Are you still interested in further deepening your understanding of forgiveness and how to do it? In the past weeks we have explored some common misunderstandings around forgiveness and looked at why it is important and in our own best interest to forgive.
Last week, we talked about exercising our forgiveness muscles with 'All Day Forgiveness’ with the small hurts and annoyances. I had a great opportunity to practice forgiveness today. I received a ‘hurry up’ toot (or should I say blast) at the lights this morning. Fortunately, I remembered it was in my own best interest to apologise and forgive and I played the "I am sorry, I forgive you", thought track and smiled. No built up annoyance, or disturbed peace of mind. Yay. :)
In this blog we will continue to deepen our understanding of forgiveness and also look at apologising to others. Next blogs we will look more deeply into what may be under our hurt, particularly with those we are closest too and forgiveness of ourselves too.
Beware of bypassing feelings - We can't heal until we feel!
As we have discussed, we all have a tendency to bypass negative emotions. This is not helpful and certainly not what we are doing when we are forgiving. We cannot heal until we feel; we need to feel the hurt to be able to forgive.
Forgiveness is not about ………..
As I have said many times, something that helps me avoid this bypassing of feelings is to ….
I have found it so helpful to understand that under my anger and hurt at being tooted at was - you don't respect me! When I feel this lack of respect (or it could be lack of appreciation, love or being listened to, supported or approved of) my habitual reaction can be to disconnect from that person with blame and criticise back - "stupid impatient woman, I am doing nothing wrong, how dare she!' outrage. This of course is never helpful and creates more separation and hurt.
What is more helpful, is to understand this, and that all of the separation we feel would be healed if we did not disconnect and instead remain connected and forgive. We can also do the same, unhelpful 'disconnection thing', to ourselves. We can be that hard, critical unforgiving task master instead of a kind encouraging friend to ourselves too.
Practicing with the ‘All day Forgiveness’ helps remind me not to disconnect, with others or myself, to be kind and to apologise and forgive.
Forgiveness opens the heart, to find connection again. It is a way of releasing the hurt and bringing love, happiness and connection back into life.
Forgiveness does not mean......
Thich Nhat Hanh says – “When another person makes you suffer it is because they suffer deeply within himself or herself. And his or her suffering is spilling over. He or she does not need punishment; he or she needs help – that is the message he or she is sending by hurting you. So have compassion for them. That is the human response to someone who is hurting and therefore needing to hurt others.”
Happy people do not hurt others. Unhappy people hurt others and themselves. I know, when I am happy I am not interested in hurting others, but when I am unhappy and needy I can lash out, at others. We are all the same, in this regard – so we need to remember to have compassion for ourselves and for others. We are all doing our best, with what we know at the time.
Apologizing to others
If we can humble ourselves and apologise to others, when we have done something we are not happy about, we are more likely to be able to humble ourselves to be able to forgive.
A lot of our inability to forgive comes from pride or judgment – 'how dare you do that to me'. As could have been me, with the toot. Maybe I did take too long at the green arrow or maybe she had some where to be urgently. I don't know! But, what I do know is me getting upset with blame and criticism is never going to help. Instead apologising and forgiving is much better for my peace of mind. Again we can start by, apologising for the small hurts and practice this with everyday misdeeds.
If we feel it is appropriate and helpful we can apologise face to face to people.
There are lots of reasons it is in our self- interest to forgive and to apologise too. We need to be aware and bring the strength of logic and compassion to help us remember to do so. Maybe you are fired up to keep going with forgiving the small everyday things and also to be mindful of appropriate apologising. Maybe also you would like to join me with the January, Buy Used and Repair. Remember to do your best to do so with kindness and compassion for all (including you). .
Love Maree xx