Forgiving Yourself and Others

Why is it that forgiveness seems so hard?  I’ve had conversations with people the last few days and heard several of them say “It will be a long time before I can forgive them”.   Others I’ve talked to in conversation are having a hard time forgiving themselves.

Sometimes I like to research the topics I’m talking about…. and this topic is no different.  Below is some words of wisdom from Rabbi Irwin Kula:

When You Don’t Forgive…

…It’s like wearing dark sunglasses that distort everything you see. You also want everyone else to see through these glasses. Forgiveness is taking those glasses off. Not forgiving is like carrying heavy suitcases full of books through an airport. Forgiving is putting the suitcases down and walking away without them. It is lightening up. It is being able to enjoy your life, laugh again, and see the beauty in others. When you cannot forgive yourself, you cannot forgive others. When you cannot forgive others, you cannot forgive yourself. The dynamic of forgiveness is the same in both cases.

It seems to be a cycle…..  I guess that’s why it’s such an important concept to learn.  Yet we allow things to bother us to the point of telling ourselves that we are not capable of forgiving….. either ourselves or others.  We let it become a grudge.  A recent post from Mediations for Women talked about how important it is to let go of grudges.

“Holding grudges will consume your emotional energy…if you let it.”

Holding grudges uses lots of emotional energy. And, when your emotional energy is tied up in a grudge, it holds you in the past. Grudges hold energy hostage and it’s not until you forgive that your energy can be restored.

Think of forgiveness as something you do for yourself. Think of it as something that makes you stronger, not weaker.

If you’re holding grudges, let them go. Seek reconciliation if needed. If you find it hard to forgive then start with the small grudges and work your way up. The physical feeling of relief and the energy reclaimed will be well worth it.

Forgive today. It’s time to move on!

Moving on can be the hard part….. but such an important step.  Now I realize here that there are definitely situations that make the forgiveness process a hard one….. I certainly understand that.  It’s possible that someone may need some therapy sessions to work through their feelings.  But hanging onto grudges, or staying mad at yourself for a mistake you made is only wasted energy.

Dr. Wayne Dyer says:  “Forgiveness is the most powerful thing that you can do for your physiology and your spirituality, and it remains one of the least attractive things to us, largely because our egos rule so unequivocally.  To forgive is somehow associated with saying that it is all right, that we accept the evil deed. But this is not forgiveness. 

Forgiveness means that you fill yourself with love and you radiate that love outward and refuse to hang onto the venom or hatred that was engendered by the behaviors that caused the wounds.  Forgiveness is a spiritual act of love for yourself and it sends a message to everyone, including yourself, that you are an object of love and that that is what you are going to impart.”

I’m certainly not an expert here…..  I can’t give you advice on the steps to take if you are holding onto a grudge or can’t forgive yourself….. but I guarantee that if you ‘google’ it…. you’ll find all kinds of insights and wisdom out there on how to deal with it.  I do believe that it’s a necessary part of discovering our full potential.  It’s hard to discover that if you are holding onto negative energy.  

I’m grateful that I can’t think of anything in my life that I am struggling to let go of…. as far as holding a grudge.  That’s not to say that I haven’t had to deal with those things in the past, but at least if I had a grudge at some point…. I can’t remember what it is right now.  Am I perfect and never allow myself to get mad about things!  NO!  Far from it…. I don’t pretend to say I am.  It’s just that recent conversations with people have made me realize that I feel blessed in that area.  I’m sure I have things to work on….. but I honestly couldn’t think of anything that I’m so mad about that I’m still harboring feelings about it…. and I’m so grateful for that!

The process of forgiveness reminds me very much of the recent post I made on Ho’ oponopono.  I believe the mantra and philosophy apply very much to the process of forgiveness.  You can read my post from a few days ago or even google it…. you’ll find plenty of information out there on it….. but here is the basic mantra:  I’m sorry…. Please forgive me….. I Love you…… Thank you!  A process that can be applied to forgiving yourself as well as others.

I wish for you all the blessing of allowing forgiveness to free you of any negative energy you are holding onto….  whatever it may take for you to release it, I hope you do so you can move on without the burden.  Just remember what Lily Tomlin said:  “Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.”    The past won’t change!  Make it a better future!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

This is an interesting concept on you quest for forgiveness.  I know there are a lot of people out there that swear by tapping.  Never tried it myself…. but the things he says while he’s tapping make total sense!

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To Tell The Truth….

OK readers….. I have a scenario for you that I would love your opinion on.  I can’t give all the exact details here…. to protect the innocent…  but I’ll do my best to set the scene.

