Think of someone you find difficult to deal with or forgive. Be aware of your inner experience when you think of this person. Notice how you feel inside. Now ask yourself, "Do I like feeling this way? Do I want to experience freedom from this constriction, pain, anger, or fear that I am carrying?"

Remind yourself that you deserve happiness and freedom from suffering, because that is God's Will for you. You may need to take that on faith right now, but be willing to do that, just for this moment.

Say in your mind, "I am entitled to healing and release from this fear and pain, because that is God's Will for me. I am willing to receive that healing." And now make a clear choice — inwardly take a stand — for your own freedom, for your own healing. Take a deep breath, and feel the sense of inner strength that comes from aligning your own will with the Will of God for you.

And recognize that this difficult person in your life is, in some sense, offering you the gift of self-healing — the gift of remembering your real inner strength and spiritual magnitude, the gift of reconnecting with your wholeness, your love, your true Self.

Notice any resistance that comes up inside you to recognizing and receiving that gift. Don't judge the resistance or fight it. Simply breathe and make space for it. Any resistance you feel is simply your ego's fear of healing. It is asking for your acceptance and love, so be merciful toward yourself. Be kind and spacious toward these feelings within you.

And now offer up this prayer for healing:

Beloved Holy Spirit, Spirit of wisdom and love within me, I offer You my relationship with _________ for guidance, inspiration, and healing. I give You all my thoughts, all my judgments, all my perceptions of myself and of _________. I give You all the pain from my past, I give You any investment I have in reliving the past, I give You any attachment I have to being right. Release me from everything within my mind that would keep me bound to limitation, suffering, forgetfulness, and fear. I want to be free. I want to experience my wholeness and my innocence. I do not know the way to healing, but I trust that You do, and so I place my hand in Yours and let You lead me. Please direct my thoughts and guide my vision. Help me to see in this brother or sister only what You would have me see. Help me to see in myself only what You would have me see. Show me the way to healing and to peace. Thank You very much. Amen.

Diane Berke in Prayers for Hope and Comfort: Reflections, Meditations, and Inspirations by Maggie Oman Shannon