With winter falling behind and the warm possibilities that lie ahead in the year starting with the spring season, there are ways to make the most of your life, according to Austin-based Resonance Repatterning practitioner Mary Schneider as she shares her expertise on how to create tools for forgiveness and renewal.

Spring is here and it is an exciting time of new growth and new beginnings. Traditionally, this time of the year has been the time to clean out the old to make way for the new – spring cleaning is a tried and true activity enabling the letting go of a lot of clutter and outdated ideas. Even new romance is oftentimes referred to as something to look forward to in the spring. So, as the newness moves in, we are given the opportunity to let go of what we do not need that no longer serves us.

When we look at letting go, let us examine what this looks like on an emotional level, too. The ultimate way to let go is forgiveness. I have spent a lot of time contemplating this concept of forgiveness and to me what is most important is that everyone, no matter who they are or what they have done is worthy of forgiveness.

Since before the Dark Ages, forgiveness was a foreign, even non-existent concept in the West. At the time of Christ, the only methodology to obtain balance was eye-for-an-eye justice. Unfortunately, even today we all know what this looks like. One of the greatest contributions to mankind was the introduction of the concept of forgiveness . And, ultimately this led to the very important realization that this idea was also relevant for our relationships with ourselves. We can, and must be able, to forgive ourselves in order to be whole and happy humans.

So much is written in current literature about the process of forgiveness and much of it is really helpful. In The Energy of Money, author Maria Nemeth writes, “Forgiveness occurs when you systematically lay aside conclusions you have reached about other people and the motivations for their actions.” In my own experience, I have come to the conclusion that forgiveness is a many-layered process that happens over time. Like grief, forgiveness is a very individual process and takes whatever time it must take. We do not need to berate ourselves about not doing it right or well or within any specific time frame, as if on some kind of schedule. It actually occurs through the power of intention.

After many years of arduous and painful forgiveness work on my relationship with my parents, in deep contemplation one day I heard myself, from deep within my heart, praying for my parents to be able to forgive themselves. Before that, I had never known that particular kind of forgiveness and I realized I had reached a whole new level of the concept and a deeper experience of it.

The lesson? If we choose not to forgive, we are only hurting ourselves. To be able to access the power of forgiveness, it is helpful for us to work on our own anger and resentment. Unresolved anger and resentment block the ability to forgive. This is where we might want to seek the assistance of some therapeutic work. Unearthing and resolving deep resentment and anger can be a difficult and painful process. Resentment and anger are self-punishment and forgiveness is self-nurturance. The Spanish derivation for ‘resent’ is resentir which literally means to feel again. So, unforturnately, when we choose not to forgive, we choose to feel the original hurt again – and again – and again.

Resentment is insidious. It resides deep down inside of us and is hard to find. I always think of anger as fire and resentment as smoke – much easier to hide – and still just as potentially damaging. When we allow ourselves to heal these negative emotions, the process of forgiveness begins to happen automatically on its own accord. In this dynamic process, we wake up to new levels of forgiveness as time progresses and the benefit for us is greater presence, connection and joy in our daily lives.

So, to prosper and rejuvenate on a soulful level means to forgive and move forward to create new and much more meaningful experiences that will enhance our lives. What’s not to love about that opportunity?