Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Tips for extending forgiveness
By: Marissa Anteby
Letting go of anger, pain, sadness, etc. enables you to transcend the limiting confines of these emotions and free yourself to awaken more positive sides of your identity.
What benefit does holding on to hurt feelings provide you? Your rational self may be quick to answer, "Nothing." However, somewhere inside, there's a longing, a magnetizing force, that doesn't want to release the ache. You may work towards forgiveness, yet that tiny part of you, works in polarity, reeking havoc on your attempts for peace. It won't loosen it's hold until you replace your subliminal desire for turmoil with an outright drive for happiness.
By making a conscious decision to lighten the grip of resentment or revenge, and reclaiming your inner joy, you are that much closer to experiencing compassion, kindness, and empathy for yourself and others. Instead of squelching your feelings, recognize them, air them out, then let them dissipate. (Don't use this an an excuse to vent to others. Have a private conversation with yourself!)
Holding a grudge and harboring bitterness does more damage to you than the offending party. You are the one traumatizing yourself! Dwelling on mis-deeds enables hostility to take root in your mind, and even in your body. It becomes a pattern that you fall into. The more this pattern is repeated, the more it will be repeated, until you forget other means of action and re-action.
Here's a paradigm for forgiving:
1- Reflect. Ruminate over the bare bone facts of the specific situation.
2- Decode. How has your interpretation of the event colored your reaction.
3- Analyze. What effect has this event and reaction had on your life, health, and well-being.
4- Choose. Abandon your role as victim and regain control and power over your thoughts.
5- Accept. Understand that whatever took place already, can't be changed. You can and will move on.
6- Forgive. You are wiser for having this experience. Allow yourself the 'indulgence' of forgiveness.
7- Commit. Pledge to evolve with the process of change. Appreciate the value of forgiveness.
You may find that past wounds no longer define you, and your newfound understanding widens your view on other areas of your life. Notice that all this talk of forgiveness had nothing to do with anyone else but you. You, and only you, can take responsibility for what you feel. When and how you forgive is solely up to you!