Atonement, forgiveness and how to feel lightness

Forgiveness. What does this word even mean? I have only recently started to consciously study and meditate on forgiveness. In the last six months, I have been through two Shamanic Rite of Passage Journeys and I have started reading "A Course In Miracles". One piece of wisdom I have gained: atonement, forgiveness and healing are synonyms.


I remember the word "forgiveness" being used in church as a child. I remember the phrase, "Forgive and forget." I was always pretty good at forgetting, but forgiving?


Forgiveness is a feeling.


If I forget, but don't forgive; my body is still holding onto that experience. When that person or that experience triggers inside my feeling body, it is easy to impulsively react. 


I don't know about you, but I am finished living any moment of my life impulsively reactive. I want to be fully aware and responsive to every moment so I can build the relationships and the life that I desire. So, how do we release these old patterns of reaction?


Practicing meditation and being a witness to myself was the beginning for me. I notice patterns of thinking and consciously let these thoughts go by practicing the mantra of a lifetime: "Let go." *of course, using the mantra gently, not forcefully*


I am so grateful for the undeniable impact meditation has made on my life. But, I am still reacting in certain situations. What causes this split second reaction and how can I get it under control?


Inner child work first caught my attention when I learned that we react based on patterns we developed as a child, because at that time it kept us safe. The reactions and patterns I was noticing, were unhealed aspects of myself from my childhood. The little girl inside is still there and she needs to be reassured that she is safe. I am here to take care of things now.


Inner child work brings forgiveness into the forefront of the experience of healing the self. It gives us the tools to forgive ourselves for the times we felt like we did something wrong, like we were abandoned, or rejected.


We can release ourselves from these strong emotions that may still be stored in our body, our psyche and our consciousness by forgiving all parts of ourselves.


We can release ourselves from these strong emotions that are ready to bubble to the surface today as a reaction to an unresolved moment that we experienced long ago by reaching atonement in all parts of ourselves.


At first, the effects of inner child work might be subtle. The more we go inward, apply to tools of inner child work and forgive ourselves, the more we are able to relax and let our fully conscious adult self run the show. Side effects include: lightness of being, joyfulness, connectedness, and transformation of your outlook, of your life, and of your being.


When I am triggered now, my first thoughts are: "Time to go in and forgive myself. Time to go inward with the light of Atonement. Time to be alone and learn how to love myself more deeply."


For more advice on inner child work and to learn about Shamanic Rite of Passage Journeys, contact my teacher, 'Iolani Grace at


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