hot coals only burn the one holding them
“Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.” ~Buddha

It’s hard to dodge that topic of forgiveness. It doesn’t matter what spiritual tradition you follow someone is asking you to be forgiving. If you are searching for healing, mental, physical or spiritual you are going to run headfirst into the concept of forgiving.

If you are looking for greater success and abundance there is going to be forgiveness work involved. If you are trying to improve your relationships or searching for world peace some spiritual leader is going to remind you that you need to forgive.

You need to forgive the large and the small. There is simply no escape.

Forgiveness is the spiritual work to be done. It’s the push up your sleeves and “get ‘er done” stuff. It’s where we feel resistance. And it seems so illogical to resist the very spiritual practice that promises so very very much.

Forgiveness is something you do for yourself. Forgiveness frees you to live life more fully and more joyously. Forgiveness adds power to your prayers and unleashes your creativity.

What’s not to love about forgiveness! 
Geez … it’s like a freekin’ super power. 

Oh but how, but how, but how??? What if I am just not feeling it? And how do you know when you are done? What if you recognize all the great gifts of forgivenss but you still can’t bring yourself to do it? Where do you start?

Do you have a Forgiveness Practice?
You gotta practice to get good at anything. Why not practice forgiveness? What would a Forgiveness Practice look like?

Search your heart every day and honestly ask yourself “did I close my heart to anyone today?” You can use some of these tools to antedote yourself a little every day.

Oh and don’t forget yourself in all this forgiving. It may be the most important work of all.

  • Try a Forgiveness Meditation. There are meditation tapes out there for the very purpose of forgiveness. Here is a Forgiveness Meditation from Jack Kornfield.
  • Trade resentment for gratitude. Did you know you can’t feel both resentment and gratitude at the same time? Make a litany written or spoken of all that you are grateful for regarding the situation.
  • Write a forgiveness letter, you don’t have to send it but start writing it now.
  • If writing isn’t your thing use your imagination and set that person in a chair before you and talk to them. Work it out in your own heart.
  • When all else fails ask for help. (I always forget this one for some reason, it’s not like it isn’t for a good cause.)
Forgiving isn’t forgeting. In fact remembering all that transpired and no longer being “hooked” by the memory is your indication that your forgiveness work is complete. Sometimes it takes a few rounds but with all that’s promised you know that it’s worth the effort.