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Question: "A psychic friend told me that my mother was not my earthly mother. She passed away 14 months ago and she was very angry with me when she died. I'm finding it very hard to forgive her hurtful comments. Her younger sister will not talk to me. How can I overcome this?"

Psychic Advice:
Seeking forgiveness with the deceased can be very challenging for many reasons. Forgiveness itself can be difficult as it causes us to face our pain, hurt, anger, disappointment, and a whole host of other emotions. When you add to this the painful emotions of dealing with death, especially when there are unresolved issues, seeking forgiveness with the deceased can seem to be overwhelming.

Lack of forgiveness locks you into the pain of the past, and keeps you a prisoner of it. Whenever we have traumatic or extremely painful experiences, we leave a piece of ourselves behind - essentially, a fragment of our soul gets stuck in that moment, and keeps reliving that painful experience as a perpetual now. This is why these painful experiences tend to keep surfacing in our memory, because we are actually living and reliving them over and over again in the present moment. Forgiveness is the only way to free yourself from this eternal prison.

Some people don't want to forgive others because they believe that they would be letting the other person get away with their actions, or that forgiveness is akin to condoning their behavior, but this is not true, these are forgiveness misconceptions. Every person must live with the consequences that arise from their choices and actions, and these consequences follow them throughout this life, and into other lifetimes in the form of karma. Essentially, they are haunted by their own actions until they make amends in some way to restore balance and harmony. Karma ensures that each soul experiences the positive or negative repercussions of their positive or negative actions at one time or another.

Forgiveness and self-forgiveness are the keys to breaking the bonds of karma. When something is unhealed or unresolved with another person, it creates a karmic bond that ties you to that person until the issue is somehow healed, resolved or released. This karmic bond can be perpetuated through many lifetimes, causing both parties to incarnate together and play different roles for each other until the karmic energy is released between them. Forgiveness frees you from this karmic bond.

When most souls pass to the Other Side, they can see the larger picture, and rarely hold onto anger or judgment. The deceased often seek forgiveness or resolution so everyone can rest in peace, but forgiveness can be more difficult for both parties to achieve once one has passed beyond this life. Although it may be easier to have resolution with those who are living, it is absolutely possible to seek forgiveness with those who are "no longer with us", because in fact, they remain with us in spirit until such resolution occurs.

We incarnate together for different reasons: we either incarnate with members of our soul group and play different roles for each other to support the growth and evolution of our collective and individual souls, or we incarnate with those with whom we have unfinished business in the form of karmic bonds in order to seek resolution. When your psychic friend told you that your mother was not your earthly mother, this partly refers to your relationship with your mother being the result of an unresolved karmic bond from another lifetime, rather than the two of your being part of each other's soul group or soul family. So this karmic issue will continue to bond you to this soul who was your mother lifetime after lifetime until you are willing to forgive and release her. Your mother's sister may also be part of this karmic bond, rather than being a supportive member of your soul family, so you must also find a way to forgive and release your aunt for not being there for you with the love and support that you need and deserve.

The way to overcome this issue is to rise above it. Each unforgiven hurt is like a sandbag that holds you down, brings you down, and slows you down. You carry it with you at all times, bearing the burden and the pain that comes with it, and it affects everything you do. You drag the unhealed pain of your past behind you, and it literally is a drag on your life that affects your happiness, your wellbeing, your success, your relationships, your health, etc. Holding onto pain, hurt, anger and grievances can affect you for the rest of your life, until you are willing to forgive and let them go.

You may be completely justified in your feelings, and no one is saying that you don't have the right to have them, but as my own deceased mother used to say, "Would you rather be right or happy?".  Righteousness does not guarantee happiness, but forgiveness does bring peace. Some people feel so justified in holding onto the pain of injustice they suffered, that it causes them to suffer for the rest of their lives. Somehow they believe that this punishes the person who caused their suffering, but really, it only continues to perpetuate their own suffering and punishment. This only serves as martyrdom, but suffering does not allow happiness, nor does it serve justice. Ultimately, for those who seek some form of retribution or restitution, keep in mind the saying that "living well is the best revenge", because it breaks the chain of pain and suffering.

