Saturday, November 14, 2009

Forgiveness Coming Right Up!

First off, a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who sent in their thoughts on forgiveness--and their practical methods for finding that spot inside their soul. I'm going to lightly edit the responses and publish them over the next few weeks. I am insanely grateful to all of you! Also: The blog will be short on pictures for the next few days. Please forgive me for not entertaining your eyes!
First up, this comment from Therese:
Let me start off by saying the WORST kind of hurt, hardest to forgive, is when someone hurts someone I love.
This is what I do and it works every time. It's just harder than hell. I do it because I don't want those hooks in my brain.
1. I make a list of everything I want, at real depth. Like, "Respect from the people I work with, a sense of competence, deep and abiding love from my family, financial security, joy and flow in my daily life, etc."
2. Then I pray for them to have ALL OF IT...that's right, for the person I'm angry with to have all the stuff I want for myself.
I don't have to mean this. I just have to do it. And if I do it every day for two weeks, something in me shifts and I begin to see their wounds and griefs, and compassion overwhelms my anger. And then, if and when I have to see them again, I'm WAY different. So they can't help but be different too, or at least be uncomfortable. (The latter fulfills the biblical observation that if I treat my enemies with love it's like heaping burning coals on them! But the trick is, the burning coal bit can't be my PRIMARY goal--just forgiveness).
Thanks, Therese! I love this idea. It reminds me of that Buddhist practice where you pray for yourself, then for someone you love, then for someone you can't stand or are angry with, then for the whole Universe. Anyway, here I go to make my list of all the things I want at a soul level...and then I'm going to turn it around and aim it at the person I am (unfortunately) still ticked off at. 
I'm thinking that if you're not a praying type of person, you could substitute the following: "I wish for (stupid jerk) to have deep and abiding love from her family. I wish for (stupid jerk) to have joy and flow in her daily life. I wish for..." You get the idea. If I were to do this, I would find a quiet moment, take a few deep breaths, and recite the list three times. Once a day. Two weeks. Then check in with yourself.

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