Are you mastering the practice of unconditional love? The heart of forgiveness is release, no longer thinking about or needing to do anything to resolve a relationship or conflict. Sounds simple right? Studies such as the Stanford Forgiveness Project are proving the effectiveness of this process in promoting mental health. One of the most famous Christian Scriptures tells us that Peter asked Jesus how many times one needed to forgive, seven? Jesus responds that it is not seven but seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:21). So you might think of forgiveness as an ongoing process.
Four levels of forgiveness are often experienced. First you stop thinking continually about the person or situation, and your strong emotions subside. Next, you are able to let go when that old thought and feeling rise up in response to a person or situation. Now you are able to send loving thoughts to yourself in the situation, and you have practiced enough letting go to even send loving thoughts to the other that has caused your distress. Finally, you cease thinking about this person or event at all.
This conscious letting go practice in Buddhism is called metta meditation. Increasingly this type of meditation is being used as a healing exercise by physicians and people working with mental health because science and experience agree it works. For a guided practice to help with the calming down process, watch the following video:
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“Big dreams. Small Steps.”
This article is supported by Vantage Point Recovery, a lifestyle and recovery management center located in the Los Angeles / Southern California area. We welcome you to our community of readers as we improve our health and our lives, together.
Satya Seeker is a pen name. To find out the writer’s real name and more about her, visit her website.