As promise during my journey The Science of Happiness I would share some of my course work. Note: The sections are from the lecture sections or book sections of the coursework. These sessions are for your personal growth or good for everyday practices.
We have all suffered incidents that felt hurtful and unjust. Choosing to forgive is a way to release the distress that arises again and again from the memory of these incidents—but forgiveness is often a long and difficult process. This exercise outlines several steps that are essential to the process of forgiveness, breaking this difficult experience down into more manageable components. These steps were created by Robert Enright, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading forgiveness researchers. Although the specific methods for forgiveness may look different for different people, they can still draw upon Dr. Enright’s basic principles. In certain cases, it may help to consult a trained clinician, especially if you are working through a traumatic event.
Each person will forgive at his or her own pace. We suggest that you move through the steps below based on what works for you.
1. Make a list of people who have hurt you deeply enough to warrant the effort to forgive. You can do this by asking yourself on a 1-to-10 scale, How much pain do I have regarding the way this person treated me?with 1 involving the least pain (but still significant enough to justify the time to forgive) and 10 involving the most pain. Then, order the people on this list from least painful to most painful. Start with the person lowest on this hierarchy (least painful).
2. Consider one offense by the first person on your list. Ask yourself: How has this person’s offense negatively impacted by life? Reflect on the psychological and physical harm it may have caused. Consider how your views of humanity and trust of others may have changed as a result of this offense. Recognize that what happened was not okay, and allow yourself to feel any negative emotions that come up.
3. When you’re ready, make a decision to forgive. Deciding to forgive involves coming to terms with what you will be doing as you forgive—extending an act of mercy toward the person who has hurt you. When we offer this mercy, we deliberately try to reduce resentment (persistent ill will) toward this person and, instead, offer him or her kindness, respect, generosity, or even love.
It is important to emphasize that forgiveness does not involve excusing the person’s actions, forgetting what happened, or tossing justice aside. Justice and forgiveness can be practiced together.
Another important caveat: To forgive is not the same as to reconcile. Reconciliation is a negotiation strategy in which two or more people come together again in mutual trust. You may not choose to reconcile with the person you are forgiving.
4. Start with cognitive exercises. Ask yourself these questions about the person who has hurt you: What was life like for this person while growing up? What wounds did he or she suffer from others that could have made him or her more likely to hurt you? What kinds of extra pressures or stresses were in this person’s life at the time he or she offended you? These questions are not meant to excuse or condone, but rather to better understand the other person’s areas of pain, those areas that make him or her vulnerable and human. Understanding why people commit destructive acts can also help us find more effective ways of preventing further destructive acts from occurring in the future.
5. Be aware of any little movement of your heart through which you begin to feel even slight compassion for the person who offended you. This person may have been confused, mistaken, and misguided. He or she may deeply regret his or her actions. As you think about this person, notice if you start to feel softer emotions toward him or her.
6. Think of a gift of some kind that you can offer to the person you are trying to forgive. Forgiveness is an act of mercy—you are extending mercy toward someone who may not have been merciful toward you.This could be through a smile, a returned phone call, or a good word about him or her to others. Always consider your own safety first when extending kindness and goodwill towards this person. If interacting with this person could put you in danger, find another way to express your feelings, such as by writing in a journal or engaging in a practice such as compassion meditation.
7. Finally, try to find meaning and purpose in what you have experienced. For example, as people suffer from the injustices of others, they often realize that they themselves become more sensitive to others’ pain. This, in turn, can give them a sense of purpose toward helping those who are hurting. It may also motivate them to work toward preventing future injustices of a similar kind.
Once you complete the forgiveness process with one person on your list, select the next person in line and move up that list until you are forgiving the person who hurt you the most.
Evidence that it works
Baskin, T.W., & Enright, R. D. (2004). Intervention studies on forgiveness: A meta-analysis. Journal of Counseling and Development, 82, 79-90.
Researchers compared several studies that used Dr. Enright’s “process model of forgiveness,” similar to the steps outlined above. All the studies were done in a clinical setting including individual and group therapy. Therapies that used these methods were shown to be effective in increasing forgiveness, and in decreasing negative psychological states such as anxiety and anger. These were often long-term therapies, ranging from 6 to 60 weekly sessions, aimed at helping individuals cope with serious offenses.
