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Reiki to Facilitate Forgiveness

Forgiveness is one of the best healing practices that we can offer to others—and to ourselves. According to Louise Hay in her book You Can Heal Your Life, “We may not know how to forgive, and we may not want to forgive, but the very fact that we say we are willing to forgive begins the healing process.” The Course in Miracles states, “Whenever we are ill, we need to look around to see who it is that we need to forgive.”

Most people probably have someone that they have not yet fully forgiven. The ability to interact online with potentially thousands of people increases the likelihood that at some point we will experience something hurtful—physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually—that leads to anger and resentment. The harder it is for us to forgive, the more likely such feelings will bleed through into our day-to-day interactions and create additional disharmony. Living life through such a filter causes us to miss out on the peace and joy available to us.

Another consequence of hurtful interactions is that we might internalize the resulting feelings into self-doubt and become convinced that something in us is lacking. In order to clear our vision and see our own goodness, our authentic self, we must love ourselves for what we do well and forgive ourselves for what we don’t. Each of us is a work in progress.

Forgiveness—whether of ourselves or others—is very different than condoning or excusing hurtful behaviors; rather, it is recognizing those behaviors while simultaneously making a conscious decision to not carry that baggage with us. Sometimes we may find it difficult to forgive something that affected us deeply. However, we must remember that when we have done something to hurt another person, the first thing we hope for is their forgiveness. True forgiveness is to release all guilt, anger and resentment; it requires us to have a shift in perception. We release the mental arguments over who is right and who is wrong, and we do not expect the recipient to repay us in any way. Instead, we wish the best for those who have hurt us, and if they have done extremely hurtful or destructive things, then we pray that they get the help they need to turn their own life around.

Reiki, which means “universal energy”, can aid one’s intention to reach forgiveness. It is the laying on of hands in order to balance and release energy in the body, addressing both physical and emotional imbalances. Clients can set an intention such as forgiveness for their session. The healing energy of reiki can work on the heavy and stuck energies in the body, beginning the release of old, built-up layers of resentment and pain.

Many people find a reiki session to be relaxing and peaceful. Similar to massage, it begins with a client lying on a massage table in a room with dim lights and relaxing music, though the client is fully clothed with the exception of shoes. The practitioner will lightly place their hands on different parts of the body to direct the flow of energy. Immediately following a treatment the client may notice a sense of peace and well being, deep relaxation and calm throughout the body, as well as a reduction in pain and stress.

Reiki is growing in popularity as people are seeking out complementary therapies for their health. A 2014 article by Green Lotus posted on stated, “Today, reiki education is offered free of charge in more than 800 American Hospitals as a means to accelerate the healing process and to alleviate pain,” and noted that many hospitals are increasingly providing reiki services, prompted by the demand of their patients.

Reiki can also be used in combination with therapy or life coaching. This allows the client to talk through resentments and anger and then release those feelings at an energetic level, opening the path to forgiveness—the greatest gift that we can ever give, to ourselves or others. It opens the door to compassion, understanding, faith and hope. It allows us to create peace within ourselves, and in turn with all others that we encounter. Forgiving may not be easy, but it is a choice we make in order to live our own best life.

Cindy Carlson is a reiki energy healer with an office in Whitefish Bay. For those who feel emotionally stuck or simply wish to experience the relaxation of reiki, they may contact her at or visit

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