When someone hurts you, you continue to give them your power unless you forgive them. Every time you think of them or the pain they caused you, you leak power and give power to them, whether they are physically with you or not. You continue to give them a piece of yourself, and you continue to lose those pieces of yourself and to lose your power, which only makes you weaker and more vulnerable, which makes you suffer more pain and depression. The only way to break this chain that binds you is to forgive them and take your power back.

God helps you to forgive others, because forgiveness brings peace to one and all. There are steps that can assist you to forgive:

1) Try to understand what made the person behave the way they did.
Anger often masks fear or sadness, because it is easier to feel more control when directing anger, while fear and sadness can make a person feel vulnerable and helpless. Get a sense of what was going on for your mother that caused her to be so angry and to say hurtful things. Sometimes this can be a cycle or chain of abusive behavior that is passed from generation to generation, or from one person to another until someone breaks the chain through forgiveness. Try to look at the situation from above so you get a higher perspective.
2) Once you understand what caused their behavior, allow yourself to feel compassion for them.
No one is perfect, and very few people really seek to inflict harm and suffering on others. Those who lash out in anger are often in pain themselves. They often lash out at those they love because they believe that they will forgive them. Self-talk for forgiveness involves reminding yourself that they are human and flawed, and not to take it personally.
3) Compassion allows pain to transform into divine love, which is forgiveness.
If you can let go of taking these attacks personally and allow yourself to feel compassion for your mother, you will release the pain and transform it. This breaks the cycle of perpetual pain, and breaks the karmic bond. Forgiveness releases you from the past. You do not have to love her personally, but you can ask for help to be able to love her divinely and unconditionally.
4) Embrace the gifts you received from the experience.
Forgiveness allows the wound to heal, but in order to reclaim your power and the pieces of yourself that you left behind, you must receive the gifts and lessons from the experience. What have you learned through this? Has it made you stronger, more independent, etc.? What positives have you gained? What have you discovered about yourself?
5) Once you embrace the positives, allow yourself to feel gratitude.
Gratitude for the experience, and gratitude toward your mother, will allow you to fully reclaim your power, so that you can be whole once again and empowered for the present and the future.

Some people wonder if it is easier to forgive than heal, but forgiveness allows healing to occur, and healing cannot really occur without forgiveness. Hurtful comments from those we love can cut us very deeply (and the pain can last a lifetime if we allow it to), especially when it comes from someone whose opinions really matter to us, like our parents. There are reasons why we have a hard time forgiving our parents, because we believe that our parents are supposed to love and support us, but really, it is often our mission and purpose in this life to teach our parents how to love, because they cannot give what they do not have, and they cannot teach what they do not know. Teach your family what love is by forgiving your mother and your aunt - but in the case of your aunt, it is okay not talking again to the people you forgive, if you choose not to.

It is important to remember how forgiveness can affect your health, because emotional pain causes energy blocks in the body that can cause diseases of all kinds, especially cancers and issues related to the heart and lungs. The lungs hold energies of sadness and grief, while the vascular system is affected by anger, and the heart is affected by disappointment and the pain of betrayal. Forgiveness frees and releases this energy so that health, vitality and wellbeing can be restored and allow life to flow with joy and prosperity. As long as you do not forgive, you will be in emotional pain; the longer you remain in this emotional pain, the more it is likely to develop into physical pain in some form.

There are many rewards for forgiveness, and people who choose not to forgive and forget only remain locked in pain and suffering. You may not be able to forget, but that is not necessary for forgiveness - forgiveness heals the wound so you can live a happy and healthy life, but some wounds can leave scars as reminders.  Even so, forgiveness makes it ok to move on with your life.

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