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Showing posts from June, 2015

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 30 - Enjoy the Ride!

"Life is an adventure in forgiveness." --Norman Cousins

And so we end our second adventure in forgiveness together and continue on our individual adventures. I hope you will continue your daily forgiveness practice in whatever form speaks to you the most. 
When I started this thirty days I expected to be writing a forgiveness letter everyday. As the month progressed, however, I soon realized that this was not the forgiveness method that was resonating for me right now. 
Over the past thirty days I have written only two forgiveness letters, but each day found a technique that worked for me at that time, in that moment. Sometimes what we set out to do is not exactly what happens and that is why life is such an adventure. 
I wish you much happiness - and much forgiveness - on your adventure! 
Lara


30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 29 - God's Greatest Gift

"Forgiveness is God's greatest gift." --Dan Brown "The DaVinci Code"

Some would say love, some compassion, some kindness, but it's all the same thing really. Forgiving, forgetting, looking in the mirror, doing your own work and letting others off the hook when you can. It's all love. It's all compassion. It's all kindness. It's all forgiveness. Whatever you call it, give it your all today. Only one more day in this round. Make the most of it. Who will you forgive today? 

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 28 - Choosing to Live

"I have to learn to forgive or I will die from the hatred." --Kim Phuc, the young girl running naked from a napalm attack in the iconic Vietnam War photo

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 27 - Accountability Counts

"Forgiveness is not about releasing someone from accountability for his actions. It is about us letting go of our anger and resentment."
--@TrainingMindful on Twitter
I think it is important to keep this in mind when working on forgiveness. 
Forgiveness does not mean you don't take care of business: set a boundary, get away from an unsafe situation, even call the police or take legal action. In fact, action can often be an important step in forgiving ourselves especially in cases where we were hurt precisely because we did not take action as soon as we needed to. 
Don't mistake forgiveness for being a doormat. Forgiveness is powerful and goes hand in hand with taking back your power in the world. 
What ACTION can you take today that will facilitate forgiveness? 

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 26 - Forgiving the past

Here is a forgiveness story via my friend Elisa: 
http://www.askotherstrustyourself.com/2015/06/25/finding-deeper-meaning-in-your-childhood-dreams/

Is there anyone from your childhood you still need to forgive? Try and forgive them today and set yourself free.
Here is my own childhood forgiveness story from the first round of 30 days of forgiveness: 
http://www.larasimmons.net/2014/01/30-days-of-forgiveness-day-9.html?m=0

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 25 - Just like that

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          [At Ekouin on Mount Koya]
"Hurt people hurt people." --From the movie "Greenberg" 
And just like that I have three days of free and constantly available wifi. The Universe does work in mysterious ways. Maybe the letting go was the key. Duh. 
Anyway, the need for forgiveness just keeps on coming. 
I left on a long journey this morning. A seven-hour oddessy from Tokyo to Koyasan (Mount Koya) by foot and train and train and subway and train and cable car and bus in a country where I do not speak the language or even recognize the characters of the alphabet. 
Thankfully English is widely spoken in Japan and Japanese people are inordinately kind and helpful. 
There was one bump in the road, however, before I even got on the road. I had sort of planned to make the first leg of this journey with some fellow travelers - although nothing was set in stone - and I happened to run into one of them as I was heading up to my hotel room to gather my things and depart. 
I asked…

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 23 - Day 30 - Forgive Me

Dear Friends,

I will be traveling out of the country for the next two weeks and am finding that wifi is not as prevalent as I had hoped or assumed. I am not going to be able to post the final seven entries for 30 Days of Forgiveness and I need to ask you two things:
1) Please keep on forgiving - for the rest of this month and for the rest of your lives. Keep on forgiving! 
2) Please forgive me for not being able to finish what I started. I did the best that I could and I ended up falling short. I'm sorry. 
I leave you with what I can only assume are some awesome videos on forgiveness - a link to the TED playlist on forgiveness. Enjoy! 
https://www.ted.com/playlists/213/how_and_why_to_forgive

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 22 - Forgiving in the Moment

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"To be forgiven is such sweetness that honey is tasteless in comparison....But...there is one thing sweeter still, and that is to forgive." --Charles Spur

This is perhaps the simplest of all forgiveness techniques, but it only works if you can really mean it in the moment you use it. I mostly use it for smaller things, or on days when I am feeling particularly evolved, or in a really good forgiveness groove. Here it is:

When something happens, someone is rude to you or says something hurtful or wrongs you in some way instead of reacting, just forgive them, right then and there, in the moment. Decide to let it go. And then do it.

If you find, after a few minutes or days, that the resentment is creeping up on you, that is an indicator that this incident may not be a "forgive in the moment" situation. If so, do some more traditional forgiveness work to completely release it. This tool will not work in every situation, but when it does it can save a lot of time and ene…

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 21 - BE STRONG!

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"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." --Gandhi 

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 20 - The Other Side of Forgiveness

"It is usually excruciatingly difficult for people to admit explicitly that they have done wrong. We excuse ourselves. We refuse to admit the truth. We shift blame. We deny the obvious. We excel at rationalizing. But the person who wrenches from himself the unpleasant truth, 'I have sinned,' has performed a great and meaningful act." --Rabbi Shraga Simmons

I have been thinking a lot about apologies in the past twenty-four hours. About taking responsibility for your actions and admitting what you have done wrong. I do not think that this is necessary in order to forgive another person. I believe it is possible to forgive someone when they have not apologized or made amends if you have taken steps to make a boundary and take care of yourself in relationship to this person. However, an admission of wrongdoing and an apology can go a long way towards self-forgiveness.

Yesterday morning was our first "real" morning of summer. We did not have anything planned…

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 19 - Nothing left to say

"How does one know if she [or he] has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than angry with him [or her]. You tend to have nothing left to say about it at all." --Clarissa Pinkola Estes

This really resonates with me. When forgiveness has truly been accomplished there is nothing left to say, no more story to tell.


30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 18 - Self-love and Forgiveness

"Forgiveness is an act of self-love," --Don Miguel Ruiz
Yesterday morning I was feeling so stressed out about everything I have to do this week that I was kind of a mess. My instinct was to get busy and start crossing things off my list, but a part of me knew that this was not the answer. So I stopped and listened to this little voice for a few moments.

It said that what I really needed was to slow down, to take care of myself, to rest, to eat a little something and to just relax for a while. "I don't have time," my Egoself protested. "You don't have time not to," the little voice replied. And so I did.

I went back to bed. I pulled the covers up and closed my eyes and started to meditate, to send energy to myself, and to rest.

After a while I did the Violet Flame meditation and included some forgiveness work. As I did the meditation, I got the message that self-love (and self-care) is one of the keys to forgiveness. If we all took care of ourselve…

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 17 - A tender look which becomes a habit

"Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit." --Unknown (from www.searchquotes.com

This quote really spoke to me today because it is why we so often refer to the spiritual path as a PRACTICE.

We practice love, patience, kindness, compassion, meditation and yes, forgiveness every day until it becomes a habit.

That is why I find these thirty day challenges so beneficial. They help me to develop good habits and to find that tender look.

LOVE * LIVE * FORGIVE * PRACTICE

Have a great forgiveness day!

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 16 - Snark Attack

"I realized that you can actually get mad and stop being mad in matter of minutes, as long as you set your mind to it. It was up to me to decide how I wanted to feel inside..." --Pernilla Hjort on www.tinybuddha.com

Someone was snarky on the phone with me this morning and it hurt my feelings. I was just trying to do my job, but to them I guess it felt like pressure.

Immediately I got the hit that this wasn't about me, that something else was going on: a sick kid, a broken refrigerator, a bad night's sleep, or maybe just a bad day. But it still hurt and I was having trouble letting it go.

I reminded myself of an article I read years ago that stuck with me. The article said that 80% of the time when someone snaps at you or does something mean to you it has nothing to do with you. 80%! That's a LARGE percentage of the time.

I try and think about that whenever something like this happens so that I can let it go as soon as I can, but this one was sticking. Probably …

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 15 - A Forgiveness Prayer

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A BUDDHIST PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS
"If I have harmed anyone in any way, either knowingly or unknowingly, through my own confusions, I ask their forgiveness. If anyone has harmed me in any way, either knowingly or unknowingly, through their own confusions, I forgive them. And if there is a situation I am not yet ready to forgive, I forgive myself for that. For all the ways that I harm myself, negate, doubt, belittle myself, judge or be unkind to myself through my own confusions, I forgive myself."

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 14 - Life is Long

"...[C]ultivate an understanding of a bunch of....things that the best, sanest people on the planet know: that life is long, that people both change and remain the same, that every last one of us will need to...be forgiven..." –Cheryl Strayed

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 13 - Crushed

"Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heal that has crushed it." --Mark Twain

Here's a story from the forgiveness files this week:
FORGIVING WHAT YOU HAVE ALREADY FORGOTTEN I am a member of a local free site where members gift items they are no longer using to their neighbors instead of sending them to the landfill. It feels so good to "gift" things to strangers in a way that I did not expect and a lot of the people on the site feel more like friends now that I have been doing this awhile. 
Last week my husband and I did a huge garage clean-out and as a result we had lots of items to give away. I posted them on the site and then let my intuition and The Universe decide who should receive each item. 
One of the items was a desk which we had not used in years and have no place for now or in the forseeable future. Only a couple of people were interested and when I looked at the comments I heard the name "Serena" (not her real…

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 12 - Thank you

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"True forgiveness is when you can say, 'Thank you for that experience.'" --Oprah Winfrey

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 11 - An Eye for an Eye

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"An eye for an eye and the whole world would be blind." --Kahlil Gibran
I love Kahlil Gibran. Love him! If you have never read anything of his before, please do yourself a favor and buy The Prophet immediately. It may be the only book you ever need to read about love, about parenting, about relationships, about life. Dude has it going on!




30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 10 - Shades of Gray

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 “I am tired of people saying that poor character is the only reason people do wrong things. Actually, circumstances cause people to act a certain way. It's from those circumstances that a person's attitude is affected followed by weakening of character. Not the reverse. If we had no faults of our own, we should not take so much pleasure in noticing those in others and judging their lives as either black or white, good or bad. We all live our lives in shades of gray.” --Shannon L. Adler

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 9 - The Labyrinth of Suffering

"The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive." --John Green, "Looking for Alaska"

For some reason I was not able to attach a photograph to this post. I blamed Mercury for being retrograde and then I forgave it. :)


30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 8 - The Forgiveness Conversation

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"There is a saying that to understand is to forgive, but that is an error....You must forgive in order to understand. Until you forgive, you defend yourself against the possibility of understanding....”
--Marilynn Robinson

When I first started this round of 30 Days of Forgiveness, I was afraid I wouldn't have much to share in the way of new techniques for finding forgiveness. I had already shared my tried and true forgiveness tools, what could I possibly have to add?

As always, The Universe stepped in to fill the vacuum and as I have worked on forgiveness this month, new tools have been given to me to share with you. Here is one of them:

THE FORGIVENESS CONVERSATION

For those of us who are shy or introverted, hard conversations can be....well, hard. Fortunately, thanks to the malleable nature of time and space, it is easy to have hard conversations in the privacy of your own home - or even your own head - often with the same positive results.

To get started, find a comfortable …

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 7 - The Many Benefits of Forgiveness Work

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"The practice of forgiveness has been shown to reduce anger, hurt depression and stress and leads to greater feelings of hope, peace, compassion and self confidence. Practicing forgiveness leads to healthy relationships as well as physical health. It also influences our attitude which opens the heart to kindness, beauty, and love." --From the website www.learningtoforgive.com


30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 6 - Keep Your Heart Safe

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"Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart."--Unknown


30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 5 - Be Nice to Your Ugly Parts

"...[O]ne day I stopped being so angry. 'You're just a little girl,' I said to myself. 'It's not your fault your parents died. It's okay you messed up. It's okay to be angry about your face and hate everyone. You're just a little girl. I forgive you, little girl, for all the bad things you did.' Like that. It's crazy isn't it? To have one part of your self be nice to another part. Like the nice part of my face saying nice things to the ugly part. After a while, the nice part and the ugly part stopped hating each other. There was peace inside of me...After that, I saw how the other girls were like me, and I started doing the same thing with them. I saw their ugly parts – and I tried to be nice to their ugly parts." --Francisco X Stork from Marcelo in the Real World

Love this quote about being nice to our ugly parts, and the ugly parts of others. This is such a big part of forgiveness. It is because of our ugly parts that we need for…

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 4 - Commit to Change

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"Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change." --Mayo Clinic Staff 

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 3 - The Fellowship of the Human Family

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"We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the...human family." --Henry J.M. Nouwen


30 days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 2 - HOPE

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 “Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” --Lewis B Smedes, author of "Forgive and Forget"

Is there an event in your past that you just can't seem to forget even if its effect on your day-to-day life in the present is fairly insignificant? Is it possible to heal this memory today by forgiving the person involved or yourself (or possibly both)? Is it possible to turn this painful memory into some kind of hope for your future?

30 Days of Forgiveness 2015 - Day 1 - Heal the World!

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"The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world." --Marianne Williamson

Welcome to Day 1! I am glad you have decided to join me for this round of 30 Days of Forgiveness. I am calling it "30 Days of Forgiveness 2015" in order to distinguish it from the previous thirty days held in January of 2014.

For this round I am going to keep it pretty simple. I am going to write one "forgiveness letter" each day and then do a releasing ritual.

Feel free to use any forgiveness technique that works for you and to mix it up and use a combination of all of them throughout the thirty days. Here are links to a few of my favorites:

Colin Tipping's Forgiveness Worksheet Dr Cat's Favorite Forgiveness Process Ho'oponopono Metta Meditation The Violet Flame Meditation
If you have a favorite forgiveness ritual, I would love to hear about it in the comments or on our Facebook page.

And remember, if something comes up during the …