12-6-14 Forgiveness

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Generally, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, more positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act.
Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.

Why is it so easy to hold a grudge?
When you’re hurt by someone you love and trust, you might become angry, sad or confused.
If you dwell on hurtful events or situations, grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and
hostility can take root. If you allow negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. You then are coming from, acting from a place of resentment, fear and anger, and you can not help hurting others and yourself. You bring anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience.

How do I reach a state of forgiveness?
Move away from your role as victim and release the control and power the offending person and
situation have had in your life.
As you let go of grudges, you’ll no longer define your life by how you’ve been hurt. You might even find compassion and understanding. Mayo Clinic

Importantly, self-forgiveness need not be all-or-nothing. It’s a slow process that may never result in a full release of negative feelings or an exclusively rosy view of oneself. Rather than being a form of self-indulgence, healthy self-forgiveness might be better seen as an act of humility, an honest acknowledgment of our capacity for causing harm as well as our potential for doing good, that we all possess.

In a few instances someone may purposefully injure another. In most instances a perceived wrong, or the reason you have a resentment, is because another acted in a way you did not agree with, though they were doing what they thought was best. Your pride, your ego is what has been offended. If you can forgive them, then you deserve to be free of this evil, and you will be free.

If you try to reach inside of your heart you can find forgiveness, or at least the start,
And from that place where you can forgive is where Hope, and Love, also thrive and live.
And with each step that you try to take and with that chance that your heart might break,
comes so much happiness, and so much strength which alone can carry you a fantastic length.
For hate and anger will not get you there. Barry S. Maltese

“Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” ~Jean Paul Sartre

Realize that lack of forgiveness is rooted in a lack of boundaries.
This is the moment of choice: Are you going to decide that you won’t tolerate XYZ behavior.
The moment that you decide that you won’t tolerate the behaviors that lead you not to
forgive is the moment that things shift. The boundry of never denying forgiveness.
If your boss routinely puts you down, you don’t tell her off and that’s your “power.”
Rather, you decide that you won’t tolerate the put downs, you come up with a plan for how you’re going to handle it when they arise, and then you actually assert that boundary, while looking at her with pure love because you know that her put downs are causing her suffering.
To be above the fray, to give the situation space and not participate in furthing harm, is a choice we can continue to work with. Be aware, take a breath, do not engage.
When humans are unkind to one another, they’re not so very different than you. Many of us are just using different language and wearing nicer clothes.

Buddhists believe that to not forgive gives rise to suffering. It is taught that those who cannot let go of a real or imagined wrong against them are unable to free themselves from hate and that they will suffer because of this. Hatred can in turn lead to more widespread suffering, and in turn, more hatred. How can we feel compassion and love while we hold hatred in our hearts?

To forgive is to be compassionate. We need to recognize that all people are trying to be happy, sometimes in rather unskilled ways that can injure others, as we have probably done.
We need to feel compassion and forgiveness for ourselves and others, to know the suffering, to contemplate and feel it until it is unbearable, so that it shatters us a bit. To be able to touch into a higher level of awareness and openness that is raw and all encompassing.

Ever notice how we have to BLAME someone for almost everything. It is dark, hurtful and
disconnects us. It is a very old habit difficult to address, but one we can work with everyday.
There is a Buddhist saying – “Drive all blames into one” – yourself, take responsibility.
Then – Drop all blame. An amazing openness and connection is then possible.

To work directly with forgiveness in meditation –
Sit in Shamatha for a few minutes.
Touch –  the feeling of the tension, regret or resentment, the feeling it illicites in heart and/or body, where the feeling is. Let the story line go, just the feeling.
Positive Remorse – not guilt, but broken hearted quality that suffering has been caused.
No blame to self or other, just an acknowledgement of suffering occuring.
Vow – to not do it again, and to never give up (if /when you do it again).
Sit Shamatha.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site –

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