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Forgive You

June 22, 2009

A few weeks ago I read Doreen Virtue’s The Lightworker’s Way. Towards the end of the book Doreen gives a basic morning meditation, evening meditation, and a meditation for cleaning your chakras, which is supposed to lead to increased clairvoyance.

I found her meditations to be very practical and helpful for me, especially since I have a hard time with the kind of meditation where I can’t think at all. I know, clearing the mind is one of the great benefits of meditation, but her suggestions offer the opportunity for both stillness of mind and thought that is directed towards centering your energy.

Both the morning and evening meditations begin with the quiet mind-clearing part: sit or lie in any position that is comfortable, with limbs uncrossed. Take in deep, slow breaths through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Picture inhaling goodness and exhaling darkness. Once you reach this centered place, the morning and evening meditations go different directions.

The morning meditation guides you towards visualizing a gorgeous cloud that will enter you through the top of your head (which you picture opening up like a flower) that will fill you up and also surround you; at any time during the day you know you will be able to return to this peaceful place and find all of the answers you need.

The evening meditation asks you to breathe warmth and love into your heart, and with each breath to expand that love and warmth to the rest of your body. When it has completely spread, it’s time to think of everyone you interacted with over the course of the day and to forgive them for anything they said or did that upset you. Once you’re finished with this, it’s time to forgive yourself for anything you said or did or thought over the day that upset you.

Following the directions of the evening meditation got me thinking. (Which I’m not supposed to be doing during meditation, but we already covered that I suck at that part.) It was really hard for me to forgive other people for what they “did” to me, because I’m a strong believer that it’s my own thoughts and reactions to other people’s actions that make me upset, not what the person actually says or does. So, if they didn’t really do anything, what’s to forgive? But assuming I could get past that point, I noticed that every single time I put out forgiveness to someone else for their actions against me, I needed to also forgive myself for the exact same thing.

Here’s what I mean: let’s say Long Distance Boyfriend and I didn’t get to talk much over the course of the day, and when we did talk, he wasn’t loving “enough”. In my meditation I would say, “I forgive Anthony for not being loving enough towards me today”. That always sounded so false to me, though, so I started to think of what I wanted to forgive him for, then I’d turn it on myself: “I forgive me for not being loving enough towards me today”. Every time I did it I would realize the truth: I am the only one who needs to treat me better. I am the only one who needs to love me more.

Hey, if today you got hit by a car driven by your neighbor who was texting to her boyfriend while putting on her fake eyelashes, that’s not something you need to forgive yourself for. In most regular, every day upsets, though, it’s worth taking a look at where you could stand to improve your treatment of yourself.

Some more examples:

  • “I forgive my boss for being mean to me” becomes “I forgive me for being mean to me”. What mean things did you say to yourself today, especially after your boss was mean to you? If your thoughts about yourself were positive and loving, another person’s actions are less likely to have offended you.
  • “I forgive my husband for not paying enough attention to me” becomes “I forgive me for not paying enough attention to me”. You can’t make anyone do anything. You can only get yourself on board for self care. Why don’t you start putting yourself first, and see how much better you feel? You can always choose to pay attention to yourself!
  • “I forgive my mother for forgetting our plans” becomes “I forgive me for forgetting my plans”. How many times have you decided to do something for yourself and your life, only to have forgotten about it or swept it under the rug in order to please someone else?

These examples are just a few of many, many possible configurations. Take some time to think about the actions of others that hurt you, forgive them, and turn it on yourself and see how you play a part in your own hurt feelings, too! And, of course, do forgive yourself, this is just part of learning!

Be Joyful!

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