Tag Archive 'forgiveness'

May 27 2014

An Odyssey from Resentment to Forgiveness – #109

Resentment is like quicksand…it really sucks! It pulls us in and holds us down, and we become stuck in our own self-imposed suffering. Forgiveness offers freedom from that suffering, but getting to forgiveness can sometimes feel like an arduous odyssey. Our defensive egos hang onto wrongs with the ferocity of a dragon guarding a great treasure! What is the treasure? The righteous victim position that proclaims, “I am right and I am wronged!”

It’s a challenge to relinquish that bitter prize for the better prize of freedom from suffering, happiness, and peace. We can be right, or we can let it go and be free. That’s a toughie because our ego really wants to be right (I know mine does)! Our mind keeps rehashing its case over and over again in an endless tape loop until we feel kinda loopy!

I recently had a conflict with a friend and was stewing in resentment for a while. Fortunately, I was highly motivated to restore peace, not only because it feels better, but also for health reasons. I know that holding onto resentment is toxic; it stresses the body, suppresses the immune system, and creates acidity, which is a breeding ground for cancer and other illnesses. As someone on a precarious cancer journey, I need to forgive as if my life depended on it, because maybe it does.

I’d like to share with you the following powerful practices that helped me on my odyssey from resentment to forgiveness:

INTENTION – Intention is a powerful tool for transformation. My ego hangs on to being right and feeling wronged with the tenacity of a pit bull, but my Big Soul Self is intent on harnessing that dogged determination and redirecting it toward letting go, choosing peace, and being happy. Whenever I’m aware of my mind chewing on a bone of contention, that’s my cue to take deep slow breaths and affirm, “I choose being happy over being right.”

PROJECTION – When we judge others it’s usually because they’re reflecting something about ourselves that we haven’t owned and loved. In other words, if you spot it in someone else and judge it, then you got it. Here’s what I wrote about projection in a poem: “Mirrors, mirrors all around, reflections of myself abound, what most needs to be loved is found in what I judge in you.” A good question to ask when I find myself judging someone: “How am I like that? How do I do what I’m accusing them of doing?”

IT ISN’T PERSONAL – It’s a great waker upper to remind ourselves: “It isn’t personal. It’s just my preprogrammed ego defenses butting up against their preprogrammed ego defenses, doing what ego defenses do.” I like what Terry Cole Whitaker wrote about that, “What you think of me is none of my business.”

EMPATHY – The fine art of empathy is when we put ourselves in the other persons place and imagine how they might be feeling and what might be motivating their position. When I see that they’re reacting from an old wound, as am I, we can connect on that common ground and empathize with each other

HO’OPONOPONO – “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” That’s the ancient Hawaiian forgiveness prayer called Ho’oponopono. Whenever negative, blaming mind chatter takes over, I keep repeating this prayer until peace prevails. I’ve added some of my own words that have been helpful for me: “I’m sorry. It isn’t personal. It’s just my ego defenses. Please forgive me. Thank you. You know I love you and I know you love me.” I imagine myself saying it to the other person. Then I imagine them saying it to me.

SURRENDER TO A HIGHER POWER – In my conflict with my friend I was feeling exasperated with my minds entanglement in its relentless tape loop of righteously wronged reasoning. Then, as divine synchronicity would have it, I saw a Youtube video of a dolphin entangled in fishing line. An deep sea diver beckoned the dolphin over and the dolphin came to him, trusting him. The diver compassionately worked on him for a few minutes and finally freed him from the fishing line. I imagined myself like the dolphin, surrendering, trusting, being open to comfort and help, feeling a loving presence helping me free my mind from its entanglement. This helped shift me into a peaceful place.

Revenge is sweet and I have a sweet tooth…but forgiveness is sweeter and leaves no bitter aftertaste. Ultimately, I know that one of the most important healings for me in this lifetime is healing resentment and learning to let go and forgive. I am pleased to say I am making progress!

How about you? Is there someone in your life you need to forgive? I highly recommend it – it’s much more peaceful living in an open heart than a closed mind.

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

ENLIGHTEN-INKLINGS

I’ve created brief sayings called Enlighten-Inklings, which are verbal nuggets of love, laughter, and learning gathered from my previous and current writings, placed on my watercolor backgrounds. I’m sending out one a day, Monday through Friday via e-mail (free). If you’d like to be put on the list to receive them, email me at enlightenink@gmail.com. To view archived sayings go here EnlightenInk.com and click on Enlighten-Inklings at the top.

