"We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.
--Martin Luther King, Jr from www.brainyquote.com
Depending on who you ask, National/Global/International Forgiveness Day is either June 26th, July 7th, August 3rd, August 7th, August 27th, or the last Saturday of October (this year on October 29th). However, as the 10th anniversary of September 11th, 2001 and the destruction of the Twin Towers is coming up, it seems as good a day as any to talk about forgiveness.
My main forgiveness guru is Colin Tipping. He has created a number of tools for forgiveness that are available on his website (many of them for free!) as well as in his book, Radical Forgiveness (which I highly recommend), however, in a recent blog entry he talks about the success a group of workshop participants have had with one of his simplest tools, what he calls the "Emerge-n-see 4 Step Process."
In this process, whenever you feel wronged or victimized you simply stop and go through these four steps to get to a place of peace and forgiveness. Here they are:
#1. Look What I Created! You look at the situation at hand and see it as a growth opportunity chosen by your higher self for your growth and learning. You take responsibility for what you have done (on a conscious or an unconscious level) to create this situation in your life.
#2. I Notice My Judgments and Feelings But Love Myself Anyway. In this step you acknowledge the judgments and feelings that this situation is bringing up for you and you allow yourself to FEEL YOUR FEELINGS. This is an important step because only when we allow ourselves to really feel our feelings can we move forward.
#3. I Am Willing to See the Perfection in the Situation. This is the "radical forgiveness" step wherein you no longer see yourself as a victim in the situation, but as an active participant. This is the perfect situation for your growth and healing right now and you acknowledge that and perhaps even thank the other person for helping you to grow in this way.
#4. I Choose the Power of Peace. You decide to be at peace with this situation, this being the only choice once you know that all is in divine order.
This is a quick and easy way to do forgiveness on the fly. Write down the four steps and put them in your wallet, tape them to the dashboard of your car, or post them on your refrigerator.
Or create a mnemonic device to help you remember them whenever you need them. I use the following: LOOK, NOTICE, PERFECTION, PEACE. These four words help me remember the steps so that I can quickly and easily move through them when I need to.
Pick one person or situation this week and give it a try. Let me know how it goes. May the power of peace be yours this week!
If you are interested in going deeper with your forgiveness work, Colin and his wife JoAnn are offering a weekend workshop in November called "The Magic of Radical Forgiveness." Let me know if you go!
The Magic of Radical Forgiveness