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“Forgiveness is for yourself because it frees you.
It lets you out of that prison you put yourself in.”
Louise L. Hay
Practitioners of contentment must learn how to forgive themselves for the occurrence of unappreciative more, better, different thinking (Chapter 13). After they acknowledge and surrender to these types of thoughts, they must free themselves from the imprisonment they would otherwise be subjected. But this is often easier said than done. Some these not-enough thoughts are so judgmental, critical or downright nasty that we frequently find it almost impossible to come to terms with them.
Sometimes we can’t even fathom how we could have had an unacceptable not-enough thoughts much less forgive our self for it. We simply cannot accept our humanness (Chapter 5): the way the left side our brain is structured to judge, compare and otherwise interpret our experience of situations and events in good-bad, right-wrong, moral-immoral and other dualistic categories; the ubiquitous ways in which we have been conditioned to unendingly want an excess of more and more, better and better, and different upon different acquisitions and achievements – although the constant pursuit of them will increase rather than decrease the degree of our discontentment.
Likewise, sometimes it’s nearly impossible to forgive the behavior consequential to someone else’s unappreciative more, better, different thoughts. We can’t pardon them for having spoken ill of us or behaved badly towards us, despite our shared humanness in the repeated occurrence of these not-enough thoughts.
I still sometimes struggle to forgive certain people for how I experienced what they said or did. Even though I have had no contact with these people for decades, unappreciative more, better, different thoughts still occasionally arise regarding them, which typically leave me feeling angry or even resentful – until, I remember to forgive myself for having had this thought and forgive them for their humanness.
Learning how to set myself free from the self-imposed imprisonment that absent forgiveness I would be subjected to is one of the many life-enhancing ways in which I am so very grateful for the practice of contentment. Becoming increasingly adept at forgiving myself and others is truly a gift I can give myself and you can give yourself.