I believe that to reach forgiveness is a bit of a ‘rinse and repeat’ process. These practices we have engaged in and brought into our lives have to be done more that once. You have to keep using them, keep practicing to allow the effect to really happen. Like any emotions that are created by something that bring us away from our balance, we have to keep working and creating space for our movement back. Forgiveness is sitting in your centre, it is accepting what has passed to allow you to move forward. Moving forward from a place of love and growth for yourself, as well as releasing anything you feel about any ‘other’ in the situation. Believe me, I know this sounds so lovely yet feels really hard to do, but I will say two things I know to be true. Firstly, you are not presented with anything you cannot handle. Even in our darkest hours, there’s that tiny voice inside hidden by shadows that says “one day we’ll remember what it was like to be down here but we’ll be up there surrounded by light”. Secondly, we are given our hard times, our trials and tribulations to teach us something we need to learn. That’s why learning your lessons are so hard but so important. You have been given the gift of this pain to learn, so take this time and space to learn the lesson now. We all know the people who make the same mistakes over and over again until they finally get it, but they have to deal with all the added pain that comes with that. If you are one of these souls who has to learn lessons a few times before it sinks in, then let’s get it learned so you can exit the cycles! This is why we must allow ourselves to feel the pain that we have experienced, we need to allow ourselves to know this pain and let it be the force that opens our eyes to what we need to see. Usually it is a truth about ourselves that we need to know in order to move forward. With this in mind, the final step on the road to forgiveness is surrender. Surrender is usually seen as a submission or lack of power. I challenge this, for if we surrender our experience, pain and physical responses to the process of learning and growing as an individual, then it takes off the pressure and expectations that we put on ourselves, allowing us to be more at ease. For example, self-talk along the lines of ‘I must get over him’ and ‘I shouldn’t feel like this’ need to be surrendered and replaced with accepting that your pain is part of the growing process. This means that it no longer becomes a burden that you have to bear, but a process that will lead you to growth and to healing. I truly know this is a hard and challenging process, but then the most important ones always are. Surrendering your experience to the universe, your faith leader or just being able to say to yourself ‘I surrender this pain to the lesson I am to learn’ is invaluable. Surrendering is about saying ‘enough’ to the judgements that you make about your process, the expectations you have put on yourself or on anyone else about the process. In my first article on forgiveness I mentioned that if you feel something then feel it - but remember to let it go. If you need something then need it – then let it go. There is nothing wrong with your process down this road, every step forward, even a baby step - is progression and growth. And, if today is a day that no steps are taken, that is fine. Be OK with these days as well. By surrendering the painful experiences, when you have bad days it is just a bad day so let that be. Finally, allow yourself to be happy by taking a breath. If the day is hard, if the conversation is hard, if reading this is hard, it’s OK. Take a deep breath, and let it flow out slowly. Pain, suffering and hurt are teachers, they come to all of us, so surrender to who or what you expect yourself to be. Right here, Right now, just breathe.