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Hi there Mysti
Autumn Views: 2,051
Published: 17 years ago
This is a reply to # 669,884

Hi there Mysti

Gee, did I open a can of worms here or what?
Just as well. Worms are happier outside the can.

There are so many levels of forgiveness!

I guess one simple form is actual ignoring, which I think is healthy if nearby drivers are, say, throwing empty beer cans out their windows with rude gestures and yelling yeeha and cutting me off in traffic because their sports team won (or lost); then it's essential and mature to focus on driving and stay out of their way and take the first turnoff.

Sometimes it's very cool when I have a grudge and then poof, discover that actually a person had a HUGE extenuating circumstance. I really enjoy when that happens, it's such a relief.

Another level is what you mentioned, when a trusted person did something terrible and there is no justifying it, and then somehow over the years YOU just kept growing and growing, so you left them behind and now they just don't have any space or power in your mind. And thank you for giving that example, because it's a good thing for me to learn from.

The tricky situation for me is what Mr. Number Guy was talking about, in the case of major long-term betrayal when actually over many years I might have written off this person's behavior and can say Oh, whatever, but I have also bricked off my feelings for him or her. You both are right, it's valuable to really vent those feelings and often that is a missing step for me.

In Al-Anoon when a new member is having a meltdown over somebody else's behavior they are advised to start turning things over to their higher power. This led to what is jokingly called The Newcomer's Prayer, or "God bless that bastard." It illustrates an interesting point: to let forgiveness arise as a grace that can happen at a level far beyond our power to help ourselves.

It's a big topic huh?

Hey, really glad that you liked Martha Beck! It is such a pleasant surprise when I recommend a book or something and people try it and then report back. I like her because if you go read "Expecting Adam" you will see that oh my gosh, this lady has been Through It and is still joking around! She took a terrible situation and made something nurturing and luminous out of it for herself and her family.

How are you feeling about your neighborhood nowadays?


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