FORGIVENESS AND COMPASSION 1. Take a moment to connect with the cost of holding on to your anger and resentment. What does it cost you in terms of health and vitality, (and - if this is relevant - what is the cost to your relationship with the person you resent)? 2. Imagine how your life would be if you could let go of that anger and resentment. 3. Take a moment to reflect that forgiveness is something you do for yourself- not for the other person. In letting go of your anger and resentment, you are the one who gains the greatest benefits. 4. Acknowledge that you cant change the past; you cant undo what has happened; and getting angry about it achieves nothing useful. 5. Without any self-blame, take a moment to acknowledge that you too have hurt other people, in one way or another- both intentionally and unintentionally. Do those actions sum you up as a person? Are they the essence of who you are? Or are they just acts that you've done, that you now wish you hadn't? In practicing forgiveness it helps to separate the person from their actions. This person's actions hurts you. Yet there is more to this person than just those hurtful acts. 6. Remind yourself that forgiveness does not mean excusing the other person, or saying what they did was alright. Nor does it mean forgetting what happened. 7. Now close your eyes, bring attention to your breath, and practice mindfulness of your breathing for a couple of minutes. 8. When you are ready, imagine the person towards whom you feel such anger and resentment. Imagine they are sitting opposite you. Imagine that they are listening you intensely but they couldn't speak. 9. Tell this person exactly how they hurt you. 10. Tell this person that you have suffered a lot - not only from what they did to you, but also from holding onto all your anger and resentment over the years. 11. Tell this person that you now intend to go of your anger and resentment, in order to stop hurting yourself, and to give yourself peace of mind. 12. Tell this person that forgiving them does not mean that what they did was okay or reasonable or justifiable or excusable in any way. It just means you are not going to hurt yourself any more by holding onto anger. 13. If this person will not or can not give you an apology, acknowledge this. Tell them it's disappointing, but you won't waste any more time and energy trying to get something that they'll never give you. 14. Now tell this person, "You did what you did, and it hurt me. I'll never know exactly why you did it. I can't change it. And I won't waste any more time dwelling on it. I accept my anger towards you is a natural emotional reaction, but I won't feed it anymore by going over and over the past. This happened. It was painful. I wish it hadn't happened, but it did. Now it's over. It's just a memory." 15. Now let go of this person from your mind, and bring your awareness back to your breath. For 2 or 3 minutes, practice mindfulness of your breathing, letting thoughts and feelings come and go. Now, some more beautiful things that you are going to read is.... 16. Imagine yourself going back in time to visit the 'younger version' of yourself who got hurt by this person. Find the younger you, and imagine yourself talking to him/her around the time the hurtful event happened. (It means, you are talking to 'younger YOU' going in the past when the bad things happened with you). 17. Tell this 'younger you' that you know what happened. Tell him/her that they don't need anyone else to validate that experience, because YOU know. 18. Tell him/her that they survived the experience, and it is now just a memory. 19. Tell him/her that you are here just for them. You know how much it hurts, and you want to help in any way you can. Ask them if there's anything they need or want from you -and whatever they ask for, give it to them. 20. Tell him/her that you are here for him/her and you care about them and that you are going to help them recover from this pain, and go on to lead a full, rich, valued life. 21. Once you have a sense that this younger version of you has accepted your care, concern and support, let them be and bring awareness to your breathing. 22. Practice mindfulness to your breath for a couple of minutes, then open your eyes and connect with the room around you. 23. Do this on a regular basis, 3 or 4 times a week, until you feel you have let go of your anger and resentment. This may take a long time but be persistent. This exercise on regular basis and daily would help you to free yourselves from all bad incidents and events in your lives that is affecting your present mental health and your present lives. (We all come from different culture and different background and so we are likely to get hurt from others intentionally or non-intentionally but when we carry grudges with us, it hurts 'us' more than anybody else, it affects 'our life' more negatively than anybody else's life. So it is always wise to make ourselves free from all hurts, anger and grudges so we can live the optimal lives).