One of the most healing things we can do for ourselves is forgiving others. It may feel like we are getting back at someone by holding a grudge. But we are really hurting ourselves by doing this. In addition to being emotionally unhealthy, these negative feelings can also present themselves physically in the form on headaches or nausea. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it could also hold you back from progressing in your lessons in this life. Most of us instinctively know this and realize how freeing forgiving others can be. But this is truly one of those things that is easier said than done. Especially when someone has really hurt us down to our core.

I won’t get into the details, but I have had many experiences involving sexual harassment. I know that I am lucky that they all stayed at the harassment level and didn’t progress to anything worse. I am also lucky that none of these perpetrators remain in my life. But one of these experiences was so traumatic (and I was so young and impressionable), that it had a profoundly negative effect on me. It led to me holding a knife in my hand and contemplating suicide. After that, I was so emotionally unstable that I became anorexic for a few months. My bout with anorexia had nothing to do with thinking I was fat or wanting to lose weight. It was about finding control over my life. What you eat is one of the few things that you have complete control over. Being Italian, I love to eat and consider myself a gourmand. But after this experience, I was unable to feel joy and decided that if I didn’t enjoy eating, I wasn’t really going to do it. I probably consumed at most 500 calories a day for a period of time. I ate the same thing every day. No breakfast. Half of a grilled chicken sandwich for lunch and the other half for dinner. Eventually, I was able to move past what happened and get on with my life, but I was never able to forgive.

A recent experience (which in itself wasn’t so bad) caused the emotional damage of that experience I had well over a decade ago to come pouring back. It made me realize that I was only suppressing that event and had to forgive my harasser to truly get over what had happened. The problem was that I just didn’t know how to do that. I believe that after we die, we have to relive our life as everyone else in it. We have to feel both the joy and the pain we caused others. And then we have to judge for ourselves how we did in this life. Did we learn the lessons we wanted to? Were we a good person, who treated others well? We are our own worst critics and it is up to our own soul to judge our life after it is complete. Because of this, I know that once he crosses over to the other side, he will have to experience the suffering he caused me and his soul will undoubtedly be disappointed in him. But that wasn’t enough for me to forgive him. Okay, so one day he will have to experience the hell I went through and will realize his wrong, but what about now?

I asked God and my spirit guides to help me find forgiveness for this man who had wronged me. After all, there are people out there who forgive the murderers of their children. How are they possibly able to do that? If they can find forgiveness in their hearts, then surely there must be a way for me to, as well. Their experience made my emotional wound look like a paper cut.

A few days later, my husband was playing around online and found a video clip made by James van Praagh, who is a famous psychic medium that I had recently seen on tv. He was talking about how only 20% of our soul actually inhabits our body on Earth and the other 80% stays in the spirit world. This was the answer to my question. I pictured the 80% of his soul in the spirit world crying while he was hurting me. 80% of him was devastated by his actions while it was occurring and probably even now. He was definitely failing at least one of his lessons on Earth and the part of him in the spirit world will have to overcome that, while my conscience is clear. My soul is happy and has no karmic debt to repay. With this knowledge, I was finally able to forgive him and move forward.

Forgiveness is not always easy, but it is well worth it. Stop torturing yourself over someone else’s negative actions. Try to picture 80% of their soul crying over wronging you, while your 80% is happy and free. Even if you don’t believe it’s true, picturing it might help. If not, don’t give up on finding what you need to forgive. It is one of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves. And don’t forget to forgive yourself!

I had an acting teacher who had an impressively optimistic view on life. Every time something bad happened to her, she would say “I can use this to improve my craft.” In her own crazy way, she may have had a point. Every negative experience holds an opportunity to learn something new. Maybe these terrible things happened in order to teach me forgiveness. And maybe now I am meant to teach what I have learned to others. If I can help just one of you out there to find peace, then it was all worth it.


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