Here are some activities for increasing Forgiveness in your life:
1. Learn more about Forgiveness. We all need to increase our understanding of what it means to forgive others, and to ask for forgiveness from others. Your
heart and mental health may depend on your ability to reduce hurt and anger, even at yourself. A good place to start (outside of this Forgiveness section of TerraCuddles.com) is an article from WebMD titled "Learning to Forgive Yourself." Read it online.
2. Change Shoes.
Not literally, of course, but in your mind. Think back to a recent event when you felt yourself getting angry at something someone did. What could he possibly have been thinking about that made him act that way? What problem did she have that she was trying to resolve? What limitations did she have? What pressures were on him? What hurts has she endured that may have led to her behavior? Use your imagination if you don't know the true facts.
You may conclude that she simply didn't have the benefit of parents or mentors as good as your own. Continue this exercise for 5 or 10 minutes, or until you feel your anger change to a true hope that he or she has a better life. It does all of us good occassionally to look at things from another perspective, and to walk a mile in another man's mocassins.
3. Express Your Forgiveness. Think back in your life to yesterday, last year,
or fifty years ago, to a time when you were hurt by someone else. You may have been physically hurt, or you maybe he or she just hurt your feelings. It might have been a major, traumatic injury, or it might just be a nagging irritation. But whatever it is, if you still remember it as a hurt then it is continuing to have a negative impact on your life. Seek out that person. Let him know that you care
about him, that you forgive him, and that you wish him the best -- and truly mean it. If those injuries didn't kill you then there's a great chance they have now made you stronger. And without an irritation, the oyster would never have produced a beautiful pearl.
4. Ask For Forgiveness. Here's a tough one for most people. Think back in your life to yesterday, last year, or fifty years ago, to a time when you hurt
someone else. You may have injured someone physically, you may have hurt her feelings, or you may have not kept a promise. Just as in 3 above, it might have been a major, traumatic injury, or you might have just caused an irritation. He or she may not even remember it, but if you do, then it's important to you. Seek out that person, let him know that you are sorry, that you care about him
as a person, and ask his forgiveness. If you can pay the debt or right the wrong, that's great. If not, at least acknowledging it and knowing that you have now done what you can will lift your life, and with grace, may make him feel better too. No one loses, and you may both have much to gain.
Do you have more suggestions for Forgiveness activities? Share them with us by e-mail to Forgiveness@TerraCuddles.com.