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Monday, April 15, 2013

Forgiveness


“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain
I’ve never thought of myself as someone who holds a grudge and yet I am easily frustrated by the behaviours of a few particular people who are close to me and so I must be holding on to some sort of bitterness surrounding my relationship with them.
It can be challenging at times, for me to see the lesson that comes when someone does or says something that irks me. Over time, I find that I harbour those ill feelings and am weighed down so much so, that I exist within a sea of negativity. Negativity causes my throat to tighten, my brow to furl, my skin to dry out and a restless sleep persists. Noting that I am feeling this way, I try to find a quiet time to look at the lesson that sits there presenting itself to me and waiting for me to learn it. What is needed then, is for me to acknowledge the lesson, release the negative feelings through breathing deeply and thank that other person for teaching me. When I do this, a warm smile ensues and I feel much lighter and happier that I am actually brought to tears of forgiveness for him and for me. It is a humble and yet powerful feeling.
Acknowledging the lesson can be difficult and more often than not, I find that the lesson is simply this: The other person has taught me how to not speak to someone. He may say something that I know is misguided, possibly an assumption, and is hurtful, reminding me that I would never want those words to come out of my mouth. Recognizing this, I find it easier to release the constricted feelings through breathing, meditation or prayer, exercise and sometimes it takes all of these actions and needs to be repeated.  
You see, what I have discovered is that forgiveness is a verb, a deliberate and conscious set of actions. Forgiveness then, “lightens the heart and liberates the soul.” Debbie Ford
~ Ellyn