Mindfulness and Forgiveness
Mindfulness and The Four Steps to Forgiveness both help us release the past and be present in this moment.
Recently while I was doing a Mindfulness Meditation I felt a strong set of feelings and body sensation arise from within mysefl. Anyone who regularly does Mindfulness Meditation knows that this is not at all unusual. Often, such feelings arise and they are released on the out breath, for example, and that usually is all there is too it. However, what was unusual this time as that the feelings and body sensations just stayed - they did not change or dissolve in any way. They fluctuated a bit, but they did not go away. A few days later those feelings and body sensations were still there…
I realized that I needed to do some specific work on this underlying issue. When I looked into it I could see that I needed to forgive myself for something. I became aware of an old pattern of behavior where I had locked a strong emotional trauma into my body because I denied what was happening at the time it occurred. The underlying issue was triggered because I was revisiting a place where I used to live with a partner of mine. At that time the relationship I was in was falling apart, there were financial challenges and so on, but I was refusing to see this and did not want to look at what was really going on.
I had become desperate to keep this woman in my life and had not wanted to acknowledge the part of me that was very stressed by the circumstances in which we were living. My returning to that place caused all those feelings and body sensations to resurface and that was what was coming up in my mediations. I set aside some time and used The Four Steps to Forgiveness exercise for self forgiveness (download the free ebook from this page if you want to try it) and after a short the issue began to change and resolve itself. I was later able to resume my Mindfulness Mediations as normal.
I found it very interesting that it was only when I did some specific forgiveness work, using The Four Steps to Forgiveness, and forgave myself and became reconciled with myself that I was able to let go of the stuck feelings. I have had similar experiences before with “stuck feelings” where it seemed better to work specifically on them and their causes rather only relying on my meditation practise. This is probably why much respected mindfulness teachers, like Thich Nhat Hanh, encourage practitioners to seek other methods, or even go to a therapist, if they are experiencing strong feelings coming up and realize that they need to deal with an underlying issue.
It seems to me that forgiveness methods, like The Four Steps to Forgiveness, are highly compatible with mindfulness practises. There is much that takes place within mindfulness that could be considered as “forgiveness and reconciliation". Also, there much in the the way of “mindfulness” in the forgiveness process. They are very complementary processes, because after the doing the Forgiveness work I was able to use Mindfulness Mediation to help clear up the ‘debris’, as it were, of my forgiveness practise.
If you need to do some forgiveness, either of yourself or of someone else, (or even to forgive ‘life’ or whoever you feel is responsible for some trouble that you experienced) you may well find that The Four Steps to Forgiveness is a very useful tool for your ‘toolkit’. Even if you are an active practitioner of Mindfulness you may well find have an alternative approach is sometimes very helpful in shifting issues which seem stuck and hard to resolve.
In any event, people all over the world, in many different countries and different cultures are using The Four Steps to Forgiveness to help them forgive and become free of the past. And, after all, becoming free of the past, and being present in the now, is the main goal of mindfulness - and the main goal of The Four Steps to Forgiveness.
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Four Steps to Forgiveness
Four Steps to Forgiveness
A powerful way to freedom, happiness and success.
William Fergus Martin