Unlock Your Personal Freedom with Forgiveness

Growing up, I didn’t realize how much power I gave away to others. Each time I held a grudge, was judgmental or critical, I restricted my own energy and flow. What felt contradictory, was the fact that holding onto my anger felt energizing and made me feel strong. This is how the EGO and the hormonal rush we receive from an angry reaction deceives us into believing, our actions are right.

I have experienced a few family members, who have cut me off or ignored me because they felt offended by what I did or said. Growing up, I did what I was taught and followed suit. Throughout the years, I realized deep down, I didn’t feel happy, empowered or free. I began to question the beliefs and assumptions I held about other people and even myself.

Using Detachment

I learned many of the stories we make up in our heads about other people’s motives aren’t even true. People have their beliefs and perceptions, it has nothing to do with you. This is their story and you have your story. You can’t change how someone views you and your actions, as they can’t change your views. All of these conflicts we have with others feels personal, yet they aren’t.

When I began to forgive, I released years of bitterness and pain. In its place, I gained a whole new sense of freedom I never knew. This sense of peace comes from being unaffected by what other people say, do and think of me. Before, I would react and rebel. Now, I feel, let go and move on with my life.

How I Really Began to Heal

Louise Hay often referred to forgiveness as a great healer. Her concepts revolve around self-love, affirmations and forgiveness to heal physical, mental, emotional or spiritual illness. You can learn more about this in her book called, You Can Heal Your Life. This book, inspired me to forgive my step-father.

My step-father and I had no contact for over ten years. I wrote him a letter and he chose not to respond. I summoned up the courage to face him one final time, at his wake. My sister and I saw his scowl was gone and replaced with a peaceful glow. I wouldn’t have believed this, unless I saw it. My thoughts turned to regret because I wished this was the man I could have spent time with. Letting go of what could never be, I read my forgiveness letter and walked out.

A crowd of supporters waited outside the funeral home and remarked how I glowed and looked as if a weight was taken off my shoulders. It was. In that moment, I was free from years of fear, hurt, anger, and resentment. All of the energies which kept me tied to him, were gone. Forgiveness supplies you with a healing balm in which you feel a sensation of lightness or as if you are floating on air.

Going Back to God

Recently, I was reminded of the gift of forgiveness through an online retreat, which connected me to my Catholic roots. I remembered if you pray with a repentant heart, God forgives you as soon as you ask. In other words, the Divine knows when you are being authentic or just going through the motions. Once again, I could practice forgiveness and unhook the chains that bind me. The trick is getting out of the EGO and back into your heart.

Who do you need to forgive today?

Start with Yourself. Forgive yourself for not knowing, being judgmental, for all the times you were stuck in your own pain, fear and bitterness. Forgive yourself for bullying yourself, pushing yourself way beyond your limits and all the times you were harsh and unkind to yourself. Forgive yourself for not seeing the truth or reality of a situation.

Next, forgive the first person who comes into your mind. This is the person you most need to forgive. They may not deserve your forgiveness, remember God’s grace has forgiven you. The more you forgive, the better you feel. Forgive others for their abusive behaviors, all of the times you felt disappointed and hurt.

Keep repeating this process as needed. Forgiveness is like doing the laundry or washing the dishes, it is never completed after one time. This is a practice which must be re-visited time and time again.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. She is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net

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Why compassionate people have lost their empathy for others


2016 was a heavy year for people collectively from celebrity deaths to the US election. Many clients have told me about their personal losses, anxiety and disappointments. When you are in your own emotional pain feeling another’s emotional pain overwhelms you. I am here to reassure you, you are not alone it was a rough ride for many people, including myself.

If you are a sensitive person you may wonder why you suddenly lack compassion and patience for others. Anger, fear and numbness block the connection to your heart. When you feel contempt, judgment, or fear towards others you lose that mirroring of empathic response and feeling. You disconnect yourself out of a fear of being hurt again, yet, empathic response and experience require connection which means risk and vulnerability.

