Having practiced and applied step 1 (Acceptance) and step 2 (Comprehension) we do not see ourselves as victims any more. We do not take it personally. We have a clearer perspective and we can process what happened with our minds rather than with our emotions. Thanks to that standpoint, we slowly but surely liberate ourselves from the conscious or subconscious guilt or, sometimes, hate or both, that we have been feeling. Thanks to that standpoint, we can become indifferent and save ourselves from emotions that poison our hearts, our minds and our bodies.
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Buddha
Do yourself a favor! Stop drinking the poison! Be indifferent!
For years, we have put the cart before the horse by trying to reverse the guilt/hate etc. process using our emotions. For years, we have heard that we need to transform any negative feelings towards the person who hurt us to love.
This is what has created even more guilt, anger and frustration. Not only have they hurt us but they are have also turned us into “bad” people. Because of them we have become people who cannot forgive and “love their neighbor”…
How can we change an emotion without changing our way of thinking first? It is thoughts create emotions before emotions in turn can create other thoughts.
I am inviting you to do a little experiment. Start thinking about an event that angered you. Relive it with all the details and I assure you that you will start feeling angry. You will feel this unpleasant “warmth” in your guts, in your heart or in your head, depending on your temperament, and your blood pumping.
Now think of the same event, practicing acceptance and comprehension. You will notice that the feelings of anger/frustration etc. subside and do not have the same effect on your body and mind. They give way to a calm state of mind, that of indifference.
Words, just like thoughts, can create emotions. For some, who have suffered unbearable pain, the word forgiveness is impossible to practice. What if we substituted it with the word “indifference”? Thanks to calling it indifference, it becomes possible!
This is where forgiveness begins…
Indifference offers us peace of mind and makes unpleasant emotions disappear. We are finally there. No anger, no guilt, no frustration. We are calm.
I am not saying that this process is easy nor am I saying that it can happen overnight. All I am saying is that, with these steps, forgiveness becomes possible, which is all our mind needs to start trying. If we tell ourselves that it is possible, we will find a way to do it. If, on the other hand, we tell ourselves that it is impossible, that we will never forgive that person, well, guess what! It will be impossible. What we are saying to ourselves has the greatest influence on what we can and on what we cannot do. What we are saying to ourselves determines, to a large measure, whether we are capable of doing something or not. So stop saying to yourself that forgiveness is impossible. Start saying to yourself that, even if it is difficult, even if it takes time, you will be able to do it. You will be able to remain indifferent to what happened because you have decided to do it in this new light where indifference equals forgiveness.
The key to your success, the key to indifference is practice, practice, practice.
You can make it your mantra and repeat it throughout the day: “Acceptance, comprehension, indifference!”
You can also stop here. You do not have to go through steps 4 and 5 if you do not want to or if you are not ready yet. Step 3, indifference, is enough for your life to change for the better.
To be continued…