We do not have to improve ourselves; we just have to let go of what blocks our heart
When we forgive, we are able to grow. When we don’t forgive, we are chained to the past — and the past no longer exists.
Forgiveness is hard to do. There are people who hurt us, hurt us in so many different ways, and we may feel they deserve our anger and resentment. And oh my, I don’t know about you, but there are many things I have done which I have not forgiven within myself. Some times it’s easier to forgive another than to forgive ourselves.
This page gives specific way to use bicycling, meditation and journal writing as a path to forgiveness, so we can open our hearts.
Begin by writing in your journal. List everyone you need to forgive, and what you need to forgive them for. Pick the one that you need to work on most, which contains the most of your pain or anger.
Now, do a Prayer of Forgiveness. I have a non—theistic version of a standard one below:
I now forgive all who hurt me, all who have done me wrong, whether deliberately or by accident, whether by word, by deed, or by thought, whether against my pride, my person, or my property, in this incarnation or in any other. May no one be punished on my account.
And may I be no more bound by the wrongs that I have committed, that I be free from patterns which cause pain to me and other others, and that I no longer do that which is evil. May my past failings be wiped away in great mercy, and may they no longer manifest through suffering and illness.
If forgiveness practice new to you, this prayer may be very difficult. The very first time I did this prayer in earnest, I got stuck at the first line: “I now forgive all who hurt me…”That was it. As soon as I said those first words, all these feelings roiled up inside. I was angry and full of pain, and could go no further. If your reaction is as strong as mine was the first time, don’t get on your bike full of turmoil. Sit and focus on your breathing for a while, until the feelings are less overwhelming, and then you can ride.
Pack up your journal, your pen, and a copy of a forgiveness prayer (the one above, or another of your own creation) in your pannier or bike bag, and get on your bike.
While riding, use the basic bicycling meditation until you are relaxed and open. The person you need to forgive and the feelings you have about that person are very likely to come up while you ride. Notice those feelings, but don’t drown yourself in them. Just recognize them, and then let them go, and return to your body moving rhythmically and naturally on your bicycle.
When you get to your journaling spot, if you want, pull out the prayer and give it another try. Otherwise, go straight to your journal, and write how you feel. Now try the prayer again, and then get on your bicycle, and repeat the meditation, until you are home again. At home, pull out your journal for the final time, and write.
If you work on the practice of forgiveness, slowly, like a flower unfolding, your heart is able to open. It isn’t that you forget what happened. You still remember. You simply just don’t hold the same pain, the same guilt, or the same anger about past events. Being angry, feeling guilty or being in emotional pain is no fun — why should you cling to these emotions? Better to remember the past with clarity and an open heart. Then you can go forward into the future with the same.
If you turn back to a Bicycle Path of Blessing, you’ll see that I call for you to be able to bless all. When you are still caught up in a world of hurt, guilt, or resentment, the idea that at one time in the future you’ll be able to say “Amen” to a terrible event of the past seems impossible. The terrible events of the past, though, bring us to this moment of the present, which is open with all its possibilities.
If you think I’m nuts, then I suggest you just ride with it for a while, and see where it takes you. Just ride.