Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lesson of the Day: Forgiveness

Back to my blog home page:

Last Friday, Ilene and I were facing each other; she was on the therapy mat, and I was on a rolling stool five feet from her, exercising her arms and challenging her sitting balance. She reached up with her right hand to rub her neck.

"Do you still have that spasm?" I asked her.

"Yes! It won't go away! I don't know what to do. I took that pill (flexiril) last night, and I couldn't even get up to go to the bathroom. My legs would not  work! The aide had to give me the bedpan. I'll never take that pill again."

(Not good!)

I decided to take a route I travel with alot of my patients, and it goes a little deeper than a doctor prescribing a pill. It has to do with identifying relationships, situations or grievances from your life that contribute to mental and emotional blocks to healing your physical body.

There is a school of thought that says our bodies tell us when something is wrong in our lives, and there is symbolism behind the location of our symptoms. If you are interested in reading about it, there are a lot of books on the subject. My favorite author on the subject is Caroline Myss.

I asked Ilene, "Who or what is the pain in your neck? Think about it. What is bothering you that you haven't let go of?"

That led into a conversation about a broken relationship with a daughter that came to a head two years ago when the daughter literally kicked her out of her house. For a full day she had no idea what she would do or where she would go. She ended up moving hours away into her other daughter's home, but she had not spoken to daughter #1 since that incident.

I asked her a hard question. "Have you forgiven her?"

"No. I can't forget what she did to me."

"Ilene, I'm going to tell you something that may be difficult to believe, but please listen to me. I tell you this because I learned this through some heartbreaking experiences with my own children. If you don't forgive someone who has hurt you, you only continue to hurt yourself. You don't hurt the one who has hurt you. You hurt yourself."

She looked at me. "I never thought about that."

We talked more about the situation with her daughter. I knew I had to tell her about a book that had made a huge difference in my life. I had picked it up by fluke in a bookstore.

In this book is an amazing forgiveness intention that I have said quite often. I told her that even if she didn't feel an immediate change, if she continued to say this intention, she would at some point feel a melting away of the anger, hurt, bitterness, (name the emotion) associated with the incident, and she would realize that she had let it go. She would no longer hold the pain of it so tightly into herself. She would forgive.

I shared the forgiveness intention with Ilene:

(To: Person I Need to Forgive)
I forgive you completely and freely.
I release you and let you go.
So far as I am concerned,
the incident that happened between us
is finished forever.
I wish the best for you.
I wish for you your highest good.
I hold you in the light.
I am free, and you are free,
and all again is well between us.
Peace be with you.

(You can turn this around to set the intention that someone forgives you.)

Ilene looked up at me. "Thank you. I will do this. I will say it morning and night. I will try to forgive her."

The weekend came and went. I asked her Monday how her weekend had been. She had told me about her other daughters' visit. "I told them about the forgiveness prayer," she said. "I shared it with them. They thought it was a good idea. They are going to try it, too."

(pass it forward, yah!)

Later in the treatment, "How's your neck?"  I noticed no bulging spasm.

"You know, it's gone, and I didn't realize it til now. Gracious!"

(my heart welled up..thank you, God!)

Awareness...I'll have to write about that some other time.

In the meantime, I continue to say the forgiveness intention daily. Right now, I need to say it for a challenging friendship. We can even say it for the person who cut us off in traffic or the person at work who irritates us.

who needs forgiveness in your life?
Who do you want to forgive you?

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