“Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past.” I found the statement in The Forgiveness Project in the story of Marian Partington Marian’s sister was a victim of rape, torture, and murder. If Marian Partington can find a way to forgive those who inflicted such horrific atrocities upon her sister, then how can I not follow suit when the grudges I have held pale in comparison? Marian’s story is one of hundreds; stories of war, terrorist acts, loss of loved ones, all huge by comparison to the ego feeding litany of “me and my story.”
I’ve been working on this forgiveness issue, seemingly for a long time, but in truth probably only a few months. Initially, I thought it somehow was not necessary, gave permission to those who had committed such awful grievances against me as not giving me the “recognition” I deserved to come back for a repeat performance, and completely impossible. Every single solitary time I pick up a book about how to be more in the moment, how to make the earth a better place, how to be healthier, the recurring theme is that I will find happiness when I forgive. That goes double for forgiving myself for all those stupid decisions I made in those black abyss of depression days. You know, the ones that go like this: “what was I thinking when I bought that?”
It seems that I’ve been going at it from an obtuse angle. I don’t have to know HOW to forgive, I only need to be open to learning how, and the Universe will supply the rest.I’ve gotten it, at least partially, and am now looking back on the not too distant past, at a situation where I was so utterly convinced I was the one being wronged – and indeed, I was making a major contribution to the problem. I kept it alive every time I talked to my friends about it, rather than going to the source and working things out like an adult.
Louise Hay’s 64 card Wisdom deck contains these messages:
· I release all old hurts and forgive everyone, including myself. I can never get even. Reveng3e does not work, because what I give out comes back at me. The buck has to stop somewhere.
· Guilt never makes anyone feel better, nor does it change a situation. I now stop feeling guilty. I let myself out of that prison. I forgive myself for any wrongdoing.
· I do not have to know how to forgive. All I have to do is be willing to forgive. The Universe will take care of the how. I forgive all past experiences.
In Zen, I learn – Forgive yourself and everyone around you. When you judge others, YOU are the one who feels pain. Through forgiveness, all pain disappears.
Shakti Gawain’s Creative Visualization – page 119 contains the following affirmations: I now forgive and release EVERYONE in my life. We are all happy and free. I now let go of all accumulated guilt. fears, resentment, disappointments, and grudges. I am free and clear!
She goes on to suggest writing down on a piece of paper the names of everyone in my life who I feel has ever mistreated me, harmed me, done me any injustice, or toward whom I feel resentment, hurt or anger. Next to the names, write down what they did to me, or what I resent them for. Then, close my eyes, relax, and one by one visualize or imagine each person. Hold a conversation with each one, and explain to him or her that in the past I have felt anger or hurt toward them, but that now I am going to do my best to forgive them for everything, and to dissolve and release all constricted energy between us. Give them a blessing and say “ I forgive you and release you. Go your own way and be happy.” When I’ve finished this process, write on my paper “I now forgive you and release you all” and throw it away, as a symbol that I am letting go of those past experiences.
She continues with the ideas that the process of forgiveness is miraculous in relieving people of their long standing burdens of accumulated resentments and hostility. The wonderful thing is that those who are named, even if I never see them again, will on a psychic level pick up my forgiveness and it will help to clear up their lives as well.
Sounds like a good idea to me! I’m off to create my list. Think instead of tossing it in the trash I’ll ritually burn it. Let all that resentment go up in smoke and ashes, where it belongs.