06 Apr Forgive them. Not because they deserve your forgiveness, but for your own sake—truly. (HAEMIN SUNIM)
The person who betrayed you and left, the person who stole from you and disappeared, the person who stabbed you in the back and acted as if nothing happened—forgive them.
Not for them, but for your own sake—truly, completely, for yourself. Not because they deserve your forgiveness; not because they are only human.
So you can be free. So you can be happy. So you can go on living your life.
It won’t be easy, and it will feel unjust. A sudden gush of anger may pass through you. Tears of bitterness may roll down your face. Allow those feelings to surface, and let them be. Treat them kindly, with your compassionate heart.
After honoring your tears, ask yourself softly: “Do I want to keep
carrying this resentment in my heart? Do I want to live as a victimforever?”
When you feel ready, muster your courage and make up your mind.
Although your heart won’t listen to your mind’s decision, resolve to forgive and to free yourself from emotional bondage.
And then revisit your feelings of anger and bitterness. Give them
your full permission to express themselves. How do those feelings
manifest in your body? Do they become tense muscles, a rapid
heartbeat, flushed skin? Do they emerge as shallow breathing, as
pressure in your chest?
Let the waves of sensations surface and recede. Attend to the
sensations moving through your body.
When the waves become a bit calmer, look deeply and see what is
beneath them. Are there any hidden emotions beneath the anger and
Do you see fear, shame, or grief? Is there loneliness and insecurity? Rather than drowning in them, observe them.
As your heart becomes more tender and open, turn your attention
toward the aggressor. Can you look beneath that person’s mask and feel what is underneath such violence and dishonesty?
Can you sense his fear, insecurity, and unworthiness? Can you feel
loneliness or shame under the surface? Rather than surrendering to him, observe him compassionately.
Inside of us there is a steep mountain of fear and a deep river of
grief. But there is also the compassionate eye witnessing your inner landscape. May you find your inner witness, the source of freedom and healing.
I was once told by a Buddhist master that
there are two kinds of children in the world:
those born to repay the kindness of their parents,
and those born only to take what their parents have.
Which kind of a son or daughter are you to your parents?
When you think your spouse won’t change
and you worry how you will live the rest of your life together,
Am I perfect in my spouse’s eyes?
According to the Talmud,
every blade of grass has an angel who protects it.
The angels whisper to each blade,
If even a blade of grass has an angel,
wouldn’t each of us as well?
If you feel lonely,
think of the angel on your shoulder
and be grateful that you are cared for.
The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down