We often forget to forgive ourself. Hurts build up inside of us again and again. These hurts cause deep pain. They can fester, and wall off like an abscess. It is imperative that we clear these hurts in order to feel well before they become too ingrained. Forgiveness is the way to do this. Usually forgiveness is a “solo” activity that we do ourself. We can tell the other person, but this is often not necessary. How do we forgive ourself? We start with the small hurts. Mindfulness helps us get in touch with our pain, our hurt feelings. Identifying our pain is the first step. Once identified we expand our fixed notions about the other person who has hurt us. We try to see that person in a bigger light, remembering the positive qualities she or he may have. We try to remember the good times we shared in the past. Then with a motivation to heal ourself, we remember how important it is to let go of the hurt. This does not mean the other person is right. Rather it is self-healing to let go of the hurt to cultivate a feeling of wellbeing.
Compassion for others works best starting with compassion for ourselves. During this most challenging time of our lives, taking good care of ourselves is paramount. It is a matter of survival. Let’s make recognizing feeling […]
Last night in Tokyo with my Human Values Institute group we discussed in some detail the distinctions between empathy and compassion. I had just stepped off a 12+ hour flight, and spent about 20 hours […]
Forgiveness is an important corollary to compassion, as is gratitude. Both attitudes dampen the tendency to think, “I am right,” falling into righteousness. By reducing strong clinging and grasping to myself, both attitudes soften the […]