Tara Brach writes:
Self-aggression, whether it’s low key blame or deep condemnation, prevents us from intimacy with others and discovering the truth and wholeness of our Being. This talk explores how we can release self-blame, and free ourselves to access our natural warmth and creativity in responding to our world.
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” ~Paul Boese
Get the answer here: Why Forgiveness Doesn’t Work and How to Change That | Tiny Buddha.
No matter how long we’ve been recovering, no matter how solid our spiritual ground, we may still feel an overwhelming desire at times to punish, or get even, with another person.
We want revenge.
We want to see the other person hurt the way he or she has hurt us. We want to see life deal that person just rewards. In fact, we would like to help life out.
Those are normal feelings, but we do not have to act on them. These feelings are part of our anger but it’s not our job to deal justice.
We can allow ourselves to feel the anger. It is helpful to go one step deeper and let ourselves feel the other feelings – the hurt, the pain, the anguish. But our goal is to release the feelings, and be finished with them.
We can hold the other person accountable. We can hold the other person responsible. But it is not our responsibility to be judge and jury. Actively seeking revenge will not help us. It will block us and hold us back.
Walk away. Stop playing the game. Unhook. Learn your lesson. Thank the other person for having taught you something valuable. And be finished with it. Put it behind, with the lesson intact.
Acceptance helps. So does forgiveness – not the kind that invites that person to use us again, but a forgiveness that releases the other person and sets him or her free to walk a separate path, while releasing our anger and resentments. That sets us free to walk our own path.
Today, I will be as angry as I need to be, with a goal of finishing my business with others. Once I have released my hurt and anger, I will strive for healthy forgiveness – forgiveness with boundaries. I understand that boundaries, coupled with forgiveness and compassion, will move me forward.“ via Just For Today Meditations – Daily Recovery Readings – September 16, 2012.
Rule One – You will receive a body. Whether you love it or hate it, it’s yours for life, so accept it. What counts is what’s inside.
Rule Two – You will be presented with lessons. Life is a constant learning experience, which every day provides opportunities for you to learn more. These lessons are specific to you, and learning them ‘is the key to discovering and fulfilling the meaning and relevance of your own life’.
Rule Three – There are no mistakes, only lessons. Your development towards wisdom is a process of experimentation, trial and error, so it’s inevitable things will not always go to plan or turn out how you’d want. Compassion is the remedy for harsh judgment – of ourselves and others. Forgiveness is not only divine – it’s also ‘the act of erasing an emotional debt’. Behaving ethically, with integrity, and with humour – especially the ability to laugh at yourself and your own mishaps – are central to the perspective that ‘mistakes’ are simply lessons we must learn.
Rule Four – The lesson is repeated until learned. Lessons repeat until learned. What manifest as problems and challenges, irritations and frustrations are more lessons – they will repeat until you see them as such and learn from them. Your own awareness and your ability to change are requisites of executing this rule. Also fundamental is the acceptance that you are not a victim of fate or circumstance – ‘causality’ must be acknowledged; that is to say: things happen to you because of how you are and what you do. To blame anyone or anything else for your misfortunes is an escape and a denial; you yourself are responsible for you, and what happens to you. Patience is required – change doesn’t happen overnight, so give change time to happen.
Rule Five – Learning does not end. While you are alive there are always lessons to be learned. Surrender to the ‘rhythm of life’, don’t struggle against it. Commit to the process of constant learning and change – be humble enough to always acknowledge your own weaknesses, and be flexible enough to adapt from what you may be accustomed to, because rigidity will deny you the freedom of new possibilities.
Rule Six – “There” is no better than “here”. The other side of the hill may be greener than your own, but being there is not the key to endless happiness. Be grateful for and enjoy what you have, and where you are on your journey. Appreciate the abundance of what’s good in your life, rather than measure and amass things that do not actually lead to happiness. Living in the present helps you attain peace.
Rule Seven – Others are only mirrors of you. You love or hate something about another person according to what love or hate about yourself. Be tolerant; accept others as they are, and strive for clarity of self-awareness; strive to truly understand and have an objective perception of your own self, your thoughts and feelings. Negative experiences are opportunities to heal the wounds that you carry. Support others, and by doing so you support yourself. Where you are unable to support others it is a sign that you are not adequately attending to your own needs.
Rule Eight – What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. Take responsibility for yourself. Learn to let go when you cannot change things. Don’t get angry about things – bitter memories clutter your mind. Courage resides in all of us – use it when you need to do what’s right for you. We all possess a strong natural power and adventurous spirit, which you should draw on to embrace what lies ahead.
Rule Nine – Your answers lie inside of you. Trust your instincts and your innermost feelings, whether you hear them as a little voice or a flash of inspiration. Listen to feelings as well as sounds. Look, listen, and trust. Draw on your natural inspiration.
Rule Ten – You will forget all this at birth. We are all born with all of these capabilities – our early experiences lead us into a physical world, away from our spiritual selves, so that we become doubtful, cynical and lacking belief and confidence. The ten Rules are not commandments, they are universal truths that apply to us all. When you lose your way, call upon them. Have faith in the strength of your spirit. Aspire to be wise – wisdom the ultimate path of your life, and it knows no limits other than those you impose on yourself.” via Today’s Quotes: RULES for being HUMAN!.
Melody Beattie writes:
Willpower is not the key to the way of life we are seeking. Surrender is.
“I have spent much of my life trying to make people be, do, or feel something they aren’t, don’t want to do, and choose not to feel. I have made them, and myself, crazy in that process,” said one recovering woman.
I spent my childhood trying to make an alcoholic father who didn’t love himself be a normal person who loved me. I then married an alcoholic and spent a decade trying to make him stop drinking.
I have spent years trying to make emotionally unavailable people be emotionally present for me. I have spent even more years trying to make family members, who are content feeling miserable, happy.
What I’m saying is this: I’ve spent much of my life desperately and vainly trying to do the impossible and feeling like a failure when I couldn’t. It’s been like planting corn and trying to make the seeds grow peas. Won’t work!
By surrendering to powerlessness, I gain the presence of mind to stop wasting my time and energy trying to change and control that which I cannot change and control. It gives me permission to stop trying to do the impossible and focus on what is possible: being who I am, loving myself, feeling what I feel, and doing what I want to do with my life.
In recovery, we learn to stop fighting lions, simply because we cannot win. We also learn that the more we are focused on controlling and changing others, the more unmanageable our life becomes. The more we focus on living our own life, the more we have a life to live, and the more manageable our life will become.
Today, I will accept powerlessness where I have no power to change things, and I’ll allow my life to become manageable.” via Daily Meditation ~ Powerlessness & Unmanageability – Miracles In Progress Codependents Anonymous Group.
Today, I am thinking about how to apply this to my in-laws…
My mother in law will never love me like a son and my sibling in laws will never treat me like a brother. Three years ago during the ‘summer of forgiveness’, I made amends and was forgiven and yet I remain in their ‘penalty box‘. I refuse to let myself in an close the lid on top of me. I refuse to play a role in their drama. If I’m not going to get what I need it’s not worth the work…
- …on Control (toddlohenry.com)