Monday, June 8, 2015

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


"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 meditation-like position and take a few deep breaths. Breathe until you are feeling centered and grounded.

Imagine the person with whom you have a grievance in front of you. Ask them if you can talk to them about the situation. This may sound ridiculous at first, but getting their consent is important and the exercise will go much better if you do, if only because you will feel more clear, knowing that they have given their consent.

If they do say "No," you can try again later or ask them "Why not?" Often this will shift things and they will be open to the conversation after all. I have found, however, that the answer is usually "Yes."

Begin the conversation as you would in "real life," or as you would hope to, since it is much easier to keep calm and speak clearly when doing the exercise. Speak your truth and tell them how you really feel about what happened. Ask questions and wait for the answer.

You may be tempted to discount what is being said because you feel as though you are speaking for the other person. Don't let this stand in your way. We all have access to the whole of human consciousness. You DO know what they want and need to say. Allow yourself to know. If you simply can't believe it, agree to pretend that you believe for purposes of the exercise and respond as if the person were really talking.

Continue to ask questions and speak your part until the conversation feels complete.

I like to end The Forgiveness Conversation with the Ho'oponopono prayer, but you may end it in whatever way feels right to you.

Just as with the Forgiveness Letter, you may find that you hear from this person in the next few days or weeks, or you may simply find that your feelings about the situation have shifted and you will know that it worked!

If you try this, please let me know how it goes for you.

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