This week while teaching meditation we explored "Metta". Metta is a term which means loving kindness. During the process of Metta we sent love to our loved ones, friends, work colleagues and those in general who help make our lives easier.
Then we sent love to someone we had a grievance with... ouch....much more challenging.
Some of the students when it was over shared they couldn't believe they were still holding onto this "________" (fill in the blank but realistically we're talking grudges here... fear, anger, disappointment... whatever it may be) for so many years.
Face it you may still be upset with "So and so" for doing/not doing/overdoing "that thing" and have been for the past 8+ years. Yeah, admit it, they still really tick you off!
Here's the thing. ______(so & so)________ hasn't given you a second thought in all of those years!
Guess Buddha was onto something when he said, "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."
Rather than clearing the toxic emotions, you've held them, you're still getting burned up by them like a boomerang nothing has cleared.
Here's a process I've used for years to let people and grudges go.
Maybe it'll work for you to?
Take a moment and focus on your physical heart or the essence of the heart center (anahatha) located at the center of the chest.
Begin to send your breathe into this space.
Imagine you are breathing from this heart center (not so much from the lungs, but rather the heart).
Allow yourself to expand love, kindness and compassion from this space.
Imagine you are a vessel sending love out to the planet, bathe the planet and all sentient beings with your love, your compassion.
Think of the one you need to release and say these (or similar words), "I forgive you, I release you, I let you go."
Remember to send these same feelings to yourself.
"If you're compassion doesn't include yourself it is incomplete." ~Buddha
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~Rumi
PS. You may have to chant these words like a mantra a million times before it takes, but trust it will.
"I forgive you. I release you. I let you go."
PPS. Oh and when you say "I forgive you" let it be to yourself first for not letting this go before now! And while you are at it don't be hard on yourself you are human after all!