Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” ~ The Buddha
Who do you hold a grudge against? Who can’t you forgive?
A loved one, for leaving you?
A friend, for criticizing you?
A business partner, for treating you without compassion?
Yourself, for the person you were?
What feelings does that grudge anchor you to?
Anger? Sadness? Grief?
Why must you let go?
Your past that you hold on, the grudge that has become yours…
It’s killing you. It’s making you sick. It’s causing your back pain. It’s why your unhappy.
It’s a burden on your shoulders that you need to drop. A path of darkness, where you must follow the light.
Both your ego and other people will use your past as leverage against you. To determine what they think you should be doing.
Only in your heart do you know what is right.
The health and happiness of your spouse, your kids, your friends, and YOU, depends on you letting go of the past to be present today.
6 Steps to Forgiveness
In It’s Not the End of the World: Developing Resilience in Times of Change(Thank you Amy!), Joan Borysenko moves you through the jungle of darkness and suffering as quickly as possibly to the other side.
Most people spend their lives in the jungle, with no apparent paths out.
Joan shows you the way. Using “6 Steps to Forgiveness” created by psychologist Frederic Luskin, you can let go of your past.
- Get your story out. Be with your feelings, recognize what you’re not ok with, and tell someone.
- Whatever hurt you is history. Forgiveness is meant to heal the bad feelings you’re still carrying around from the past. When you experience negative emotions, change the mental channel by either feeling deeper into the emotion or changing the mental channel. But do not dwell.
- Living well is the best revenge. Your grudge is hurting you, not the other. The other has already taken enough. Learn to enjoy beauty, share friendship, help others, have fun, and spread joy and kindness.
- Life is not fair, so get over thinking that it should be. Your task is to serve your purpose and enjoy life, not to even the scales of justice by punishing anyone, including yourself. Be grateful for all the good you do have.
- Evict the victim. Suffering didn’t happen to you. You brought it on yourself. Forgive yourself and learn the lesson. Who have you become because of your past?
- Be patient and vigilant. Forgiveness doesn’t happen overnight. Be gentle with yourself. Notice hurt feelings, but don’t marinate in them.
Yes, forgive the other. More importantly, forgive yourself for your past.
I blamed myself for my parent’s divorce, for losing loved ones in my life, and for actions I did in the past that make me want to vomit.
Occasionally, I still cry and curse myself because I can’t believe the person that I was. Then, I remember patience.
Following a similar process to the “6 Steps” from above, loving myself, and being with the imaginary friend I call “God,” I can rid myself of emotional pains and choose happiness everyday.
Who do you need to forgive that is holding you down?
What emotions do you need to let go of?