Before we begin this exercise, think back to an event in your life that has caused a wound in your soul, that is your mind, will, or emotions. You will know that an event has wounded your soul because its memory still causes you stress. Perhaps you flush with embarrassment, or you have that uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. Perhaps your blood pressure rises and you feel angry. Perhaps you still feel ashamed and want to seek isolation or self-injury.
You may think there are many memories that have this effect on you, but just choose one. You can repeat this exercise later and deal with other memories. Don’t continue until you have selected which memory you are going to focus on in this exercise.
You can repeat this exercise again and again. You should do this exercise for any and every memory that causes you emotional stress. If an event has deeply wounded you, you may need to repeat this exercise several times for the same memory. You will know that you are fully healed of the emotional wound when you can remember the event without any stressful emotion attached to it.
We will begin this prayer exercise with some deep breathing.
Take a deep breath, as deeply as possible. Hold it for a second, and then let it out. As you exhale, constrict your diaphragm push the last remaining air out of your lungs.
Again, take a deep breath, as deeply as possible. Hold it for a second, and then let it out.
As you continue to breathe deeply, imagine breathing in the grace and peace of God. As you exhale, release anxiety and stress from your mind and your body.
Continue to breathe deeply and focus on relaxing your body and stilling your mind. Be aware of your neck and shoulders, your back, your arms and hands, even your legs and feet. Tell them to relax. Release all muscle tension in your body.
As you continue to breathe deeply and rhythmically, imagine that you are alone in a dark room. It is not frightening. It is just dark.
On one wall of the room, a light appears. It is actually a movie screen. On the screen replay the event that is causing you embarrassment or shame. Allow those feelings to resurface. But this time deal with those feelings with prayerful affirmations.
If you are alone, say these aloud. If you are not, you can recite them mentally.
Say to yourself.
Even though _____________ . Here state the event, the memory of which is causing you stress. God loves me just the way I am.
Even though _____________ . Repeat the event. God forgives me just the way I am.
Even though _____________ .God accepts me just the way I am.
Even though _____________ .I love myself just the way I am.
Even though _____________ .I forgive myself just the way I am.
Even though _____________ .I accept myself just the way I am.
And, if this even involved abuse by another person:
As God has forgiven me, so I forgive ______ (State the name of the individual or group who abused, mistreated, or wronged you.)
for ________ (The act of abuse or mistreatment)
and put them into the hands of God for their salvation and transformation.
Again, take a deep breath. Pay attention to your body and notice if any muscle groups tightened during the exercise. Be aware of your neck and shoulders, your back, your arms and hands, even your legs and feet. Tell them to relax. Release all muscle tension in your body.
Again, breathe in God’s grace and peace. Allow the Holy Spirit to minister healing to your soul.
The movie screen has now gone dark. But you notice that the whole room is growing brighter. You look for the source of the light and realize that it is you. As the light of God dispels darkness and brings healing to your wounded soul, you become the light that illumines the world around you.