Forgiving is a value many of us have accepted because it is part
of our cultural heritage. It is probably something we were taught about
at a very young age before we developed any sophisticated understanding
of morality, emotions, or human relationships. So do we really know
it means to forgive? Sometimes we may say, "Oh, I forgive you." When we
mean, "Oh, I forgive you, you jerk. You aren't worth holding a grudge
Or, "I forgive you. I know you can't help being such an obviously lower
form of life." Sometimes we may think, "I forgive you this time, but do
it again and you'll never know what hit you."
Now that we are adults, perhaps we should re-examine our
of forgiveness in the light of all that we now know about people and
What does it mean to forgive? Broken down into parts it
I understand that humans are not perfect.
I acknowledge your fallibility as a human being, just as I
I give up my attachment to the negative emotions I have created
myself in response to my understanding of your behavior.
I wish to heal the break between us.
I open my heart and extend my compassion to you.
Spend some time contemplating your feelings about
you believe has wronged you. See if you can loosen up the emotional
that you have developed in response to this percieved wrong. Work
the above list of the parts of forgiving as it applies to this person.
Notice your reactions: your hesitations, your rationalizations, your
When you observe a reaction that prevents you from moving along to the
next step, sit with it awhile. Examine it closely. Then let go of it.
the obstruction melt away like an icecube in the sun. In place of the
of resentment allow the light of compassion to fill you.
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