Let’s say you have a group of people who are working together.  In order for them to accomplish their goal, they all have to do their part and work together as a team.  In your efforts of working together, your goal is to outperform another similar group doing the same thing.  Each group has a Leader… someone who calls the shots, makes the decisions, and yet has respect for everyone in the group.  However, let’s say this Leader can made a decision that the whole group doesn’t agree with, but because he’s the Leader…. no one says anything to him, even though they strongly disagree and even feel the decision is wrong…. ethically wrong.

Now the second group of people that you are trying to outperform has never worked with you before….. doesn’t know the people in your group at all.  Never seen them as a matter of fact.  They are trying to be the best performers in this competition and let’s say they are ‘playing by the rules’.

As the end of the goal approaches that each group is working for…. and the first group seems to be closing in on the competition….  someone in the second group finds out some how that this decision made by the Leader of the first group is actually a way of ‘cheating’ to reach the goal.  When it’s brought to their attention, let’s say they go to the head of the Corporation or CEO and ‘tell’ on them.  After consideration and checking out to see if in fact what the first group was doing was cheating…..  the CEO decides the competition is over…. done with…. and whatever prize that would have been the first groups is stripped from them.

Now….. bear in mind that the Leader of the first group sincerely thought that the decision he made was in the best interest of the group and believed in his mind that the group all agreed to support it…. even though they didn’t….   but they never spoke up about it for various reasons.  Keep in mind that now the Leader of the first group is very remorseful and saddened by what just occurred.   Saddened both by the fact that he knew himself that it was a risky decision and also that they were ‘caught’ in the act and what that would mean for the group.  Up to this point, the first group of people had a good reputation amongst the other groups they competed with….. but now that reputation would appear to be tainted.

What would you do if you were a member of this first group?  Would you have stood up to the Leader and spoke your mind knowing that possibly it would affect whether you won the competition or not?  What’s more important?

I witnessed a very similar scenario today.  It wasn’t pleasant to see and it hurt several people emotionally in the process.  I think there were a lot of people in this group that were disappointed that the Leader would even consider it, knowing it was wrong and just thinking that they could possibly get away with it.  But now it’s over and done…. nothing can be done about it.  Lessons were learned….. the hard way…..  and at the expense of everyone involved…. even though they didn’t really want it.

Now comes the time to move on….. to realize that it was a mistake.  A mistake for the Leader to suggest it…. a mistake for the group members to not stand up against the decision.  It doesn’t help to point fingers and try to place blame.  All people involved were wrong to some degree.  They got what they deserved, they paid the consequences.   Now it’s time to forgive and forget.

That will be the hard part for many of them.  Forgive and forget.  Perhaps it will sink in that each of them were just as much at fault by not taking a stand.  There needs to be some forgiving of themselves too.

I’m grateful to have learned such a hard lesson today.  Though it may take some time to completely recover from the consequences…. there is always a lesson to be learned.  For each person individually.  One of the most important lessons here is to tell the truth!  Speak up when you know you should.  Refuse to be a part of something you know is wrong….. even when taking that stand could affect the rest of the group.  It’s not always easy to be the one standing for something you believe in.  But at least you can walk away feeling good about yourself!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Ho’ oponopono

I learned another new philosophy today.    I heard about it from the young gal that does my nails.  It’s called Ho’ oponopono.  Google it.

Basically, the modern version of it is that you take 100% responsibility for everything in your life.  By repeating the mantra:  “I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.  I love you and I thank you.”, its suppose to help you ‘let go and let God’.  It’s considered a cleansing process.  A process of forgiving yourself for things in your present and your past and finding what it is within you that may be causing another person to act the way they are.  It’s a very deep concept and I still have a lot to learn about the context of it.

Even though I don’t completely understand it yet….. I can see how repeating the mantra can make a difference in your state of mind.  There’s much in it that reminds me of Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth:  Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.   That’s another one that is heavy on philosophy….. but an interesting read.

This isn’t an area I can expound on.  It’s one I need to study…. but suffices to say…. I’m grateful that it was brought to my attention.  I think taking the time to be in tune with our inner self or spirit…. the real power of who we are…. can have a profound effect on our life.  Most of us are too busy just ‘existing’ without really learning what our full potential here on earth is.

My hope is that in discovering the power within me, that I’ll realize that it’s totally in line with my beliefs and religion and know that its who God wants me to become.  Life is a journey, isn’t it?

I am Grateful!  How are you?

 

 

(Update thought on 11-6-2014 — Another book that really hits this philosophy is “Feeling Buried Alive Never Die” by Karol Truman.  Worth the read if you want to pursue this thought.)

Here’s a song using the mantra.  Beautiful scenery…. calming music.