greatergood.berkeley.edu12 Principles of ForgivenessThe acclaimed author and teacher explains the principles that are integral to the process of forgiving, according to Buddhist philosophy. Forgiveness is a big topic. This video gives us a starting point in approaching it from a Buddhist perspective. How do these principles feel to you? forgiving yourself? forgiving others? forgiving society? Others forgiving you?
Forgiveness and Grief. This article provides a definition and proposed process of forgiveness. Both are developed by Enright, considered by many to be the founder of Forgiveness research, and they continue to be reworked as research sheds light on the many layers and dimensions of forgiveness. Here is an early definition of forgiveness (no wonder it is hard at times!):
A willingness to abandon one’s right to resentment, negative judgment, and indifferent behavior to one who unjustly injured us, while fostering the undeserved qualities of compassion, generosity and even love toward him or her” (Enright, R. D., & North, J. (1998). Introducing forgiveness. Exploring forgiveness, 3-8.).
h, and Here is a link to the article that got us started on our discussion, including a 4-phase model of forgiveness as put forth by Enright and colleagues, broken down further into a total of 20 steps. It suggests a fairly linear process of forgiveness. What do you think about this model? Is forgiveness linear? If not, does it more or less follow this pathway?
Cheryl, Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful and honest response that you "learned early to deny (or ignore?) [your] feelings."
I am excited for your awareness of this and am sad that this perhaps implies your truth has been denied.
This brings something up for me - that we live in a society where we are taught to deny how we feel. We are taught to "move on" or "forget about it" and this means that we ask ourselves and each other to bury the truth of our experiences, unless of course they are good enough to be shared and celebrated.
You're not alone in being taught to deny or ignore your feelings. I have to ask, what could the world be like if we created space for ourselves and others to be authentic in this way?
I love it, Cheryl! This is big, really big!!
I celebrate you and your personal power!
Cheryl, I love how you note that thinking involves risk... I feel like being aware and mindful in the way that Felt Sense asks us to be involves a certain degree of risk, because when we take note of what it might tell us, or when we see what happens when it brings the light into the center of the room as Marilynn mentioned, it means we experience things in a different and perhaps new way. And when we see things from a new light, this can empower us but also require us to take responsibility for what we KNOW in this new way. For example, this past summer I was looking for a place to stay for the duration of a month or so. I found a place on AirBnB and it was the only option that fit my search criteria. I wasn't excited about it but felt like I 'should' check it out. I had a tightening in my throat that pulsed and squeezed when I thought about it; it wasn't pleasant. But I felt like it was the only option, somehow. I had to drive 6 or so hours to get there. The moment I drove into the town, I felt the need to pull over and throw up. I pushed it down and ignored it for a few miles. I looked at the place and nothing about it felt good or right. I said no, having no idea where I'd land or stay for more than a night at a time. That night, I ended up randomly finding the most fabulous AirBnB for a couple weeks in Sedona, which catapulted me into an amazing and adventurous summer. Had I not listened to my (at that point) super loud Felt Sense, I may have committed to a place that wasn't the right fit. At the time, however, it felt like more of a risk to actually LISTEN and pay attention. How interesting....!
So much to think about here- and we know thinking involves risk...
I learned early to deny (or ignore?) my feelings. I too Googled Felt Sense and am trying to be more aware of my bodies reactions to situations. Hoping to regain my power. Love the feeling that I can choose how I show up!
In a recent conversation, Maggie and I discussed perspective and the opportunity for it to change or be massaged into something new when it is seen in a different light. (Imagine a lamp moved from the corner to the floor in the center of the room.)
Before last night's Circle, I heard Maggie's mention of Felt Sense and Googled it. As a person who feels in tune with my body, I appreciated the concept but didn't give it much more thought.
After last night's Circle, my husband shared with me that we were invited to his sister's house for Super Bowl (snacks and drinks included) and said that he would like to talk about going. This provoked some anxious feelings for me as we haven't been socializing unless outdoors and distanced with masks. After I spent a short amount of time getting worked up internally (imagining our discussion and my having to accommodate something that feels scary to me), I realized that I was waaaaaay outside the moment. I slowed things down - felt what I was feeling in my body - and brought myself back to the present moment.
When I woke this morning and sat for my meditation, I felt that this anxiety and worry was still with me. I reflected on our practice from the night before of Felt Sense. I recognized the watery/sour feeling in my stomach, my short inhalations, and very busy mind, and suddenly, it was as if someone moved the lamp for me. I had a revelation that how I feel in my body influences how I show up. When I considered how I want to show up, I realized that it is not from an instinctual place but from a safe loving place. This prompted me to consider my personal power - thoughts, beliefs, choice, and voice.
Felt Sense might not tell us what to do or how to act, but it certainly will impact how we show up. This awareness, acknowledgement and acceptance (without judgement or criticism) of what we are feeling has the power to inform us and influence our personal power - thoughts, beliefs, choice, and voice.
I heard Maggie say last night that we practice this in easy moments so that when the wave (death and dying?) comes, we have the opportunity to pull out this familiar tool.
Incredible and brilliant. Thank you, Maggie!
I'd like to hear more about ho'opunopono practice.
reading Anne Lamott: SMALL VICTORIES: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace. she quotes Lewis Smede "To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you."
glad to read that forgiveness part 2 is topic for this Wednesday. as I attend more evening sessions, I feel the threads being knit together. and clearly we need more yarn for these complex topics.
I just read this and thought it fits into our discussion-
C - confess without excuses;
O - offer specific apologies;
N - take note of the pain you may have caused another;
E - equalize; we need to make up for the pain the other person has experienced by making restitution;
F - forever value; explain that you value the relationship and want to restore it more than hang on to your pride;
S - say that I/we will really strive that this will never happen again;
S - seek forgiveness, clearly asked for forgiveness; in doing so, we knowledge that we did wrong.