puts a check mark next to your name in the Book of Life on Yom Kippur), which means, essentially, you forgive yourself.

Stella Vance is the author of Dancing with Duality: Confessions of a Free Spirit, a memoir dealing with a woman who faced eating disorders, divorce, betrayal, physical abuse, abortion, date rape, and more–but found that life is just a game and was able to move on, forgive, and celebrate life with its ups and downs.