Recent items from Daily Inspiration - Daily Quote

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Regrets, Resentments and the Path to Forgiveness - Stop Anger & Live Happy With Conscious Awareness

I recently received a letter that began "How glorious it must be to be truly happy inside!" and continued with a request for my thoughts on regrets, resentments and the path to forgiveness. The following is my reply.

I am not always happy inside; I actually got quite angry recently. Simply An Inspired Life is not a perfect life; it is a life of conscious awareness. Often people go through life in a sort of fog - unhappy, helpless to address the unhappiness, and unhappy about the helpless feeling. That is what the Simply An Inspired Life approach can address.

There are two steps, the first of the mind, the second of the heart.

Have a talk with your mind (it really is something separate from yourself). Lay down the law. "My life begins TODAY. I am like a newborn. I have what I have today; I have my fingers, my toes, some people in my life, some material and financial state. Yesterday is only a dream - perhaps a nightmare, perhaps a cherished memory, but only a dream - nothing more. I will make all decisions and actions based solely on what I have today as a starting point."

To put this in practical terms, think of owning stocks. I own a share of stock for which the NASDAQ bid price is $10; how much is my share of stock worth? $10 of course; and there is no special emotion associated with that statement. But if I added that I bought the stock yesterday for $5, it feels different; and if I bought that stock yesterday for $20, it feels very different. The stock is still worth $10, and it makes no difference what price I paid - that transaction is now in the dream of the past - not real - not important today.

Personalize your conversation with your mind and be clear that you just won't tolerate any thoughts or actions that are not based on today's facts.

Moving to your heart, Breathe. Close your eyes and breathe deeply - slowly - fill your lungs with love and gratitude - exhale each and every trouble - again and again - gratitude in, troubles out.

Speak to your self from your heart as you would to a newborn baby, "I love you because I love you. You are a part of me, and I need no reasons to love you. Whether you cry or you smile, I love you. When you spill your milk or burp, there is nothing to forgive, there is no fault. You are love, I am love, and we are love."

The following is the beginning of the forgiveness chapter from our upcoming book:

FORGIVENESS - For Self & All

I Forgive Myself with Compassion - I forgive everyone, especially myself, for all actions and all inactions throughout my entire life. I accept that no one else has ever been to blame for either my joy or my suffering. The entire cause of all my joys and all my sufferings is my own emotional response to the events of my life, and I am committed to consistently distinguishing between my feelings about events and the physical occurrence of those events. I declare that everyone who has ever played any role in any of the events of my life is entirely without fault.

Would you rather be right or happy?
- A Course in Miracles

don't take it personally - it's not usually about you. - mar

I forgive everyone for every "wrong" that I believe they have ever inflicted upon me. I forgive them for my own sake, that I may release the venom - the anger and resentment within myself - and regain my joy and serenity. I have compassion for everyone who has ever been a player upon the stage of my life. - jlh

I'm angry. They wronged me. They lied, they cheated; why should I forgive them?

Forgiveness is not a reprieve that we give to someone else. Forgiveness for another's act or omission is a gift that we give ourselves. We are the one who suffers the upset and the anger when we feel that we have been wronged. It is our own blood pressure that rises when we hold on to resentment.

Forgiving others is a gift to yourself, given not because they deserve pardon, but because you deserve the serenity and joy that comes from releasing resentment and anger, and from embracing universal forgiveness.

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