Invictus

 

Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.
– Nelson Mandela in Invictus

It is a good observation.

When I have not (yet) forgiven, there is a knot there. And that knot inevitably – it seems – includes fear.

Any knot comes from a belief, and includes a reactive relationship with fear. I try to avoid fear and whatever triggers the fear in me, or I act and make decisions from fear. And beliefs not only creates a reactive relationship with fear, but also the other familiar things such as stress, unease, tension, rumination, and avoidance.

I may believe that he (or she/they) harmed me. And naturally, I will experience fear, try to avoid triggering that fear, act on that fear, and experience stress, discomfort, tension and so on. As long as I believe that story, I won’t be able to completely forgive him, and I will have a reactive relationship with fear around that person. When there is genuine forgiveness, I am free to act from more clarity and maturity, and that has far more power in it.

How can we forgive? We obviously cannot do it simply by deciding or wanting to forgive. Something more has to happen.

So what is required? I am sure what works depends somewhat on the person and the situation.

For me, it seems to be a combination of three aspects: (a) Allowing my experience as it is, with kindness. (b) A reorientation into wishing for genuine forgiveness. And (c) seeing seeing the reality in the situation. The truth shall set you free.

I find that allowing experience, prayer, and The Work is a good combination.

Allowing experience helps me stay with whatever is happening – emotions, images, impulses, thoughts. It helps me allow it all, with kindness. And it softens my identification with my familiar viewpoints that prevent genuine forgiveness.

Prayer and visualizations helps shift my orientation. It points me in a new direction.

And The Work gives me insight into my beliefs around the situation. These beliefs that prevent forgiveness, and are the gateway for finding what is more honest for me than these beliefs.

Lack of forgiveness is not only distressing. It also makes me act in ways I otherwise would not. I believe a story, and have no choice but to perceive, feel, and act as if it is true. I come from reactivity, and the belief distorts and obscures whatever wisdom and kindness otherwise available to me.

With genuine forgiveness, there is clarity, including the clarity to act in a more mature way.

As usual, there is a great deal more to this:

I can forgive others, myself, or life (God). It doesn’t matter who I haven’t forgiven, the dynamics are the same, and the process of finding genuine forgiveness is the same.

Any knot comes from a belief, and its symptoms are lack of forgiveness, a reactive relationship to fear, and stress, unease, tension and so on. Any belief comes with a lack of forgiveness, it seems. I tell myself life should go my way, it doesn’t, so I am not able to quite forgive life. In this sense, forgiveness is just one of many facets of beliefs and clarity.

Genuine forgiveness has several facets. For me, I find that it includes all of the following: Finding myself in the other, recognizing – and deeply feeling – that we are in the same boat. Finding genuine appreciation for what happened. Finding genuine compassion for myself and others in the situation. Recognizing that we all did what we had to do, given our beliefs and the situation. There is a softening of the heart. A sense of “us”. And far richer set of stories about what happened, each with some validity.

When I act from lack of forgiveness, there is reactivity there. And when I act from a more genuine forgiveness, it often looks ordinary, more mature, and appropriate to the situation.

Tong Len is another tool that may be very helpful with forgiveness. It has been an important practice in periods of my life, but not right now, which is why I initially left it out. Any (other) shadow work will also be very helpful.

Allowing experience as is, with kindness, is also essential. Allowing my feelings, as they are, with kindness. Allowing whatever is here in experience – emotions, impulses, images, resistance. It opens the heart, and softens identification with the familiar viewpoints that creates the lack of forgiveness in the first place. It allows inquiry to happen in a more open and sincere way.

And as mentioned above, prayer is also essential, at least in my experience. I pray for myself and whomever else is involved, visualizing a complete resolution – clarity, wisdom, and kindness. It helps me reorient. It sets and clarifies intention. It shows me what is possible. It helps me find ways for it to happen.

And as usual, reality is a friend.

Finally, why do we wish for forgiveness? We do it for ourselves. Lack of forgiveness constrains us. It creates discomfort. To put it dramatically, it is poison. Forgiveness, as Mandela said in the movie, liberates the soul. It opens new possibilities. It allows us to act with more maturity and sanity.

Update: This little video on forgiveness just showed up in my YouTube subscriptions.

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new outline….

  • forgiveness
    • forgiveness and not
      • lack of forgiveness
        • fear, stress etc.
        • perceive, feel, act as a victim
      • forgiveness
        • clarity, act from more maturity + what the situation calls for
    • dynamics
      • belief = lack of forgiveness = reactive relationship w. fear
      • he harmed me -> fear for the person or a similar situation + stress, tension, rumination, reactive emotions, thoughts and actions, identified as victim
      • clarity ->
    • three tools
      • allowing
        • welcome emotions, impulses, images, thoughts etc. w. kindness
        • soften identification w. familiar viewpoint – as victim etc.
      • prayer
        • reorient – intention, direction to forgiveness
        • open heart to myself/others involved
      • inquiry
        • richer set of stories, find validity in each – released out of identification w. one viewpoint
        • find what is more honest for me than initial belief
      • living from it

…………..
…………..
…………..

What is required? To me, it seems that seeing the reality in the situation is an essential aspect. The truth shall set you free.

…………..

– forgiveness & fear
– good observation, and something we all/most of us know from everyday life – or at least can know if we notice, or try it out
– the how of happiness, offer no tools for forgiveness – but are of course tools available
– the work, prayer/visualization, exploring from many angles, finding genuine gifts in it, etc. – also tong len, shadow work

…………..
…………..
…………..

draft….

Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.
– Nelson Mandela in Invictus

It is a good observation.

