One of the most DIFFICULT practices and yet the EASIEST taught is the Art of Forgiveness." It's difficult because you have to do it for 40 days. If you miss a day, you have to start over. Even if you get to day 39 and you forget that day, you must start over. There's power in the numerology of 40 days. On
the other side of the equation, it's easy because when you do it, it works.
Whenever Forgiveness was presented at the Retreats there were often times quiet skepticism. (Yes, we know. We saw it on the faces looking back at us.) But, you listened respectfully because you trusted us to be teaching practices that work.
When someone writes about a success story with the 40 Day Forgiveness Practice, it inspires everyone. Not the least the woman who did it and got results half way into the 40 days. For the work of Forgiveness, is getting out of the way, relinquishing the need to rehash "the story" over and over, and to see the other person in a different light. To just let them be, and for you to be free of the entanglements.
Here's what came in an email recently. "I decided to try doing the forgiveness prayer with my next door neighbor who has been unpleasant and very difficult with us as neighbors. I have to admit, I was very skeptical, but decided to do what you said and give it a shot. Without knowing it, the day I started was the same day our neighbor's mother-in-law died. (She had been staying with him and his wife - next door to us.)
When I found out about the death, I decided to give them a mass card, in honor of the mother. (It's not something I would have ever done before.) Within a day or two, the neighbor saw my husband working outside and thanked him. Previously he would never make eye contact with us. Then, the wife came over and thanked us.
Since I began the Forgiveness Practice the neighbor actually has held a conversation with my husband, and he smiled at me in passing yesterday. WOW!! Everything feels very different between us now and it's only been 18 days. It does work, and I feel freer. "
This is the Art of Forgiveness which works in its own way, at its own pace, and in its own time!