After a trauma or period of intense stress you can experience a sensation of being shell-shocked and reactive. When a person’s nervous system becomes overstimulated it goes into the fight (anger), flight (anxiety) or freeze (shuts down into numbness) response. In psychological terms this could be an adjustment disorder, acute stress reaction or post-traumatic stress. For an accurate diagnosis and treatment, go to a licensed professional rather than the internet.

Why don’t I feel better yet?

It is a new year and a new energy, although energy does not merely change with a flip of a calendar page, it is a process. Wait a good 3 months to give the energy a chance to build and move collectively. Individually, you are not damaged or broken. A disconnection has occurred and it has happened to many of us. Now the power is in your hands, what are you going to do about it?

What you can do:

My number 1 recommendation is to find an empathic psychotherapist to work with you. Yes, even therapists, healers and coaches need their own healers. Here is a little secret, the best ones do! I had a session in January to release much energy around 2016 in order to help others like you do the same with the work I offer.

You need someone who understands sensitive people, grief/loss issues and trauma reactions. This person will help you process the issues that trigger you so you can release them and connect again to your natural empathy for others.

While you are waiting for an appointment or in between sessions

(a) Practice mindfulness -Become aware of the present moment and that is all. This relaxes your mind, body and soul allowing you to reconnect to your empathic response.

(b) Engage in a meditation practice- Focus on your breath, it trains your nervous system to slow down and teaches you to become the witness to your thoughts. When you observe your thoughts and sensations you can choose a more empathic response or perhaps a non- response.

(c)For helpers- remember it is not your job to fix others. The best way to help others is to work on your own healing and to hold the space for others. Read How To Maintain Your Energy When Helping Others for how to do this practice.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. She is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net

How Positivity Blocks Being Real

In a close relationship, I recently voiced my anger in an assertive and calm way. Afterwards, I noticed the sting of the underlying hurt and disappointment lingered and began to look on the bright side. “Well, at least I don’t have to__________.”  As soon as the words passed across my lips, I felt uncomfortable. The things I was looking on the bright side about really weren’t that big of a deal. Yes, they were inconveniences, I was willing to do it before. In that moment, I became aware that I stepped out of being authentic.  I was attempting to put on my rose-colored glasses to hide the pain and avoid feeling the v word, vulnerable with being positive rather than fully sitting with it. Looking at the bright side to cope with emotional pain is not entirely a bad thing.  It has served me well in the past, however in this moment it wasn’t cutting it.  I needed to let this wound air out rather than putting a band-aid on it.

Sometimes you and I need to sit in the pain until it passes and not look at the bright side.  Most of my life, I was uncomfortable expressing and voicing my anger. In addition to that, as an empath, I was feeling and absorbing other people’s fears around anger too.  I learned that people wanted happy emotions and that is what I gave them.  It took me going to my own therapy in my 20’s to connect to what I was feeling and express that.  Even though I learned how to express anger in an assertive way, I had a lot of fear around doing it.

I worried;

What if this person does not like me anymore?  

What if this ends the relationship? 

Interestingly enough a few friendships and family relationships did end.  I learned that a lot of people are uncomfortable with anger and it has nothing to do with me. Their feeling uncomfortable does not mean that I have to stifle my feelings.

I wanted to share this experience to show that being authentic is messy at times and situations can’t be wrapped up with a pretty pink bow saying everything is cool, when it is not.  Sometimes being positive does not help ourselves or others but rather blocks the lesson of the moment from being fully absorbed. Those are the times that you need to sit in it and through it to fully learn the wisdom that comes with time.

How Positivity Blocks Being Real (1)

If you enjoyed this blog, let’s connect and receive a FREE 15 page E-book called 10 Ways to Connect to Spirit!  A great tool to learn how to stay connected to your own spirit and that of the Divine. http://www.lisahutchison.net Plus monthly tips to express your authentic voice, protect your energies and trust your instincts.