When I have not (yet) forgiven, there is a knot there. And that knot inevitably – it seems – includes fear.

Any knot comes from a belief, and includes a reactive relationship with fear along with the other familiar things such as stress, unease, tension, rumination, avoidance and so on.

How can we forgive? We obviously cannot do it simply by deciding to forgive or by wanting to forgive. Something more has to happen.

What is required? To me, it seems to be a combination of (a) allowing my experience as it is, with kindness. (b) A reorientation into wishing for genuine forgiveness. And (c) seeing seeing the reality in the situation. The truth shall set you free.

I find that allowing experience, prayer, and The Work is a good combination.

Allowing experience helps me stay with whatever is happening – emotions, images, impulses, thoughts. It helps me allow it all, with kindness. And it softens my identification with my familiar viewpoints that prevent genuine forgiveness.

Prayer and visualizations helps shift my orientation. It points me in a new direction.

And The Work gives me insight into my beliefs around the situation. These beliefs that prevent forgiveness, and are the gateway for finding what is more honest for me than these beliefs.

Lack of forgiveness is not only distressing. It also makes me act in ways I otherwise would not. I believe a story, and have no choice but to perceive, feel, and act as if it is true. I come from reactivity, and the belief distorts and obscures whatever wisdom and kindness otherwise available to me.

With genuine forgiveness, there is clarity, including the clarity to act more from whatever wisdom and kindness is here.

As usual, there is a lot more to this:

I can forgive others, myself, or life (God). It doesn’t matter who I haven’t forgiven, the dynamics are the same, and the process of finding genuine forgiveness is the same.

Whenever there is any stress or unease, it is a pointer to a lack of forgiveness, which in turn comes from a belief. Stress points to lack of forgiveness and a belief. And any belief brings with it a lack of forgiveness.

Genuine forgiveness has several facets. For me, I find that it includes all of the following: Finding myself in the other, recognizing – and deeply feeling – that we are in the same boat. Finding genuine appreciation for what happened. Finding genuine compassion for myself and others in the situation. Recognizing that we all did what we had to do, given our beliefs and the situation. There is a softening of the heart. A sense of “us”. And far richer set of stories about what happened, each with some validity.

There is a myth among some that forgiveness makes us into doormats. If we pretend we forgive, that may be true. But in genuine forgiveness, there is clarity. And when we act from clarity, we naturally respond to the situation in the way that seems most helpful. Sometimes, receptivity and allowing may be in the foreground. Other times, clear boundaries.

Tong Len is another tool that may be very helpful with forgiveness. It has been an important practice in periods of my life, but not right now, which is why I initially left it out. Any (other) shadow work will also be very helpful.

Allowing experience as is, with kindness, is also essential. Allowing my feelings, as they are, with kindness. Allowing whatever is here in experience – emotions, impulses, images, resistance. It opens the heart, and softens identification with the familiar viewpoints that creates the lack of forgiveness in the first place. It allows inquiry to happen in a more open and sincere way.

And as mentioned above, prayer is also essential, at least in my experience. I pray for myself and whomever else is involved, visualizing a complete resolution – clarity, wisdom, and kindness. It helps me reorient. It sets and clarifies intention. It shows me what is possible. It helps me find ways for it to happen.

And as usual, reality is a friend.

…………..

draft…..

Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.
– Nelson Mandela in Invictus

It is a good observation.

When I have not (yet) forgiven, there is a knot there. And that knot inevitably – it seems – includes fear.

It includes fear, along with the other familiar things such as stress, unease, tension, rumination, avoidance and so on.

How can we forgive? We obviously cannot do it simply by deciding to forgive or by wanting to forgive. Something more has to happen.

What is required? To me, it seems that seeing the reality in the situation is an essential aspect. The truth shall set you free.

I find that prayer and The Work is a good combination. Prayer helps shift my orientation and intention. And The Work gives me insight into my beliefs around the situation. The beliefs that prevent forgiveness, and are the gateway for finding what is more honest for me than these beliefs.

Lack of forgiveness is distressing for ourselves, and it also makes us act in ways we otherwise would not. I believe a story, and have no choice but to perceive, feel, and act as if it is true. I come from reactivity, and the belief distorts and obscures whatever wisdom and kindness is here.

With genuine forgiveness, there is clarity, including the clarity to act more from whatever wisdom and kindness is here.

As usual, there is a lot more to this:

I can forgive others, myself, or life (God). It doesn’t matter who I haven’t forgiven, the dynamics are the same, and the process of finding genuine forgiveness is the same.

Genuine forgiveness has several facets. For me, I find that it includes all of the following: Finding myself in the other, recognizing – and deeply feeling – that we are in the same boat. Finding genuine appreciation for what happened. Finding genuine compassion for myself and others in the situation. Recognizing that we all did what we had to do, given our beliefs and the situation. There is a softening of the heart. A sense of “us”. And far richer set of stories about what happened, each with some validity.

Tong Len is another tool that may be very helpful with forgiveness. It has been an important practice in periods of my life, but not right now, which is why I initially left it out. Any (other) shadow work will also be very helpful.

Allowing experience as is, with kindness, is also essential. Allowing my feelings, as they are, with kindness. Allowing whatever is here in experience – emotions, impulses, images, resistance. It opens the heart, and softens identification with the familiar viewpoints that creates the lack of forgiveness in the first place. It allows inquiry to happen in a more open and sincere way.

And as mentioned above, prayer is also essential, at least in my experience. I pray for myself and whomever else is involved, visualizing a complete resolution – clarity, wisdom, and kindness. It helps me reorient. It sets and clarifies intention. It shows me what is possible. It helps me find ways for it to happen.

And as usual, reality is a friend.

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