Thursday, April 14, 2011
Spiritual Gatherings; Forgiving
Hi everybody, glad you still come to visit at times, I know its a bit difficult to want to stay and read when there is no new material for the longest.. I have been staying pretty busy lately with Second Life and my Real Life! Just when you think life is getting better evolving and growing, down comes another bump in the road. Doesn't it seem to happen that way? Well the best thing I have found is to just climb right over that bump which can seem like a mountain at times, and continue on life's journey. While I am experiencing those bumps in the road I am constantly trying to learn from them and I usually learn some positive thing to carry with me.
I started a group several months ago that is very sweet. Its a closed group but if you ask and your in Second Life you can come as a guest and test it out to see if it fits your needs, and you like the content. Its a spiritual group called Spiritual Gatherings, one where people from many faiths have come together to learn from one another and to share our experiences. We have learned along the way that all of us share a common goal, and that is to be closer to God, and to live in his love. I think that is pretty amazing really when you consider that we come from all over the world, and have lived life in so many different ways.
We all have a great connection though in our faith and our inner beliefs spiritually. We may not believe everything one or another might believe in as far as some principles go but all in all we are a tight knit group, and bottom line belief in God.
This week and will continue next week, we are talking about forgiveness. Most of us would say well that is easy, you say your sorry or someone says sorry to you and its a done deal. It runs much deeper than that, there are so many facets to forgiving, and in some cases very hard to really forgive someone. One thing the group all agreed on is that if you just forgive with your brain/mind and not with your heart as well, you may not have really forgiven at all, or at least not totally. Letting go of hurt feelings is very hard at times, especially when it comes to very serious matters such as war crimes, slavery, murder or rape, leaving a spouse for another and so on. Sometimes the hurt can run so deep that we cover it with other feelings/emotions that keep us from seeing the real cause of our pain, and feeling lack of forgiving. We think we have in some ways forgiven and perhaps we have to a point. If you think about an incident that occurred that upset you or hurt you deeply after you thought you forgave, and you still feel the pain of it, then most likely you haven't really forgiven with your heart. Its a hard task to do, and it can takes many tries sometimes in many cases before you really can do it. The group also strongly agreed that when something is done and over with, you cannot change what has occurred, and that continuing to feel hurt or be upset at the one who caused you this grief only really hurts yourself not them in anyway. For all one knows they have gone on with life and living well. So many though continue to feel the pain of a hurt that person caused, and it just clouds the mind and heart day after day night after night with anger, fear, resentment, and pain. It is a proven fact that this is all part of stress caused by something traumatic that happened in ones life, and that it can also causes post traumatic stress, that can linger for a life time. All of that in turn can cause us to become ill, lowering our immune system, making us susceptible to very harmful diseases. Harboring those emotions keeps one a prisoner to it, learning to let go of it frees us to be ourselves once again. How do you let go? How to you finally find peace? There are several ways to do this and many fine people have written on this subject. I have learned personally to let God handle it, and what I mean by that is, I pray to forgive that person, every moment the ill feelings come to me about a circumstance that caused me this grief. Instead of falling into, oh my they did this or that, I turn it over to God I pray to him to release it from me and I pray in my heart to let myself let it go as well. There is a couple sections of someones writing on the subject on the net I found that really put it into a nutshell,
Maya Angelou wrote:
“I have forgiven myself; I'll make a change. Once that forgiveness has taken place, you can console yourself with the knowledge that a diamond is the result of extreme pressure. Less pressure is crystal, less than that is coal, less than that is fossilized leaves or plain dirt. Pressure can change you into something quite precious, quite wonderful, quite beautiful and extremely hard.”
Here is the next one;
“What could you want forgiveness cannot give? Do you want peace? Forgiveness offers it. Do you want happiness, a quiet mind, a certainty of purpose and a sense of worth and beauty that transcends the world? Do you want a quietness that cannot be disturbed, a gentleness that never can be hurt, a deep, abiding comfort, and a rest so perfect it can never be upset?
All this forgiveness offers you, and more.” - A Course in Miracles
Isn't that put so well? It helps us to see that yes, we may never forget horrible things that happen to us, but with forgiving what happened to us at the hands of another who caused us pain and suffering we are able to release ourselves from the hurt and pain we suffer from.
Here is a little worksheet that might help you if you are suffering from not being able to forgive another persons wrong doings, or if you haven't yet experienced it at all this might help prevent you from having to go through it as well;
I have provided the link to this source of information about Letting Go Of Past Grievances ?
and the exercise, I think we could all benefit from looking at it and perhaps doing them:)
Highland Park, Illinois 847-433-8535
LETTING GO OF PAST GRIEVANCES
Begin with an intention to forgive.
Write down the name of the person whom you intend to forgive.
Step Two: Acknowledge the pain caused by the grievance.
(The goal is not to forgive and forget, but rather “remember fully and forgive”.)
Describe the grievance. What were the circumstances? (Be as specific as possible.)
How did you feel at the time? Where in your body did you feel it?
What have you done to take care of yourself?
If you are forgiving someone else, list the ways you have attempted to empower yourself.
If you are forgiving yourself, list the ways you have attempted to make amends.
How do you feel emotionally, physically, and spiritually, when you think about the
Step Three: Evaluate the gains and losses that comes with
If I forgive, what would I gain?
If I forgive, what would I give up?
Step Four: Assess your attitudes and beliefs around forgiveness.
(You may not be responsible for what happened-but
you are responsible for your long-term
Underline any statements that have the most significance for you:
If I forgive, it doesn’t mean I am…
condoning or absolving the hurtful behavior.
being a victim or losing power.
surrendering my right to justice.
required to reconcile with the offender.
getting the other person to do something different.
refusing to make amends.
If I forgive, it means I am…
recognizing I have a choice about my perceptions and my thoughts.
choosing peace of mind.
freeing myself from the past and choosing to live in the present moment.
choosing empowerment over victim hood.
choosing to connect to my spiritual loving self.
STEP FIVE: Practice Letting Go Exercises.
1. Practice empathy: Forgiveness is the recognition that people who harm others
are expressing their own unresolved pain.
2. Meditation/prayer: Asking God or a Higher Power for help can be a
shortcut in the forgiveness process.
3. Visualization: Visualize the person you have decided to forgive. Imagine that
an energy cord connects you. Affirm, “I am calling my energy back.” Then
unplug the cord.
4. Journal Writing: Express your feelings to the person you are forgiving (or
asking to forgive) by writing a letter (that you may or may not send).
5. Affirmation: Write a daily affirmation that states your decision to forgive.
6. Monitor your Thoughts: Listen to your inner self talk to ensure that it reflects the true ?
meaning of forgiveness. Ask yourself, “would I rather be right or would I rather be happy?”
7. Practice Patience: Remember that forgiveness is an ongoing process; it’s rarely
completed on the first attempt.
HERE IS A YOUTUBE YOU CAN WATCH TO HELP WITH FORGIVING SOMEONE OR SOMETHING THAT HAS HURT YOU, ITS A MEDITATIVE VIDEO BUT JUST LOOK AT THE WORDS AND PRACTICE IT OVER AND OVER, IN TIME IT MAY HELP YOU!
I may write some more on this topic here soon, it is a vast one and most of us have suffered being hurt, or have hurt others, or even ourselves. If the world would give up hatred, and learn to love one another, we wouldn't even need explore this subject. We would live by standards of love and compassion for one another, and in that we would feel only happiness. God bless See you next time!