by Mari McCarthy
How much does that word take up space in your life? Have you ever found it difficult to forgive someone? Are there things or people you feel like you will never forgive? Or, on the other side, are you sometimes worried that other people will never forgive you?
An important part of achieving a sense of well-being is not carrying grudges against others and not carrying guilt about our own lives. If you feel resentful or guilty, you're not likely to have a peaceful attitude.
Journal writing is an excellent way to examine this aspect of awareness. There may be forgiveness issues in your life today that you can write through in your journal.
And there may also be multiple forgiveness problems left over from many years before; knots in your mindfulness that are barely noticed in the everyday rush and crush, but that keep you at arm's length from personal fulfillment.
Even if you think you have no forgiveness issues, try some of the following journal prompts. You might strike gold, in terms of discovering solutions to elusive puzzles like, "Why aren't I happy?" or "Where am I going?"
1. Spend a timed period free-writing from the word, 'forgiveness.' You may also enjoy selecting 'hot' words or phrases from your free-writing and considering them on separate pages.
2. Write, "One thing that's hard to forgive is ..." and keep writing. Consider such areas as your childhood, or your marriage or your job, or politics, history, religion, education, or economics. Where in your experience has the unforgivable happened?
3. Write about a time when you forgave another person. Again, spend a timed period writing on the subject, so that you are forced to go deeper than you might otherwise.
4. Write about a time when you forgave yourself. Detail whatever transgression occurred and especially focus on how successful you were in granting forgiveness. Was it loving and wholehearted? Did you profoundly forgive, or just go through the motions? If you're still harboring shreds of guilt and blaming yourself, maybe it's time to bring your forgiveness out of mothballs again.
5. Finally, consider how important Love is to forgiveness. You're not going to care about anything, much less forgiveness, if your focus is not on being as loving as you can, to yourself and others. To stay in peak Loving form, journal your spontaneous thoughts on the subject regularly - once a month at least. Write at the top of a new page, "Love is ..." and keep writing. It's like taking your vitamins!
Mari L. McCarthy is The Journaling Therapy Specialist, founder of Create Write Now, the Personal Growth Journaling Place. Mari offers counseling and encouragement to journal writers through her many online journaling resources, as well as private consultations.
Mari's teachings and workbooks center around journaling for self-discovery, self-growth, and self-healing. 12 Days of Morning Pages (http://createwritenow.com/12-days-of-morning-pages) is her latest ebook / emailed course, providing a gentle entrance to a life-changing practice.
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