Visualization exercise to help us forgive others and dissolve resentment

Lake Mapourika, New ZealandLouise L. Hay wrote in her book You Can Heal Your Life: “Love is always the answer to healing of any sort. And the pathway to love is forgiveness. Forgiveness dissolves resentment.”

One pathway to forgiveness is through visualization – using our imagination to help us let go of bitterness and resentment.

Below is a forgiveness visualization exercise that I created to help us forgive others. Do it when you feel the need, until you feel that the bitterness has dissolved. You can do this exercise to help forgive people who are alive or dead. It might be hard to do, as it could stir-up all sorts of emotions, but if, in time, it helps you forgive and move on, it’s worth the effort.

Forgiveness visualization exercise: The Rowboat

Sit quietly and close your eyes. Relax your mind and body. Imagine yourself in a rowboat and who you it is you want to forgive in another rowboat. You’re on one side of a lake and the other people are on the opposite side. You sail out and meet close together, but not touching, in the middle of the lake. You’re close enough to hear each other speak, but cannot climb into each others boats.

You tell the people things that help you forgive them. It could be that you do not want to hurt anymore from what they have done to you, you have a right to be happy and want to let go of the emotional pain from the situation; whatever you feel comfortable with. Think carefully about what you want to say – remember you’re trying to heal and feel better, not worse. The people you’re talking to remain silent the entire time and just listen.

Now imagine all the negativity you have towards them flowing out of your body and into a suitcase attached by a rope to a large, heavy rock in your boat. When all the negativity is released, you close and lock the suitcase and roll it along with the rock out of the boat. You watch the suitcase and rock sink down towards the bottom of the lake.

You and the others both sail off back to where you started from. As you’re sailing away, a bright, white beam of light shines down onto you and your boat. The light symbolizes a healing, loving and protective energy.

If this visualization technique doesn’t suit you, adapt it. You could omit the lake and imagine all the pain and hurt going into a volcano, well in the ground, fire or rubbish bin – even down the toilet. There are countless visualizations you could do.

If you have any other visualization techniques that can help us forgive, share them in the comments section below.

written by Nyomi Graef

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5 Responses to “Visualization exercise to help us forgive others and dissolve resentment”

  1. Sydney says:

    Congratulations. To produce so many informative articles that are both pleasant and informative is a exceptional accomplishment. I will add you to the sidebar of my blog too.

  2. would you mind if I use this site as a source for a school project?

  3. rosie says:

    I have found that writing your thoughts in a forgiveness letter and then burning the letter is very healing as well.

  4. Nikhil says:

    At the first instant, the volcano thing appealed me more.

    I am thankful to you for bringing about this way of forgiving.

    Repeating this exercise , I am sure I shall let go the voice saying that someone ,something,some thought could be against me. Everything is unfolding as per divine plan.

  5. Nyomi says:

    Hi Nikhil,

    Thanks for commenting. I’m glad you like my blog post.

    All the best, and I hope you feel better soon. I recommend that you get help from a relevant trained health professional soon, if you feel that “voice” you mentioned is overwhelming you, if you aren’t already getting help.

    Best wishes,

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