Assignment #4 – Kindness Blessings

Week 4 : Forgive

“Life offers its wisdom generously. Everything teaches. Not everyone learns.”

Assignment #4Reading: Read all of Section II of the book, “Becoming a Blessing.” Stop and consider any passage that speaks to you. Listen. Choose one chapter than you find most meaningful and read it again after having finished this section.

Kind Action: In the same way that it is easy to forgive a one year-old for doing something like grabbing your eyeglasses, practice forgiving people this week for any “indiscretion” you feel they have committed. In doing this, consider why it is hard to forgive. Note your responses. Additionally, at a quiet time some evening, perhaps in bed or just before, ask yourself if there is something big in your life over which you are holding a grudge. What are you getting from holding this grudge? What are you giving up? Are you able to let go of it?

Blessings Journal: This week jot down anything, and I mean anything, you experience as annoying. This may seem counterintuitive, recording what annoys you in your blessings journal. But the real blessing comes in recognizing these annoyances, seeing if they have something to teach you, and then working to let go of them.

Link to Book: “My Grandfather’s Blessings”

3 Comments

  1. I have been in a unique position to observe myself this week as my husband and I travelled back to Texas, cooped up in a car together. As the week went on and I got more tired from sitting in the car for several hours a day and sleeping in hotels with less than comfortable bedding or pillows, I realized that I was much more irritable than normal towards my husband. I began to watch the language in my head and realized that my old habits of ” he is driving me crazy” had returned.

    When I am stressed or overly tired, I am not nearly as nice as I want to be towards him. One day I talked to myself silently and said, “listen to him”, “be nice to him.” After I practiced those phrases, I was able to tell him I was sorry I was so irritable, but that as each day progressed and I got more tired, it was harder to be nice even though I wanted to be. He really appreciated my comments.

    Our relationship has been changing over the last four years in a very positive way, as I have tried to become more compassionate about the differences between us

    Taking responsibility for my own thoughts and talking to myself made it easier to sit and listen to his interests, even though some are of almost no interest to me, or to accept his concerns that we were not taking the right road. As the navigator, I always have a plan, but I cannot always execute it immeidately in a city setting because my road maps do not have the detail necessary to be certain where we are. It was not easy to be patient with him when I also had momentary confusion and was trying to figure out how to get on our way.

    We survived with few real outbursts, but I was very aware that I had to talk to myself to keep control several times. That represents real progress because my pattern before was to lash out in annoyance or anger. Now I know that when stressed or over tired, it is really important to have a conversation with myself before I speak to him.

  2. Great observation within yourself, Linda. That type of work is not easy to do. I applaud you loudly – sitting in my living room. I am finding it is the self work that relates to forgiveness as well. I find that the difficulty in forgiving someone is equal to the difficulty of forgiving myself, especially when it comes to being taken advantage of or treated poorly. It is the responsibility I need to take for inviting that person to stay in my life even though I knew that they were not a positive influence. The progress is: not keeping those types of people in my life. The work is: now forgiving myself and then possibly being able to forgive them. Loops right back around to self care. Happy to hear that you took care of yourself along with your husband this weekend 🙂

  3. Carrie,

    Thank you for your support and the insights you shared. I find this work to be very difficult. Those old habits formed in childhood are really hard to change even when we know they are deterimental to our own health and happiness. It feels good to be able to share the difficulties in this class setting and know that others are struggling but making progress also. It always helps to feel we are not alone in our struggle to change. Classes like this are great because they precipitate very positive change in a more rapid time frame than normal.

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