Something came up during meditation today. When doing the Medicine Buddha visualization, we were instructed to have the Buddha nectar to flow into the parts of us that are sick. I have been having lymph node problems for quite a while now. I had the Buddha nectar flow into them and I stopped feeling the sensation of the swelling. In fact, I noticed after the meditation that they did decrease in size. However, during the meditation, I noticed the problem would come back. The sick area would appear again in the meditation. Upon examining why, I realized that I had guilt. I felt like I couldn’t heal the negative karma, because I didn’t make amends with the person I harmed. I told the teacher this during the Q and A session and he said that I need to forgive myself. He said that I can’t go asking forgiveness from everyone.
I started to think what would I need to do to forgive myself. At first, I thought I will forgive myself when my behavior has started to change, but then I thought maybe this isn’t the right approach. It certainly doesn’t seem compassionate. I couldn’t imagine telling someone who wanted forgiveness that I’ll forgive them when they … If I want to be compassionate to others, I need to be gentle with myself. Maybe, I can brainstorm every reason why I don’t forgive myself.
- I haven’t done anything to deserve it.
- I might do it again.
- I haven’t learned my lesson yet.
- I’m not ready to let go of that behavior.
- I am afraid that forgiving myself will result in me doing whatever immoral thing I want.
- It is not fair to the person(s) I have harmed
- Why should I forgive myself if they won’t
- Forgiving myself won’t help them.
- I am not worthy.
- I need approval to be loved.
- In order to forgive myself, I first have to feel great shame
Wow, I feel like the last one really hit home. Now, I will pretend I am the person who was hurt and forgiving the person. I will respond to them saying the thoughts above to me. Let’s say the person said something hurtful. They said that I was stupid, prone to anger(emotional), and not human(a monster or bad animal).
- You don’t need to do anything. Being sorry is enough. You aren’t hurting me now.
- That’s OK, I still love you. Thank you for trying. I appreciate the effort and understand your struggle.
- You will. This won’t last forever.
- Of course not. If your were ready to let go, you wouldn’t be afraid of doing it again. That fear is a good thing. It will help you from doing it again.
- If you are afraid of being immoral, your not going to be immoral. You care too much.
- Who cares about fair. Shit happens. I want your friendship, not to be business partners with you.
- If they don’t forgive you, then they are a shitty person completely captivated by anger. It is not a reflection on you. Someone with good qualities will always forgive. Someone with negative qualities never will.
- Not forgiving yourself definitely won’t help them either. If anything, not forgiving yourself will cause you to do these things again.
- Everyone is worthy of forgiveness. Who wouldn’t be worthy?
- Love can’t be earn just given. Someone with good qualities loves. Someone with bad qualities hates. If you love yourself, that is a good quality—that is still love.
- I don’t want you to feel anything bad anymore. I don’t want to tie you down. I want you to be free. Forgiving yourself will be helpful in changing your character, besides you have beaten yourself up enough already. You need shame to do that.
I feel a little better. I guess I can forgive myself for what I have done so far, but what about what I will do. Can I forgive myself for what I will do? For the sake of protecting this person’s identity, I will call this person in my life Rick. I have a person named Rick who I cannot give loans to. Whenever I give him money, he ends up keeping it. I have had to accept that Rick cannot return money no matter how badly he wants to. When I give Rick a loan, in my mind, I give the money as a gift. I accept that Rick will probably take my money again without returning it before he even does it. I guess this is easier when you can predict what he will do. I guess, in a way, I can predict what I will do. I understand from my meditations where I tend to negativity versus positivity. I know that in certain instances I am more likely to do bad things than others. I know that my negative thoughts may manifest as action. I have no reason to surprise myself except by thinking that I am better developed than I am. Perhaps, I need to get rid of my standards. GTG