A Lesson From the Dead: Practicing Forgiveness

Learning how to forgive and accept apologies is just one step in healing your heart.

February 1, 2017
couple forgiveness

Adapted from What the Dead Have Taught Me About Living Well

During a small group reading, I heard the name "Bill" repeatedly. "Who's Bill?" I asked the six people sitting in my office. "Also, I'm getting something to do with a pet's ashes?" In my mind's eye, I saw the old box of ashes we once had of our dog.


"Oh my God!" a woman exclaimed. "My ex-husband is Bill, and I still have his dog's ashes in my house. Just the other day, I was conflicted about what to do with them, as I don't want them, and yet I don't want to speak to Bill and ask him to come and get them."

"I think your ex-husband's grandmother has something to say about this. Was her name Ruth?" I felt the strong presence of a paternal grandmother and with it, an image of my own Grandma Ruth.

"Yes," she put a hand to her mouth. "That's her. Oh, Ruth, I really loved her."

More: Take These 5 Inspirational Steps in the New Year

"Grandma Ruth is your advocate on the Other Side, and she is encouraging you to stand up, as if to say you need to be accountable for your part in the relationship."

"With Bill? No way. I've already done enough." She crossed her arms defensively. "It's his turn."

"Ruth is shaking her head and flashing an image of Jesus in my mind, which is my sign for forgiveness and acceptance."

"She was very religious, so that makes sense."

"Your lesson here is to forgive your ex-husband for whatever happened in the past. Let go of your old hurts and anger, as they are only serving now to hurt you."

"I know you're right," she said less defensively now. "I struggle with forgiving Bill. I'm still so mad at him for so many things—for being hard on me, for failing the kids."

"Ruth wants you to stop pointing fingers at him and be the bigger person. She's encouraging you to call on her for the strength you need to forgive Bill, and yourself, because until you do, you're trapped. Your life cannot move forward."


How I Use This in My Life: Practicing Forgiveness
Close your eyes and take several deep breaths in and out. Become present with your body, feel where there's any tension or stress, and take inventory of what you're feeling. Put your hand on your heart and mentally affirm or say out loud: "I am letting go of all pain, resentment, and hurt I experienced in the past from (another person or a past situation)."

Ask your departed loved ones and guides to help you release all residual pain you're holding on to in your heart, mind, and body. Imagine them lifting all of your hurt feelings off of you to reveal new light and love within.

More: The 3 Steps of Forgiveness

Then, ask your departed loved ones and guides to help you forgive yourself for the role you played in the relationship or situation. Mentally affirm or say out loud: "Help me to forgive myself for how I may have hurt others or contributed to this painful and conflicted situation."


Finally, call upon archangel Michael and ask that his sword of loving light cut through any negatively charged cords that still entangle you and weigh you down. Mentally affirm or say out loud: "Michael, please free me in all directions now."

Once you've forgiven the people in your life and the past situations that have hurt you—and have also taken accountability for your actions, reactions, and the choices you made that contributed to your pain—Spirit miraculously steps in and provides you with new opportunities to open your heart again.