Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Looking Back

Still at the Outlaw Inn
Kalispell, MT

I wondered if there is some kind of metaphor about going backwards in order to move forward, and perhaps, sometimes, you really do need to go back into your past and ponder the reality of past events. It's easy to get caught up into the emotion while you're in it, and it is only after some time that you can look back and realize things like others' actions weren't about you, that you have some (if not all) accountability, that things were actually happening for the better, or it's just time to get over it. Regardless of the situation, it usually comes down to the latter option. And not to dismiss what ever pent up feelings of hurt and betrayal we may feel, there does come a point when we not only have to forgive our perpetrators, but ourselves.

I am not one to preach about religion, but I will caveat that over the years, I've been drawn more and more to a sense of spirituality. I mean, when it comes down to severe moments of pain, don't we pray to some kind of God for mercy? Or even during moments of extreme pleasure, how often have we or our partners screamed some declaration to God?

Kidding aside, I've found there is a power to prayer whether it's to some greater power or a promise or intention to ourselves. So this said, I share a Buddhist prayer I was taught a couple of years ago that's helped me (and several of my clients) get over many of the difficult events, people and obstacles in life, especially caused by ourselves, so we could move forward into our journeys, without the extra baggage of emotional pain we have a tendency to carry around.

Buddhist Forgiveness Prayer

If I have harmed anyone, in any way,
either knowingly or unknowingly,
I ask for forgiveness.

If anyone has harmed me in any way,
either knowingly or unknowingly,
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,
judge or be unkind to myself,
negate, doubt or belittle myself,
I forgive myself for that.

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