Thursday, 15 February 2018

Five steps

Two activities really can improve the levels of chemicals in our mind that result in huge peace of mind. They are gratitude and forgiveness!

We will look a bit closer at forgiveness. It is something we often refuse to do because we do not want to free the one who caused us harm (physical, emotional or any form) to be free of the guilt of hurting us. And it is true, somehow by forgiving the person, we set them free. But what we forget is that the person suffering most from our grudges, from our hatred, from our anger, is not that person that harmed us, but our very selves. (See *venom below)

If we forgive whole-heartedly, we do a favor to the perpetrator, but a 100-fold bigger favor to ourselves. We set ourselves free from continued suffering, from continued negative emotions. I heard recently a talk (online) by Michael Beckwith who proposed five steps of forgiveness:

The first step to forgive someone, is to be willing to forgive. This is often the most difficult one. Since they harmed us, we have the right feel hurt. By forgiving truly that hurt will be no longer ours. Somehow we see our hurt, our grudges as a retaliation for the wrong that was done. It is not! It is something we can free ourselves from and whatever was done, we will no longer allow it to hurt us anymore, we will get it over with; we will stop perpetuating the effect of the nastiness that we encountered.I think sometimes we have to sincerely pray for the strength to forgive. It is somehow the way of our Creator and when we ask for help in going that way, we do get the help.

Once we find in ourselves the willingness to forgive, we can move on to the second step and that is actually do the forgiving. Saying to the person in real life on in our own thoughts world, I forgive you. Saying it, living it, feeling it. 

The third step is to try to understand why the person was so nasty to us. This is compassion, empathy. Trying to imagine what the person must have gone through to reach this level of nastiness. How much must that person have suffered him or herself for them to feel the need to make others suffer in such a way. If we try to put ourselves for a short while in the skin of the person we have forgiven we will come to a compassionate understanding. 

The fourth step is to wish the person we forgave well. Sometimes we forgave but still rejoice in the feeling of the bad karma that will come over him, or the punishment he may receive in hell. The fourth step is to give up also these thoughts and truly wish him or her well, even if the person is no longer on earth, wishing them eternal peace in the hereafter. 

And the fifth step was to really do something nice for that person. That makes forgiveness truly complete. Could be an anonymous note or send an anonymous present in the mail. Or just meet them and have a nice conversation. Or just praying for their well-being. 

I liked the proposed process here in five steps. I have experienced the benefits of true forgiveness myself and have read and heard so many stories about the liberating effects of forgiveness. I hope we all can think about this for a while and consider forgiving all our fellow humans for all small and big wrongs done to us. 😊

I read once that nobody dies from a snakebite. After a snakebite, we could die of the venom that circulates in our blood after the bite. It is the venom that circulates causing the major harm. Can be compared to someone causing us emotional harm. The insult can be painful , but most suffering and pain comes when we allow the grudges, the hatred, the negative feelings to go on and circulate through our veins. Forgiveness is like removing the venom after a bite 

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