Take a Break From Stress: Mindfulness & Forgiveness

Meeting #25: June 23, 2020

Meeting Theme: Forgiveness is something you do that leads to a change in how you feel and think.  In order to engage the behaviors of forgiveness, you must first ascertain that those behaviors are safe.  If safe to do so, acts of moral beneficence lead to soothing of the soul and, sometimes, restoration of a broken relationship.  The common belief is that forgiveness is a sudden change in feeling; if that were the case think of how little strife there would be in the world!  Rather, forgiveness is a process that takes time and restores peace in the heart and mind of the forgiver.  It is a gift you give to your self.

Today’s Quotes:

From an article in the NYTimes (6/23/20), which can be found at this link:


I asked Ms. Lipscomb-McDonald whether she had forgiven those white children. While my own experiences with racism had not been boomeranged around the internet, I knew the fear and the pain well.

Her answer stunned me, not only because of the grace she showed, but also the defiance.

“I think I have to, and it’s more for me than it is for them. Because I have anger from that incident and you have to process it, so you can move on and be a happy person,” she said. “Not happy, but at least content and strong enough to get up every morning and fight again. I think my very existence in certain neighborhoods and certain jobs is my protest, just being there.”

The Definition of Forgiveness, from Enright and Fitzgibbons “Helping Clients Forgive: An Empirical Guide for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope”:

People, upon rationally determining that they have been unfairly treated, forgive when they willfully abandon resentment and related responses (to which they have a right), and endeavor to respond to the wrongdoer based on the moral principle of beneficence, which may include compassion, unconditional worth, generosity, and moral love (to which the wrongdoer, by nature of the hurtful act or acts, has no right).

Gently Guided Meditation: Breath/Body/Mind awareness.

Video of Meeting:



Meeting #26: June 25, 2020

Meeting Theme:  Am I forgiving or unforgiving by habit?  By temperament?  Do I hold other people up to a standard that is unrealistic, leading to feeling frustrated or even angry every day?  When I find myself easily frustrated by the people I come in contact with, perhaps my “other-perfectionism” reflects an inherent and unhealthy “inner-perfectionism.”

Today’s Quotes:

Forgiveness does not relieve someone of responsibility for what they have done. Forgiveness does not erase accountability. It is not about turning a blind eye or even turning the other cheek. It is not about letting someone off the hook or saying it is okay to do something monstrous. Forgiveness is simply about understanding that every one of us is both inherently good and inherently flawed. Within every hopeless situation and every seemingly hopeless person lies the possibility of transformation.

― Desmond Tutu, The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World

Awakening Now by Diana Faulds

Why wait for your awakening?

The moment your eyes are open, seize the day.

Would you hold back when the Beloved beckons?

Would you deliver your litany of sins like a child’s collection of sea shells, prized and labeled?

“No, I can’t step across the threshold,” you say, eyes downcast.

“I’m not worthy” I’m afraid, and my motives aren’t pure.

I’m not perfect, and surely I haven’t practiced nearly enough.

My meditation isn’t deep, and my prayers are sometimes insincere.

I still chew my fingernails, and the refrigerator isn’t clean.

“Do you value your reasons for staying small more than the light shining through the open door?

Forgive yourself.

Now is the only time you have to be whole.

Now is the sole moment that exists to live in the light of your true Self.

Perfection is not a prerequisite for anything but pain.

Please, oh please, don’t continue to believe in your disbelief.

This is the day of your awakening.

Gently Guided Meditation: Breath/Body/Mind awareness.

Meeting Video: