A Mouse's Tale

Random scurryings of a writer.

DailyGood: Is It Time to Forgive?, by Gail Brenner

DailyGood: Is It Time to Forgive?, by Gail Brenner.

<i>I’ve copied a good part of the article here, as I think it’s important information that all of us can use.</i>

Forgiveness is a process

+ Forgiveness happens in its own time. It is never too early, or too late, to let go. When the time is right for you, adopt an attitude of tough love: be tender and compassionate, but don’t let yourself off the hook. Stay committed and on track, even if it’s challenging, until you feel at peace.

+ First, identify your experience of the grudge. What are your thoughts…feelings…physical sensations? What is the texture of your experience? Close your eyes and see. Grudges often make you feel flat, dense, dark, and heavy. You are likely to have been thinking about the situation in exactly the same way for a very long time. You know the story by heart. Crack open to the possibility of discovering something new about it that has the potential to release you from suffering.

+ Experience the feelings directly. Without justifying them by repeating the story of what happened, simply welcome the sensations in love and acceptance. Let things be as they are, even if they are intense or fiery. Meeting the feelings directly will eventually help to soften them.

+ You might notice a part of you that shouts a resounding, “No!” to this process. Maybe you continue to blame someone, legitimize your right to feel the way you do, or avoid the whole thing altogether. These are all ways of keeping your grudge intact. Offer a loving, “Yes” to even these experiences by accepting the underlying pain that energizes them. Be so kind to these tender places in you.

+ Now consider the impact that holding on to this story has on you. How is it serving you? What aspects of your life have been affected? Imagine, just for a moment, that you were not putting your energy and attention into this story. How would you and your life be different? Realize that the past is over, but that you are keeping it alive in your mind and body. Who is most impacted by perpetuating this story?

+ Acknowledge the core belief that keeps the story running – it shouldn’t have happened, it should have been different. Sustaining this belief abdicates your power to something you cannot control, which is what others think, say, or do. Give up blaming, and don’t wait for history to change or for the offender to apologize. Cease living in, “If only that hadn’t happened.” You are putting off your own life. Things happen as they happen – let go of expectations of others, for your own sake. —

+ Bring your attention inside, and ask yourself what you need, then be creative so that your need is fulfilled. If you need to express yourself to someone, do so in a letter you will never mail. Or ask a trusted friend to sit with you, imagining he or she is the person you desire to speak to. You can even use an empty chair. Say what needs to be said, then put it to rest. If you feel you need love, treat yourself like royalty, then pass it on to someone who needs it more than you. Do whatever it takes so that you can let go of the ball and chain you are dragging around.



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