Day 13 of the Chopra Center's 21-Day Meditation Challenge. The topic: Forgiveness. davidji discusses how when we forgive, we break the ties to those who have hurt us. He goes on to say that in order to forgive others, we must forgive ourselves.
How many of us walk around with, consciously or unconsciously, self-contempt or a feeling that we are somehow not "good enough"? In this meditation, we are given the opportunity to connect to what may very well be at the root of this - a lack of forgiveness of ourselves for something that we have been holding on to for a long time. Something for which we have harbored guilt. Something that we wish we did or didn't say or did or didn't do.
Sound familiar? Or, perhaps you know someone who is in a constant state of shame with regrets over the past.
Allowing ourselves the space to feel whatever comes up around these issues and offering up the space and opportunity for forgiveness can really jump start the healing process.
Toward the end of the meditation, we were to repeat silently to ourselves the mantra, "I forgive myself for _________." I filled in my blank, and after a few moments of repeating it, I noticed something odd - a warm smile emerging on my face.
Was I nuts? Smiling over this? davidji's voice soon returned as he announced that right about now, you should have a smile on your face. You've lifted a weight and released a thread that was holding you back. Too funny. It did really feel like a release, though I personally feel like I have a long way to go.
There were some situations in my past that caused so much pain that I have found it very difficult to TRULY forgive. On the surface I have, but inside the destructive side-effects of resentment, anger, and lack of forgiveness have taken their toll in the form of post traumatic stress.
Soooo many people go through this and may not even be aware that this is what is happening.
If we let go...if we truly accept the past and find a way to forgive those who have hurt us, can we really heal? I'd like to find out. I know that not forgiving and staying "stuck" sure hasn't helped much.
I am so thankful for these meditations and truly hope that after the 21 days I am able to stay in the habit of practicing. Not only does doing so create a little bit of stress reduction, but it also offers opportunities for self-growth and healing.
May you find your quiet moments. May you be able to forgive yourself and eventually others - truly, wholeheartedly, and completely. May you be FREED from the holds that have bound you for so long. May you accept that the past is the past and that now is now. May you know that you have a choice to live a life full of hope and joy in the now.
Debbie aka Sulilo