Why it works
Forgiveness is a long and often challenging process. These steps may help along the way by providing concrete guidelines. Specifically, they may help you narrow and understand whom to forgive—to name and describe your pain; to understand the difference between forgiving and excusing or reconciling; and by thinking about the person who has caused you pain in a novel way, you may begin to feel some compassion for him or her, facilitating forgiveness and reducing the ill will you hold toward this person. These steps also attune you to residual pain from your experience, and encourage you to find meaning and some positivity in it.
Coyle, C. T., & Enright, R. D. (1997). Forgiveness intervention with post-abortion men. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65(6), 1042-1046.
Freedman, S. R., & Enright, R. D. (1996). Forgiveness as an intervention goal with incest survivors. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64(5), 983-992.
Robert Enright, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison
So today I have been feeling the first day of MR and the odds have hit my cell phone, I literally as I am typing this been trying to unlock my phone the past 3 hours. Oh Mercury Retrograde. So I thought I would gather my favorite tips and share them with you these are from Gala Darling
A quick and dirty guide to surviving Mercury retrograde!
Be sure not to take things too personally. People will often say offensive things they didn’t mean around this time, because their thinking is clouded and their communication skills are on pause! If your best friend suddenly became the most insensitive person in the world, give her the benefit of the doubt.
Back up your data!
Don’t purchase any big ticket items, because they will often have flaws or issues that you weren’t aware of! Of course, life doesn’t stop just because of wacky planetary movement, so if you absolutely have to get that car, computer or iPhone, TRIPLE-check all the paperwork, and make sure you have a warranty!
Take things with a grain of salt. Everyone is a bit confused, and people are much more inclined to change their mind once Mercury goes direct. Mercury can be a bit of a trickster — could it be that the next few weeks are a big karmic joke?!
Read the small print on any contracts. Ask lots of questions. Again, you can’t put your life on hold just because of some silly planet, but adapt your lifestyle a bit so that things run more smoothly. Communication can be a mess right now, but do your best to get as much information as you can.
Finish things you started a while ago. Home improvement projects? Wardrobe re-organisation? Short stories? Love affairs?! This is an excellent time to tie up loose ends and file things away forever.
Get together with old friends, reminisce and laugh!
Double-check any information you’re given, especially as relates to travel arrangements! During one particularly formidable Mercury retrograde, I actually caught a cab to the wrong airport! Check times, delays, baggage allowances, reservations… everything!
Allow Mercury to nudge you in unusual directions. If you seem to find yourself “back to the future”, don’t just try to wriggle out of it — look at what the universe is trying to show you. What can you learn from this situation? This is a fantastic time to re-examine, accept and move on.
Check out more of her awesomeness
10 MAGICAL WAYS TO MAKE THE MOST OF MERCURY RETROGRADE!
I was reading this this week and thought it was only fitting, considering my last blog where I made the comment about the term guru. I have been called a teacher and I am perfectly ok with that---
Taken from from my ramdass.org app
There are a lot of people that present themselves as gurus, and that has nothing to do with whether they’re gurus or not, in the real sense of the term ‘guru.’
The difference is that a teacher points the way; the guru is the way.
The guru is a cooked goose, all their seeds are burned and they’re free, so when you’re with them, they are a clean mirror, so you only see your own stuff; that’s all you see, you don’t see your stuff mixed with their stuff, because they don’t have any stuff. With the teacher, you never know what you’re getting, because part of what you see is their stuff, and part of it is your stuff.
You can certainly pick very high teachers. I mean I’m a teacher, obviously, I’m sitting up here teaching – I’m not a guru, but I’m a teacher, and the only way you know them is by your intuitive heart; and my suggestion is that the only thing you owe a teacher is for you to get yourself free. You don’t owe a teacher loyalty. A lot of people say, ‘Well, I’ve been teaching you now, support me or take care of me, or sign and promise me you will’ and I think that’s all nonsense. I think you should take what you can from every teacher, and then go on.
I think that the idea should be to focus on teachings not teachers.
If you focus on teachers rather than teachings, you will spend all your time becoming a connoisseur of clay feet; you know, ‘Is this one pure enough for me to take a teaching from?’ while all I know is when I need a teaching of some sort, I go towards somebody who’s teaching that, and I take the teaching, and I keep taking the part of that which feels intuitively right with my own heart; I do not take any teaching from somebody that goes against my own heart. Every time I have done that, there has been a karmic cost to that, because only intuitively do I know what I need, and I must trust that more than I must trust somebody else telling me what I need.
– Ram Dass, excerpt from the 1989 Summer Retreats – The Listening Heart – Spiritual Practice/Daily Life (Q&A)
confessions of a starseed
Wisdom to be passed to the human race...