“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain
This year I’ve decided to focus on one important area in my mindfulness practice every month. I do not set specific goals for that, it’s more about setting time aside for exploring things that are important for my mental health, relationships, and happiness.
In January I chose to focus on practicing forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of the most healing values we humans possess that can positively impact our lives, our happiness, and the happiness of people in our lives.
Practicing forgiveness is choosing to let bad feelings go, to release the suffering, the pain, and instead to choose love and freedom that is untouched by what happens to us. It is a choice we make towards our own happiness.
By its nature, true forgiveness asks us to stop focusing on the people and events that cause our pain and turn our focus instead on our own minds, where we can create a change by choosing our inner peace above our anger.
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” Martin Luther King Jr
Everyone is worthy of forgiveness
There are many ways people can hurt us, cause our suffering, knowingly or unknowingly. It may be very hard to forgive those who hurt us, but it is important to remember that everyone is worthy of forgiveness. It is not a question of whether a person is worthy or not. The question is whether our heart is ready or not. Our forgiveness will be authentic only when even those who don’t deserve it receive it.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
Cultivating forgiveness through meditation
In Buddhist teaching, happiness can only be recognized against the background of suffering. To be really happy, we should cultivate understanding and compassion.
There are two types of meditation to address anger and embrace forgiveness. With the help of insight meditation, we can recognize the angry feelings and process them without attachment, creating room for forgiveness. In loving-kindness meditation, we focus on feelings of loving-kindness for oneself, then expanding these feelings to others, to a loved one, a friend, someone we feel resentment toward, and finally, to the entire universe.
Another way to practice forgiveness is to include a short forgiveness meditation in a daily meditation practice. May you forgive others, may you forgive yourself, may you be well, may you be happy, may you be at peace. 🙏🏻