25 November 2009

Resentment or Peace of Mind: You Choose

A very timely article from author and teacher Debbie Ford.

After coming back from the Celebrate Your Life conference in Phoenix, I am oh-so-very clear once again that in order to have a life we love, we must deal with our hurt, regrets, resentments and grudges. There is no better time to tackle these than right now given that the holidays and the new year are right around the corner. If you want to have a new year unlike your last one, these are what you've got to face.

In thinking of how I could best support you in taking this on, I decided to share with you two of my favorite paragraphs from my book
Why Good People Do Bad Things.

My favorite spiritual teacher Emmet Fox once said "Our resentments bind us to the person with a cord stronger than steel." Now, would you want to be bound by a cord stronger than steel to the person who has hurt you, betrayed you, lied to you or screwed you over? How stupid would that be? First they rip part of your heart out, and then you give them the rest of it! By clinging to your resentments, you rob yourself of your power, your peace of mind and your ability to create yourself anew. It makes no sense. And just in case you think you are actually hurting the person who wronged you by holding on to your grudges and resentments, let me clue you in. Most of them don't care if you are hurt and angry. It's no skin off their back. In fact, some of the people you are devoting your thoughts, feelings and precious energy to hating are now dead. So now not only do you not have access to all of your power, but you have buried it alive in someone else's grave. Crazy, right?

We hold on to our resentments only when we are still trying to prove that we are right and someone else is wrong. Maybe we're still struggling to change what happened in the past or trying to regain a sense of control over our present circumstances. Maybe we still love the person who hurt us, so we would rather be connected to them in a negative way than not to be connected at all. Or maybe they have now become our excuse for why we are not living the life we want to live, for why we are stuck, or for why we continue to beat ourselves up. These are just a few of the reasons we hold on to our resentments. But no matter what the reason, if we want to move on, to have a life greater than the one we have right now in this moment, we must forgive.

Your Weekly Shadow Work
(1) Keep a list this week of all the ways your resentments stop you, hurt you or keep you tied to the past.
(2) Spend this week becoming present to and making a list of what would be available to you if you gave up the grudge.
(3) Meditate each day on this holy line, "Forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me."

Coach Carolyn

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