Jumpstart the Journey: Be . . .Forgiveness is a journey. It is a process. It takes work. Sometimes I feel like working on it and sometimes, well sometimes I just don't. I'm angry. I'm hurt. I want to wallow for a while. SIGH. Then I need to start again. Starting again can be hard. Fortunately there are some things we can practice to start to get our hearts and minds ready to forgive. We can practice these everyday, every week or however often you want to.
The first thing we can do to jumpstart our journey is to be aware of actions and reactions. If I know I have to see a difficult coworker, do I notice the tenseness in my body? Do I begin to load verbal ammunition so I am ready? Do I assume this interaction will go like all the previous ones have? Be aware of what is happening in yourself before you get bumped. We need to be aware of who we are avoiding. Be aware of who is living rent free in your head. Be aware if you are reacting in a way that is helpful and healthy or in a way that is harmful.
In the Freedom through Forgiveness class I teach, one of the first things I ask my students is to "shut up." Not in the class, but around those people that are upsetting them. Take a chance and be quiet. Don't join in when coworkers or family members verbally pile on someone. Don't continue repeating a long-standing narrative or family story. Don't jump into the fight. Step back, be quiet and be aware.
Some of us have spent decades nursing our hurts and pampering our pain. We will not succeed at being aware, being quiet, being forgiving on the first try. Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with the words you are saying to yourself, about yourself. Be patient as you try to jumpstart your journey.
It really is amazing to me when I hold an "attitude of gratitude." Amazing when I am thankful for what I have been given and not angry at what I don't have. I'm amazed at the grace and forgiveness I have been given. Amazed at what I have accomplished. Be grateful and be amazed. You have already overcome so much. You can jumpstart your forgiveness journey, too.