Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Forgiveness is a Lifestyle

Most people, if they bother at all with forgiveness, use it only on occasion.  They save it for those times when something comes up in life that smacks them in the face.  In those kinds of moments, there is just no peace without forgiving a particular person or situation...and so they forgive.

There's no doubt that this kind of forgiveness is helpful.  Anytime we forgive, we feel happier about our lives. 

However, if we want to be truly happy, we need to live a forgiveness lifestyle.  We need to develop daily forgiveness habits and we need to do the deep introspective work that allows us to delve into our pasts and root out all the hurt, anger and guilt that lurks deep in our sub-conscious.

Daily Affronts   Let's start with the daily forgiveness habit.  Each day many things transpire that push our buttons.  Create a habit of reviewing your day each night before you go to bed.  Gather together all the memories from your day of hurts, upsets and annoyances and methodically forgive and release each one.  This only takes a few minutes to do and it will make a big difference in your life. 

Forgive Your Past  It's also important to forgive people and events from your past that hurt or angered you.  At the beginning of this process it helps to keep an ongoing list.  Every time you remember somebody or something that damaged you in your past, add it to your list.  Then each morning when you take your daily time to pray and meditate, try to tackle an item on your list.  (I recommend using Colin Tipping's Radical Forgiveness forms for this.  You can get them on his website, www.colintipping.com under free stuff.)  If you devote ten or twenty minutes to this process  each day you'll find that in six months or a year, you'll have released a big chunk of the surface pain in your subconscious mind. 

Go Deep   Once you forgive and release much of the obvious stuff from your past, it's time to start the really deep work.  So many of our responses to and perspectives on the world around us have roots in painful moments in our past.  Many of these moments have been forgotten, cloaked or suppressed  by us.  Even if we do remember them, we may have forgotten the depth of the hurt they created. This hurt is often the key to much of the crazy, irrational behavior we exhibit in our lives today.  It is also the source of much of our unconscious guilt.  Forgiving this guilt and pain  requires some deep introspection and releasing techniques.  There are several processes outlined in my book which will help to root out memories and forgive and release them. 

This may seem like a lot of work, but it is actually fascinating to do (of course, what's more fascinating than our favorite subjects; ourselves!)  More importantly, this work leads to inner peace. Each act of forgiveness releases fear.  Over time, the forgiveness you do begins to accumulate into something magnificent.

Not only that, but in time the actual forgiveness work becomes pleasurable to do and searching our pasts for little scraps of intel that shed light on the pain that runs our lives today becomes like a treasure hunt.  Each scrap is cause for celebration, because releasing it leads to greater awareness and greater peace. 

Create a forgiveness lifestyle and live a life of peace and happiness.  It all starts with baby steps and you can begin right now by simply scanning your day and forgiving what bugs you.  What have you got to lose...except your pain?  Just get started.  Forgiveness is the key to happiness.

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