STONE NINE CONTINUED
Transform: By changing my thoughts, I transform my life. I choose to change my thoughts concerning past experiences that hold me in pain. I choose to see them from a higher perspective.
Instruction: Transform through forgiveness.
Another excellent tool to help us transform our lives by changing our thoughts is that of forgiveness. The reason many past experiences hold us in pain is because we have yet to forgive the people who hurt us. Some believe that The Divine is the only one who can grant eternal forgiveness, and for those who hold such thoughts, they might not be able to accept that The Divine is quick and willing to forgive us for anything and everything we have ever done or will do. Seems like carte blanche freedom to do anything we want, and in a sense, that could be true, but to use that freedom in a way that is destructive to ourselves and others brings consequences that remind us we should listen to the better nature of our being and live our lives without regrets. We don’t need the motivation of eternal damnation when we consider that living recklessly is ill-conceived and reckless.
As we work Stone Nine, forgiveness becomes a valuable tool to help us shed the pain of the past. We seek forgiveness and accept forgiveness, and things suddenly become healed and whole. When we think someone’s motivation for hurting us was intentional and evil in nature, we will find forgiveness difficult. If we can change the way we interpret their actions (changing our thoughts), we can find it easier to forgive and release the past. In a sense, what we are doing at times is making excuses for them. This might be considered a mind game, but in reality, we don’t know what motivates another person. We can’t read their mind. We choose to believe the first thing that comes into our minds, and often, that thought is a negative one. Would we be so quick to assign these negative motivations to our own actions? I don’t think so, and if we can comprehend that our actions are sometimes motivated by circumstances out of our control and give grace to ourselves, then we should be able to apply the same thought process to those who we feel have hurt us. By transforming our thoughts about the past, we can find ways to forgive, release, and move on.
Today’s Assignment is to consider the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. This is a good time to remember that forgiveness and reconciliation are two different words with two different meanings. It is also a good time to remember that forgiveness is as much, if not more, for the one who is doing the forgiving. Forgiveness allows you to release bitterness and pain. Reconciliation, when it means you attempt to reunite with the religion or religious person that abused you, is optional, and often a bad idea. As I said in the last paragraph, you can’t know what another person is thinking, but you can know if their actions hurt you. You can choose to separate from the pain without placing a value judgment on their motives. Take a moment to consider the difference between the words “forgive” and “reconcile.” Some religions might have us believe you can’t forgive without reconciling with the abuser. Why should you allow them the chance to hurt you again especially if you have discerned that their behavior hasn’t changed? It is okay to forgive and remove yourself from the abusive situation or person that caused the abuse for as long as you need to in order for you to feel safe.
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.