To transcend limitations and form positive new patterns of life based on who you know you can be rather than who you were yesterday, you must give up the modes of thinking, feeling and behaving that only keep you chained to your past . Although you may have felt at a loss as to how to make this liberating shift, you've been holding the key all along: It is forgiveness—your next agent of change. Releasing the invisible ties to those who have left you, betrayed you, disappointed you or hurt you, you open up to higher realms of love, peace and joy. Without forgiving them and cutting the cords of resentment, you continue to be imprisoned by the very people you've spent years (or a lifetime) trying to get away from and you are bound to the incidents that caused the resentment in the first place. And because the outer world is a steadfast reflection of your inner world, these resentment and grudges ensure that you re-create situations that spark the same bad feelings you want to escape from. Resentments and grudges are two of the main culprits that perpetuate cycles of self-abuse and victimhood. Stowed away inside you like parasites, they deplete you of your God-given life force and separate you from your inherent worth, your joy and the love in your heart.

Today I want to ignite the fire in you to fight for your freedom, to fight your way out of the prison of the toxic beliefs and emotions that keep you exiled from your own heart. As you say goodbye to lingering disappointments and unattended grief, you will discover that every person, situation and painful incident comes bearing gifts. Free of the pain that has caused you to react instead of act, to shut down instead of open up, to push away rather than allow in and to judge instead of love, you can begin your life anew.

As the gifts are often hidden from you until you take the courageous step into forgiveness, you are about to discover that Day 4 of the consciousness cleanse is a turning point in the process.

Cleansing Ritual

Write a letter expressing all the pain and grief you've been holding on to and then in your letter, ask your highest self for release from the prison of your resentments, grudges and disappointments.

Soulful Action

Your Outer Goal: What could you do today to forgive? What is one action you could take in the outer world today that will bring you closer to your goal? Schedule a time to take that action.

Your Inner Goal: What action could you take or what thought could you think to evoke the feeling you identified on Day 1 of the cleanse?

Soul Food: Forgiveness is my ticket to freedom.

Debbie Ford is the national best - selling author of The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, The Secret of the Shadow, Spiritual Divorce, The Right Questions, The Best Year of Your Life and Why Good People Do Bad Things. Her new book is The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse (Harper Collins) . She conducts workshops across the country. She lives in California with her family.

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