Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

The Gratitude Channel

Friday, January 11th, 2019

The world is full of things to appreciate and find beautiful. The challenge is to teach ourselves how to look. The forgiveness and gratitude channels remind us that even though we have been hurt, we do not have to focus our attention on that hurt. The love and beauty channels remind us that in each and every moment we have the choice to determine what we see, hear, and experience.

The one thing no one can take from us is where we place our attention. In other words, we alone control our remotes. If we have made a habit of tuning in to the grievance channel, remember that any habit can be broken.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Goodp. 113

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, January 9, 2019

There Is Forgiveness

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

The lesson here is that there is no fix. There is, however, forgiveness. To forgive yourselves and others constantly is necessary. Not only is everyone screwed up, but everyone screws up.

— Anne Lamott, Almost Everything, p. 62-63

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, January 5, 2015

 

Taking Responsibility for Our Own Feelings

Thursday, December 27th, 2018

I want to make clear that taking responsibility for how you feel does not mean that what happened is your fault. You did not cause your parents to hurt you or your lover to cheat on you. You did not cause the car to hit you or the illness to strike you. You did not cause your boss to be grouchy nor did you cause the weather to stink on your vacation. While you did not cause these things to happen, you are responsible for how you think, behave, and feel since those experiences occurred. It is your life, and they are your reactions and emotions to manage.

Taking responsibility means first and foremost that even though we are hurt, we continue to make the effort to appreciate the good in our life. When we understand that pain is a normal part of life, we make the effort to keep our hurts in perspective. I challenge the common tendency to feel that our experience of hurt is more real than our ability to feel good. I challenge the tendency to assert that painful experiences are somehow deeper than rapture over the beauty of a sunset or the love we feel for our children.

Many of us are renting more space to rehashing our grievances than focusing on gratitude, love, or appreciation of nature. My central message here is when you bring more positive experiences into your life, your hurts will diminish in importance. In fact, this is the first step to taking responsibility for how you feel and beginning to forgive. If I rent out more and more space in my mind to appreciating my children or the loveliness of a rainy day, there is as a result less space and time for dwelling on the hurts.

— Dr. Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 111-112

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, March 21, 2018

Motivation to Forgive

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

The good news is that we are more ready to forgive than we think. Our major obstacles are not the offenses themselves but the lack of tools with which to work. We only imagine it is the nature of the offense that is unforgivable. However, if any of us look around we will find people who have forgiven the very same offense. Remember, I have worked with people who made significant progress to forgive unprovoked violence. No offense is unforgivable to everyone. If you look you can always find someone who has forgiven in a similar situation.

When you put yourself into one or both of the scenarios above you will see that the hesitancy to forgive is principally a question of motivation. We feel unmotivated because lacking such compelling reasons as wealth or death we do not know how good we will feel when we have forgiven. We wonder if it will be worth the effort. Because we lack the tools to forgive, the effort can feel overwhelming. This book gives you the tools to forgive. You still have to make the effort.

The motivation to use the techniques is primarily to regain the power you give the past to ruin your present. Often we forget that forgiveness is for us and not the offender. Forgiveness in no way condones cruelty or unkind treatment. Forgiveness gives us back peace of mind.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 107-108

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, December 7, 2014

Path to Peace

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Forgiveness can also be bittersweet. It contains the sweetness of the release of a story that has caused us pain, but also the poignant reminder that even our dearest relationships change over the course of a lifetime. Regardless of the decision we reach about whether or not to include someone in our present-day life, in the end, forgiveness is a path to peace and an essential element of love for ourselves and others.

— Sharon Salzberg, Real Love, p. 199

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, December 4, 2018

Delight in Our Efforts

Saturday, December 1st, 2018

Some people say, “God is good, and God has a plan for you.” I believe that God is good but also that God is too busy loving me to have a plan for me. Like a caring parent, God receives our childlike painting of a tree — usually an unrecognizable mess — and delights in it. God doesn’t hand it back and say, “Come back when it looks more like a tree” or tell us how to improve it. God simply delights in us. Like the kid at probation camp after confession: “You mean you just sealed my record?” The God who always wants to clean the slate is hard to believe. Yet the truth about God is that God is too good to be true. And whenever human beings bump into something too good to be true, we decide it’s not true.

— Gregory Boyle, Barking to the Choir, p. 22

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, November 27, 2018

A Choice

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

Reconciliation means you reestablish a relationship with the person who hurt you. Forgiveness means you make peace with a bitter part of your past and no longer blame your experiences on the offender. You can forgive and decide there is no reason to have any further relationship with the person who hurt you. In fact, every time we forgive someone who is dead you do this. Every time we forgive someone we only knew for a short painful moment (like the victim of a hit-and-run car accident), we do this. With forgiveness we have a choice. We can forgive and give the offender another chance, or we can forgive and move on to new relationships. The choice is ours.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 75

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, January 26, 2016

The Power of Examples

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Finally, you have the opportunity to use your healed memories to offer compassion and support to those in need. When you forgive you become a model for those still struggling. They benefit from seeing people who have healed. You can serve as an example of what is possible. You show people through your example that forgiveness is possible.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 74

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 30, 2018

Freeing Ourselves

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Ultimately, we forgive others in order to free ourselves. What happens in our hearts is our field of freedom. As long as we carry old wounds and anger in our hearts, we continue to suffer. Forgiveness allows us to move on.

— Sharon Salzberg, Real Love, p. 199

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 31, 2018

Shine Like a Star

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

A star is a person who shines so brightly, who gives their gifts so fully, who loves so completely that everyone is drawn by the light of this star to find the way home. For us to truly know ourselves is to know that we are a star. For us to be truly ourselves is to recognize the genius in us, and to know what a gift we are to everyone around us. Stars may do very quiet things, but they shine an intense love light that burns through the darkness.

Today, recognize yourselves as a star, and allow anything that stops you from shining to fall away. Choose to forgive, or let go of any grievance or judgment that allows you control over yourselves, others, or the situation. Choose not to use anyone or anything to hold yourselves back. Choose to utterly and completely love. Nothing else will satisfy you. Nothing else is worthy of you.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 333

Photo: Lake Geneva and Chateau de Chillon, Switzerland, November 12, 2000