Checklist to Forgiveness
5:00 am, 4/21/14
Forgiveness is choosing to see someone’s potential to contribute to life (their capacity for goodness and love) in spite of their having been a real dickhead.
- Remember it (the grievance) is over and doesn’t deserve the attention of being remembered. Your synapses are formed according to the thoughts you allow to develop. Don’t inadvertently create a matrix of sorrow in your mind to live in indefinitely.
- Consider lessons learned and imagine ideal responses to similar conflicts / situations, such that in the future you can manage a better outcome. Rehearse and prepare, so you don’t find yourself in the same predicament and / or feel only helpless and victimized. All experience can be formatted to benefit future experience.
- Treat yourself to a nice manicure or pedicure, and then put yourself in the person’s nasty shoes. Are there acute stressors at work in their life that might be overshadowing their consideration of you and others?
- Remember something positive / lovely about the person who has the inspired you to seek out this checklist.
- Remember something else positive about this person, preferably of a time when under better circumstances they showed they cared for you or when they showed kindness or empathy towards an animal.
- Remember your desire to be in relationship to this person and be decisive about honoring all the positive qualities they have not exhibited in this most recent instance, but which you have known in them and hope to know again. Remember your love for this person.
- Think of a 3rd irrefutable way in which the person adds value, meaning, benefit to the world.
- Every time a negative reflection encroaches upon your consciousness, respond with one of these positive memories of the person to counteract the build up of pain, resentment, and self-pity that comes from repeatedly examining sources of dissatisfaction.
- Reflect on the age of the universe—13.8 billion years and consider the brevity of your own life and how you really want to spend your time. Is bitterness a life expertise in which you hope to build your legacy?
- Imagine that the person dies suddenly before you can tell them how much you love them. If you prioritize telling them how they suck, you will both have only a distasteful memory as your last living impression of each other.
- Remember God loves them and they are on a journey
- Breathe deeply and harden not your heart, and avoid self-inflicted arteriosclerosis.
* If you find that you have no positive memories to apply, you can either sever the relationship completely, or modify your expectations. Flexibility may save your relationship.