You probably know by now that finding forgiveness was a huge part of my healing journey. I was so surprised to learn that if you still feel negative emotions when looking back on the past then it means you haven't healed or forgiven. I honestly thought that was completely normal. As usual, one more thing I wish I would have learned in high school instead of the Pythagorean Theorem!
I first learned about the relationship between forgiveness and medical conditions when I was at an aromatherapy training. They said if all else fails, do the forgiveness protocol. I found that so intriguing. I discussed this with my doctor when I got home and he said to start with that protocol!
The forgiveness protocol specifically helps with: abuse, anorexia, bipolar, broken heart syndrome, bulimia, depression, hate, liver disorders, loneliness, mood disorders, phantom pain, PTSD, rage, resentment, self-doubt, and self-hate. It benefits the emotional and limbic systems, the endocrine system, the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, and the digestive system. Those didn't really seem to be any of my main issues but I was willing to try anything to be healthy again.
I honestly wasn't sure where to begin but I let my intuition guide me. My mind quickly came to an argument I had with my dad when I was 12. He had brain cancer and had lost his driver's license because of his cognitive decline and slow reaction time. I came home from school and he was gone with the car. I was so upset by how he was putting his own life in danger and anyone else on the road. I was extremely worried about what could happen. When he finally came home we got into a huge argument and I yelled and swore at him - both things I had never, ever done in my life. He immediately started packing his bags and went to a local hotel a block away.
That night when my mom got home she frantically started looking for places that could take him since it was obvious we didn't have the capacity to care for him in this state of illness any longer. The next day he was admitted to the Veteran's Hospital a couple of hours away and never lived at home again. Although I didn't consciously feel like it was my fault, I was carrying a lot of guilt for yelling at him.
So that is where my forgiveness journey really started. I put on some solfeggio frequencies for the heart chakra and then I decided to use a script from a book called Feelings Buried Alive Never Die. That script is supposed to help you release the emotions you don't want and transmute them into the ones that you do. It includes a whole glossary of emotions to dig into before you decide. I read it over and then decided it would feel more powerful if I read it aloud. Now I felt ready for the oils.
The aromatherapy protocol consists of 10 different essential oils that you apply. The first step is placing rose oil on your heart to symbolize heart opening and a readiness to forgive. The second step is applying geranium oil to the liver to help you metabolize thoughts, feelings, and emotions so you can truly let go. After this, you apply frankincense, neroli, clove, Melissa, juniper berry, bergamot, and a blend called Forgive. With each oil, you apply it to your spine and feet and inhale the aroma.
Aromatherapy is a powerful healing tool because it unlocks memories and emotions. If you think of the hairs in your nostril as individual locks and aromas as individual keys, each aroma unlocks different hairs that connect to different memories of your past. I think we all relate to this when we walk into a room and smell cinnamon. We can immediately feel comfort and may remember our mom's baking, apple pie, cozy fall memories, and more.
I took my time with each step of the protocol. Thinking about the past issue I was trying to let go of, I replayed the situation in my head and thought of the situation and the words that were said. I was trying to remember every little detail like watching a movie.
As I kept applying the different oils, I allowed myself to reflect on the situation from the eyes of myself now, rather than the little girl that experienced it. I asked myself what did I truly need at that moment as a child. I wanted deep listening and understanding, I wanted words of reassurance, I wanted communication, and I wanted comfort. Now I imagined I could give that to the little girl that went through that difficult situation.
Pretty simple, right?
So did it work? Absolutely. My tears stopped and I felt a sense of relief and inner peace when I was done. I felt a calmness wash over me. I laid there in bed for a while allowing myself to process it all. I wish I can say my health improved drastically overnight but something else happened instead.
The real miracle came the next morning when I actually looked at myself in the mirror for the first time in my adult life. Sure, I would brush my teeth and hair in the morning but eye contact was never comfortable. That morning I was staring myself deep in the eyes. I realized that I had been impacted by that argument way more than I had ever realized. I had felt so much guilt and shame that I couldn't look myself in the eye until now.
This was a turning point in my healing journey where self-care became much easier. Up until that point, I was still sacrificing my own needs to people please and take care of others no matter how sick I was. I felt very motivated to keep up the forgiveness protocol on a weekly basis. Each week I would just reflect on anything in my past that still brought up hurt feelings and would work on that specific issue.
Do you need to use the oils in order to forgive? Probably not. I just found it a helpful tool on my journey that became a weekly ritual. I would reserve time every Friday afternoon for my inner forgiveness work.
I found writing letters to people helped me do the forgiveness work on my own without the oils. Whether someone is dead or alive, you can write a letter and let out all of your emotions to help you process and forgive. You don't have to give it to them or involve them. Not everyone is ready to heal and the only person you need to focus on healing is yourself.
I think forgiveness looks different to everyone. We all resonate with different approaches, the most important thing is taking the time to do it. To move from suffering to forgiveness, you might:
Recognize the value of forgiveness and how it can improve your life.
Identify what needs healing and who needs to be forgiven and for what.
Consider joining a support group or seeing a spiritual life coach or counselor.
Acknowledge your emotions about the harm done to you or others and how they affect your behavior, and work to release them.
Choose to forgive the person who offended you.
Choose to forgive yourself for the harm that you have caused and the people you have hurt.
Move away from your role as victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life. Would you rather be a victim or a survivor? Change your stories and you will change your life.
I also learned that forgiveness is an unraveling process. You forgive one thing and then realize you forgave the other person but didn't forgive yourself. You never know what will come up as the healing journey continues, but all you need to do is follow your intuition and it will guide you on what to do next. Trust me, whether you have an illness or not, you are on a lifelong healing journey. It can be a really beautiful thing if you allow it to be.