There is a famous Zen story that goes as follows: Two monks were on their way home and had to cross a river. While they were preparing to cross the river, a beautiful young lady needed help to cross the river. She asked them for help. The older monk carried the woman across the river. Hours later the younger monk, who was still very angry, asked why the older monk touched a woman, as he was not allowed to do this. The older monk said: “I stopped carrying that lady at the river, but you are still carrying her with you.”
By not forgiving you are only hurting yourself. The other person probably doesn’t even know that they hurt you or did any perceived harm. They are just living within their values.
Refer to Value Determination.
Carrying guilt and fear is only holding you back and not allowing you to live in the present moment, because you aren’t letting go of the past.
You can also cause yourself physical pain and illness.
Remember that by forgiving you are not condoning behaviours, forgetting what happened or reconciling.
Forgiveness is a choice.
Write a letter to the person that you perceived to have done you harm or to yourself and then burn the letter or tear it up and throw it away. Let it go.
You can also try some meditation for letting go of the past. This works well when you are dealing with mourning a deceased person.
If you’re still stuck, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I do that I need to let go of?
- If the situation was the same today, would I or the other person have acted differently?
- Back then, did I or the other person have the knowledge, awareness or power that I or the other person have today to have handled the situation differently?
- Could I or the other person have decided differently back then?
Remember, by forgiving, you are sending positive energy to the other person to which they will respond. So even if you perceive that the person has not grown in knowledge, awareness or power – your forgiving them, will influence them.
Are you still stuck?
Ask yourself: “What benefit is there of holding on to these emotions?”
Sometimes people like to play the victim in life and play the same story over in their minds. Feeling very sorry for themselves. By doing this they inevitably react to certain situations in a certain way and then attract the same situations in their lives.
Then ask yourself: “What benefit has flowed from the situation, in all levels of life?”
Any mental, physical, financial, spiritual, vocational or social benefits.
Or you could ask the opposite question. “If this perceived harm didn’t happen, then what would’ve been the negative outflow of that not happening?“
Refer to all areas of your life. Financial, vocational, social, physical, mental and spiritual.
Ask yourself: “Where have I done the same thing?”
“What were the opportunities that flowed from this? “
“What did I learn from this? “
In the end, you need to have gratitude for everything that happens to you in life, even that which you perceive as negative. You need to love everything.
You should say: “Thank you! I love you!”
Please contact Mira if you still can’t bring yourself to say it.