I’m waiting for my toast to be done when a memory painfully washes over me. I lean against the kitchen counter, face in my hands, shoulders shaking, sobbing.
I am heartbroken.
Then, just as quickly, anger rises up in me: “Why am I still feeling this way? I should be over it by now!”
After a painful experience (think break up, being fired, being stabbed in the back by your best friend), it can take a long time to process your feelings of loss, unworthiness, and rage. You either stuff it down and numb yourself with food, drinking, drugs, or media, or you mope for months on end, eating potato chips and hopefully showering at least once a week.
At first, you can bemoan your misfortunes and commiserate with whoever will listen. Eventually, your friends and co-workers get tired of your pity party and will tell you it’s time to “let it go.”
You wish you could! But, how?
When you’ve been badly hurt or suffered a loss, there’s a lot of heavy emotions to work through before you reach a place of peace. I’ve found that the most effective way to truly let something go and reclaim your power is through a Forgiveness Fire Ceremony.
Before you do this however, I want to advise you to really sit with and feel your feelings for a good long while first.
“But it hurts!” you say. “I don’t want to feel this pain anymore!” I know, I know. But think of the fire ceremony as the FINAL STEP, the last dose of soul medicine that allows you to really let something go. You can’t rush it. You can’t spiritually bypass it.
When you have processed all the emotions, integrated what you have learned (key step!), and are really ready to let something go once and for all, pick a night for your fire ceremony. This ritual will be amplified if performed in the dark moon phase before a new moon (a period for release and banishing).
Get some paper, and write it all out. How hurt, ashamed, and angry you are at it all. Relive it and get it all out on paper. Make sure you also write down what you learned and what you are going to do differently in the future.
Choose a location that is fire safe and private. Please obey all fire regulations and warnings.
Once you are there, take a few minutes to breathe deeply and center yourself. However many times you need to repeat this to “say it like you mean it,” perform the Ho’oponopono prayer:
I LOVE YOU (for the gifts you gave me, OR saying ‘I love you’ to yourself)
I’M SORRY (for any pain I caused you)
PLEASE FORGIVE ME (for my part in this)
THANK YOU (for all that I’ve learned)
Again and again, “I love you, I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you”.
Crumple up the papers while you’re reciting the forgiveness prayer and when you feel ready to release, set them alight.
Watch the fire consume all your pain and transmute it. Breathe some deep breaths, and I love to place my hands on the earth and feel it all drain into Mother Earth who can alchemize it into new life.
“It is done, it is gone, it is over.”
Stay for as long as you need and use more voice, movement or breath to release it all from your physical, emotional, and mental bodies.
Then, walk away.
When you catch yourself mulling over this issue again, stop and gently remind yourself that you burned it and it’s over and done. Forever. Stop suffering over the past.
It really works! Have you tried this? I’d love to hear about your experience with this ritual in the comments below.