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Mar 25 2009

Mr. Toad’s Wild Elevator Ride! 3/25/09 Newsletter #5

A friend said to me recently, “You are on Mr. Toad’s wild ride, and you’re managing to enjoy the scenery.” That made me smile. It has been a wild ride, but I’m experiencing it more like a wild elevator ride that goes up and down and every floor has a different view. The bottom floor is a limited ego’s eye view; the top floor is an expansive eagle’s eye view.

Sometimes my elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top; but when it does I can see the big picture. I can see how everything fits together perfectly. I can see how I am connected to it all.

When my buttons are pushed I often descend to the lower floors. Going down……..Thump! On the bottom floor there is worry, what ifs, whys, regrets, blame, danger, drama, duality, me versus them. On the bottom floor I am in the thick of it all.

Yesterday my elevator plummeted to the bottom floor. My sister told me she was examined by her gynecologist this week, who was concerned about some unusual bleeding. The doctor right then and there in the office took a sample from her uterus to biopsy, just like that! Her doctor said under her breath that that is what my doctor should have done over a year ago when the abnormalities first came to his attention.

When I hear this I am stunned! My elevator crashes to the bottom floor! Whys and what ifs rush in – Why didn’t my doctor biopsy mine a year ago? (They did ultrasounds instead, which showed an apparently benign polyp, so nothing else was done.) What if it has spread? What if I have to suffer through chemo and radiation (or worse) because they didn’t do the biopsy right away?

A flood of tears and fears and old pain bodies enter the scene saying, “The world is unsafe, people can’t be trusted, I am in danger!” Anger rages on board. “They should’ve done it differently!” A girl named Sue stomps in, pumping her fist, chanting, “Sue, sue, sue the incompetents!” The elevator is getting very crowded!

Fortunately there is room for one more…my Compassionate Witness. She holds the space for everyone who shows up. She encourages good ventilation by saying, “It’s ok to feel angry, sad and scared. Let yourself feel it. Feel it deeply. I will hold you.” She does not try to tell me, “This moment is perfect just as it is.” This is not a time or place for that. This is a time to Be where I’m at, in the thick of it, feeling it fully, shining the light of awareness on it. (I know from experience that if I try to rise above my feelings, that just positions me better for them to bite me in the butt!)

These feelings deserve to be heard and honored. If they are not, then they take up permanent residence on the bottom floor, spinning round and round in ain’t it awful stories like a dog chasing its tale of woe. My elevator was stuck on the bottom floor for many years – until my Compassionate Witness came to live with me.

When I rest and release in this spacious loving awareness, I am naturally elevated to a higher perspective. Going up……I begin to get glimpses of how I collaborated with how it was done and the decisions that were made; I had been happy to minimize the abnormality and make it all go away. I can also see my doctor more clearly as someone who was caring and concerned, not a bad person out to hurt me.

My elevator ascends higher and I can see how on the lower floors my mind’s tendency is to seize on the what should’ve beens of the past and what ifs of the future. From this elevated vantage point I am aware that there is only Now, and right Now I am fine. I am more than fine. I am experiencing a treasure of learning and inspiration, as well as the great joy of writing and sharing my experience. If this had been nipped in the bud a year ago would I be having such a rich, full-bloomed experience now?

I am seeing how it is perfect that this is bringing up my pain bodies; on the lower floors they are a torment, but elevated in awareness they become pain buddies, here to help me heal deeply imprinted fear and trust issues.

I can see that this is the healing that is most important; healing the belief that the world is unfriendly and I am its victim; loosening my ego’s tenacious grip on feeling wronged; learning to forgive and let it go. As James Ray (The Secret teacher) says, true forgiveness is being able to say, “Thank you for giving me this experience.”

Right now, as I am peacefully perched on the top floor, I can see how it all fits together. Now I can hear and let in these words, “This moment is perfect just as it is.” From this higher view I see and know that I am One with it all. It is my movie.

I also know that I will continue to ride the elevator up and down; but with my Compassionate Witness along, I am enjoying the scenery. There is no good or bad, right or wrong experience; just being with it with curiosity, compassion and a willingness to learn from it all. That always elevates me to the top floor.

“Just go into the room and put one chair in the center.
Take the seat in the center of the room, open the door
and windows, and see who comes to visit.
You will witness all kinds of scenes and actors,
all kinds of temptations and stories, everything imaginable.
Your only job is to stay in your seat.
You will see it all arise and pass, and out of this—
wisdom and understanding will come.”
Achaan Chan

What is the view from your elevator right now? I hope that your Compassionate Witness is by your side helping you enjoy the scenery on your wild, wonderful, wisdom-gathering ride!

In Love,
Jan Jacobsen

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