Monday, April 9, 2007

Today's Inspiration: Forgiveness

I've been working on forgiveness, and "letting go" lately, so this article on Care2 really hit home with me. I know that by doing this I will become a stronger, happier, more loving person, it does me no good to harbor anger and resentment. Anger and bitterness is so terribly draining, and the more I let go the more energy I have for more important things in life such as loving my family & friends. I don't have to keep the "offending" person in my life anymore, I can choose not to spend time with those who have hurt me deeply and with whom I've decided to part ways, but I need to do so with a peaceful, loving heart.

Move from Blame to Forgiveness

Adapted from Becoming the Kind Father, by Calvin Sandborn (New Society Publishers, 2007).

Shakespeare had it right. In ways both big and small, the failure to forgive kills love and murders beauty. An unforgiving attitude makes life far less loving and beautiful than it could be. Move from blame to forgiveness, and here’s how:

It is much more satisfying to experience your feelings than to blame them on somebody else. You can move through your feelings--even bad ones--to real connection with yourself and others. And because of this you can learn to:

1. become a good friend and a Kind Father (or mother) to myself;
2. give myself encouragement and support, instead of habitual criticism;
3. pay attention to my feelings and identify what it is that I’m feeling;
4. experience my feelings fully, mourning fully;
5. share my heart experience with others and experience the connection of listening to their experience.

Learning to do this will help you become more forgiving. You don’t have to get angry and blame others to escape your feelings--because now you’ll welcome your feelings. In short, establishing a relationship with yourself will help free you from the blaming lifestyle.

The dictionary defines forgiveness: “To stop feeling angry or resentful towards someone for an offence, flaw or mistake.”

Experts tell us that forgiveness is:
1. Letting go of a negative attachment to the past.
2. Letting go of the intense emotions tied to the past event--recognizing I no longer need to hold onto grudges, resentments, hatred and self pity.
3. Recognizing people are different, want and need different things and sometimes hurt each other.
4. No longer blaming the other person for my feelings.
5. No longer wanting to punish, realizing that punishing another will not heal me.
6. Moving on. Freeing my energy, and putting it to better use.

Copyright: Adapted from Becoming the Kind Father, by Calvin Sandborn (New Society Publishers, 2007). Copyright (c) 2007 by Calvin Sandborn. Reprinted by permission of New Society Publishers.


Mother of Invention said...

All this is true but it is difficult in some situations. Time erases a lot of the negative feelings since after awhile it just no longer changes our lives or matters. It doesn't mean you totally forget it, or think that what the person did was right, but that you're letting go of anger and hurt....and not letting those things affect or take away from what you think of yourself.

Anonymous said...

Forgiveness is such a journey, isn't it? Mother of Invention has some sage wisdom she's giving you. I've learned those lessons as well - doesn't mean it was okay or that I wasn't hurt - just means I'm tired of it clogging my heart.

Forgiveness, for me, is almost always more about myself than the other person. Many times they don't even know or recognize their actions. It's a way to free myself from the chains of hurt and bitterness.

I'm proud of you for continuing on this journey.

Rapunzel said...

Mother of Invention, absolutely true, especially the part about "what I think of myself." I don't want to give anyone that much power.

Thank you, Grace, for traveling on this journey with me!