fForgiveness - In Al-Anon this is one of the tools we use to help us. Sounds strange doesn't it? "To help us."
A Simple, Effective, Powerful Tool
Forgiveness. A powerful tool that if used properly can fill you with abundance, joy and peace. You see, forgiveness is the opposite of resentment. Forgiveness allows us to release the anger and the trespasses that we feel people have made against us.
Hanging on to the anger, the feeling that we have been trespassed is another powerful addiction. As soon as we hang onto one feeling of anger and allow it to reside within our bodies, we soon find another person's actions or words have harmed us. And we allow it to reside there too. This action becomes easier for us each time. Soon it becomes a habit.
Sow a thought; reap an action.
Sow an action; reap a habit.
Sow a habit; reap a character.
Sow a character; reap a destiny.
A Sack of Poison
Soon we are carrying this sack full of poison within us - despising our so called "enemies" for what they have done that has "harmed us." The problem with this is our little sack of poison starts to leak. It leaks into other relationships. It make us see the world with distrusting eyes. And soon, we begin to see actions that just "are," as actions meant to harm us.
The resentment poisons our bodies. It causes other illnesses. It causes our blood pressure to go up. It causes us to be anxious, stressful and tense most of the time. We become frightened and fear what others "may" say to us. Or we may fear what others will say about us to someone else.
Give up resentments this morning. Practice forgiving and forgiveness's. Let the past bury the past - and let the dead bury the dead, as they say. What happened in the past is the past. Not a thing you can do to change it.
Wipe the Slate Clean
Today, decide to wipe the slate clean of all past grievances. Say, "I give up and release everyone and anything that I felt hurt me." See the picture of a slate or chalk board in your mind, with all those grievances written on the board. And then, one by one, give them up by erasing them, saying, "I release everyone and anything that I felt has hurt me. I let go of the past, and what cannot be undone and I look to today, at what can be done."
Actions to Get Rid of Harder Past Grievances
If you have a grievance that you cannot just let go, here are three actions that I think can help;
- Go to the other person and let them know you were hurt. And tell them, that you harbored anger toward them. And that you love them just them same and you have let go of the anger (or trespass.)
- Write a letter saying how you were hurt and how you harbored the hurt/anger. And how you are releasing it. You can write it and decide whether to mail it.
- You can write these on a piece of paper. Go to the backyard and put a match to it. As it burns, watch it burn away and symbolically, feel your resentment dissipate.
You don't have to tell anyone who you are doing this for and in fact shouldn't. It loses it power AND your telling other why you are doing this, is another form of our "disease" of needing to justify our actions and get validation/approval from others. But this is the another topic!
Knowing the reactions going into forgiving, may allow you to see and understand that you are not doing this for them.
Just for You
Forgiveness, if you like, is a purely selfish act (by the way, selfish is OK in this case!). It is for you, the forgiver. It is not for the other person. When you let go and release, you will feel better and closer to your God or your Higher Power.