Our Father forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Wouldn’t we all benefit if we celebrated a day of atonement? We’ve all made mistakes, said things that hurt others, misinterpreted things, acted perversely, even wickedly, framed lies and been violent.
The prayer of atonement:
We have sinned, we have acted treacherously. We have robbed, we have spoken slander. We have acted perversely, we have acted wickedly. have acted presumptuously, we have been violent, we have framed lies.
What if we were to seek out each person we have frustrated, angered, misused, mistreated, misunderstood, slandered, misled, or many other ways we have mistreated others, in thoughtless or mean ways.
How many relationships could be healed if every year we asked for forgiveness, and every year we forgave those who wronged us?
Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Unknown
We may feel we are not strong enough to forgive because what was done seems unforgivable. What is the cost of carrying that weight around? Forgiveness is not for the offender, it is for the offended to release the burden they are carrying
Everett Worthington, a pioneer clinical psychologist in the field of forgiveness, proposes a method for forgiveness he calls the REACH method.
R is for RECALL of the hurt.
Visualize the event while taking deep breaths to steady ourselves emotionally. We are to acknowledge our inner pain but make an effort to overcome it by recalling the incident as objectively as possible. We need to separate our anger, from ourselves. We need to find a way to express this anger in a non-hurtful way without yelling or attacking. We need to do our best to avoid judgment and focus on letting the resentment go.
E is for EMPATHISE with the person who hurt us.
We need to remember we are all capable of hurtful behavior. Can we see what happened from the offender’s point of view? Can we replace anger with compassion?
A is for the ALTRUISTIC gift of forgiveness.
Can we give the gift of forgiveness freely, not grudgingly? If we are forgiven as we forgive perhaps we can focus on the positive results of freeing ourselves from pain and bitterness.
C is for the COMMITMENT to forgive.
First, we must forgive ourselves for our part in the situation. Sometimes this is the hardest part. If we can put our forgiveness into words by writing them out we will be more committed to the action of forgiveness.
H is for HOLDING onto that forgiveness.
We have forgiven but we have to remember we forgave them when the memories come flooding back into our mind. We need to focus on the good things the offender has brought into our lives and not the offense we have forgiven.
When we control our thoughts we control our life. We can live our lives harboring resentment, becoming bitter and twisted, or we can forgive. It’s our choice; no one will force us to forgive someone for large or small offenses. We can go forward free of our burdens, or continue to carry them. When we forgive someone it doesn’t make as big a difference in their life as it does in ours.
It is in our own self-interest to forgive. It is in our own self-interest to acknowledge the wrongs we have done to others and make amends, to atone for our mistakes.
Is there a way we can bring forgiveness of ourselves and others into our life?
A Buddhist prayer of forgiveness:
If I have harmed anyone in any way either knowingly or unknowingly through my own confusions I ask their forgiveness. If anyone has harmed me in any way either knowingly or unknowingly through their own confusions I forgive them. And if there is a situation I am not yet ready to forgive I forgive myself for that. For all the ways that I harm myself, negate, doubt, belittle myself through my own confusions I forgive myself.
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.
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