August 15      

Today's quotation:

The difference between holding on to a hurt or releasing it with forgiveness is like the difference between laying your head down at night on a pillow filled with thorns or a pillow filled with rose petals.

Loren Fischer

Today's Meditation:

As crazy as it sounds, there seem to be many people who are more comfortable laying their heads on a pillow of thorns.  If they can hold on to hurts, after all, then they may be justified in feeling bad for themselves.  They can allow themselves to feel the martyr, for after all, their bad feelings are someone else's fault.  It's much easier for some of us to be victims-- or to allow ourselves to feel like victims-- than it is to take responsibility for our own feelings and actually consider something like forgiveness.

But I decide which pillow I use at night.  I decide if I lay my head down on a soft surface, a thorny one, or a bed of stone.  I decide whether I forgive or whether I hold on to a hurt-- and with that decision come many, many results.  And those results help to determine what our lives are like after the decision is made.

Life isn't about holding on to hurts and feeling sorry for ourselves.  Life is about learning and growing and changing and developing ourselves as loving, compassionate human beings.  The road to love and compassion is a long one for most of us, though, and we don't need more things to hold us back from reaching the new points of development on the way, nor do we need anything that would make the journey more difficult, such as a pillow of thorns that will hurt us, make us very uncomfortable, and keep us from getting the rest we need to get on with our lives.

I want to sleep well tonight, but the thorns of resentment will keep me from sleeping deeply.  I can get rid of those thorns with a decision, though-- perhaps not an easy decision, but a decision undoubtedly and indisputably within my power to make.

Questions to consider:

How long do you hold on to hurts caused by different people?  Does the holding on help you?

How do we make sure that our pillows are "filled with rose petals"?

How well do you rest when you're in a state of resentment?

For further thought:

If we can forgive everyone, regardless of what he or she may have done, we nourish the soul and allow our whole being to feel good.  To hold a grudge against anyone is like carrying the devil on your shoulders.  It is our willingness to forgive and forget that casts away such a burden and brings light into our hearts, freeing us from many ill feelings against our fellow human beings.

Sydney Banks

more thoughts and ideas on forgiveness



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