MINDFULNESS AND CONTEMPLATION
– Six Steps To Not Drinking
WORDS MITCH LAWRIE
n the last edition we explored the complexity of forgiving, and the need to not prematurely pretend “it’s all good,” or confuse forgiveness with permissiveness. As we discussed, forgiveness is not about being a human doormat. Forgiving is a process, and for major hurts it often takes time. The alternative path is neatly summed up in a statement often attributed to the Buddha, but which most likely came out of the ‘AA’ movement: “Not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” The skill of forgiving is fundamental to good psychological health. What many people don’t realise is that it is also a wonderful opportunity for personal transformation. The better you get at forgiving others = the better you become at forgiving yourself = the freer and happier you can be! Here are some of the core components to becoming a ‘grand master’ at forgiving: 1. Allow yourself to feel the emotions and pain of the perceived
transgression against you. Distracting yourself and repressing emotions only creates further difficulties later. 2. Look deeper! Does part of your reaction have roots in the past? Do you also need to forgive someone else in your childhood or even yourself? 3. Take ownership of your mind. Recognise that ultimately you are creating the negative emotions. Once fully felt, if the emotions of anger and resentment still keep returning it may be because you’ve developed a habit of thinking about what happened in a certain way. 4. Step into their shoes. Imagine how the other person has been hurt in the past. Remember that like you, the other person is also striving to be happy. Unfortunately how they’re going about trying to be happy has been distorted in an unhealthy way by their life story, suffering and limited awareness. 5. Expand your heart awareness. Focus on the image of yourself as a powerful, loving being able to make gracious, conscious choices. 6. When you are ready… choose.
John of God
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Choose to forgive the other and release resentment and anger. Then expand your forgiveness to yourself and keep expanding this state of compassion and forgiveness as widely as you can. Bonus personal transformation step – do something to help the other person. Try it and you’ll discover why the ancient teachers spoke of ‘loving your enemy.’ Start practising your forgiveness skills now. You don’t even need to do it in the order above. As you get better you’ll find you can dissolve minor resentments quickly with just a few of these steps/skills. And if you are feeling overwhelmed and not yet able to apply what I’ve written above… have a little compassion for yourself. Seek more support. Find a wise friend or a professional service such as ours.
MITCH LAWRIE is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Career/Life Counsellor with Mindful Therapy Psychology Services. Visit mindfultherapy.com.au/hypnotherapy for more info on how he might assist you.
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| FEBRUARY 2014 | Holistic Bliss
1/21/2014 9:15:41 AM
Holistic Bliss - Australia's premier holistic lifestyle magazine created on the Sunshine Coast