No, not that one.

The other one.

I was going to do a post on Feng Shui (also an “F” word) this week, but I had a transformation recently, and had to write about that, before I lose the edge of pain that came and went with it. If I wait, it will be commonplace, and I need to capture it fresh…

So, the “F” word. It’s one of the biggies. Up there with Faith and Family…

It is also one of the most difficult to master.

Forgiveness.

to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) : to stop blaming (someone). : to stop feeling anger about (something) : to forgive …

Miriam Webster

It’s so loaded; with fear, pain, anger, loss…

What do you have in your life that you are holding on to that you can’t forgive?

Whatever it is, it’s holding you back.

A friend or family member you feel has wronged you.

An accidental slight that has stuck with you.

An out and out betrayal you feel you’ll never come back from.

There is a solution, and it is the simplest thing, also the hardest thing, until it’s not.

And I promise, if you truly want to forgive someone, even if you can’t see the way right now, you can.

But maybe you don’t even want to. Maybe you feel like they don’t deserve your forgiveness. Maybe you feel like they aren’t sorry. Why should you forgive them if they aren’t sorry??

I’ll tell you why.

It’s hurting you more than its hurting them.  If you hold on tight to the pain and anger, it will eat you up. It will hold you back. It will keep you from being the amazing human you are meant to be.

Maybe its worth a shot to try this “F” word thing?

I know someone who can help.

forgiveness

The “L” word.

It, too, is a biggie.

Love.

It really is the answer.

To everything.

No joke.

 

If you have decided that it’s worth a try, to let go of the pain and anger, and try forgiveness, I’ll tell you what’s worked for me.

A few years ago I took a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course based on the program at Duke Integrative Medicine.  An incredible heart surgeon in our area, who took the course and was transformed, has taken it upon himself to help our community learn to meditate. He offers a free 7 week course a couple of times a year. We learned a number of meditation and mindfulness techniques that have been immensely helpful to me.

One in particular focused on forgiving and letting go.

Jack Kornfeld’s “Loving Kindness Meditation” has been an amazing tool for me.

He begins with you practicing the meditation on yourself.  Forgiving and loving yourself comes first.

Next, turn the meditation on a friend or family member. This one will be easy because you probably already wish these things for them.

Next, turn the meditation to the one you want to forgive.

This will be difficult at first. Maybe really difficult. Keep at it and try to feel the words as you are saying them. Even if you don’t want to. I promise, it gets easier. Open yourself to the possibility that you can forgive.

Lastly, you can end with a round for the world and greater humanity.

 

Here is Jack Kornfeld’s “Loving Kindness” meditation:

 

May I be filled with loving kindness.

May I be well, in body and mind.

May I be safe, from inner and outer dangers.

May I be happy, truly happy. And free.

(repeat 3 times, really feeling the words)

 

May (someone I love) be filled with loving kindness.

May (someone I love) be well, in body and mind.

May (someone I love) be safe, from inner and outer dangers.

May (someone I love) be happy, truly happy, and free.

(repeat 3 times, with feeling)

 

May (someone I want to forgive) be filled with loving kindness.

May (someone I want to forgive) be well, in body and mind.

May (someone I want to forgive) be safe, from inner and outer dangers.

May (someone I want to forgive) be happy, truly happy, and free.

(repeat 3 times, with feeling, even if its hard!)

 

May the world be filled with loving kindness…

(Et al, 3 times with feeling…)

 

It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive.
Forgive everybody.
Maya Angelou

The benefits of forgiving someone are innumerable.

Recently I had to spend some time with some people I have had trouble forgiving.

I decided a few weeks in advance, that I was going to approach this time with love. I began my loving kindness practice then, and ended up having a really wonderful time. I felt the animosity and the tension evaporating.

And you know what else? They treated me differently, too. How you show up has everything to do with how things go.

Show up centered in love, and you can’t lose.

As I mentioned earlier in the post, I needed to write this now because I find it hard to find the painful edge of the situation, which used to be so close at hand.

I am now enjoying the lightness, freedom and peace that comes with forgiveness.

Thank goodness. Thank LOVE.

I’d love to hear about an important forgiveness, or any strategies you’ve found helpful in coming to forgive in the comments…