A friend posted on her facebook, ‘hmmm what to give up for lent this year?’ And it’s got me thinking…
The ‘typical’ items to go are usually chocolate, coffee etc but I was thinking of something a bit different…
Last week I heard some ‘good news’ about someone who had ‘wronged’ me many many years ago (and of course that’s ‘wronged’ in my opinion!). However rather than feeling happy for them, I felt something different. And not a good different. Did this person deserve this happiness? Maybe it was not really happiness, but a facade. Clearly an unresolved part in me, that has unknowingly held onto some hurt from the past.
So, to get to my point… for lent this year how about giving up a negative emotion that doesn’t serve you? I suspect this could do more good for ourselves and others, rather than just causing a dip in Cadbury’s sales!
Toby and I visited Samye Ling (a Tibetan monastery) with a recent group of students. During the visit Ani Lhamo one of the Nuns shared with us a very powerful meditation, where you bring to mind someone you dislike and then for 5 minutes you sit quietly and think only of love for them (if you are familiar with typical ‘nlp’ techniques, this process seemed to allow the unconscious mind to perform a perceptual positions, time line and belief change!) These few minutes created a space to think about someone in a new positive way. Each time the mind was seduced by negative memories or thoughts you simply bring your mind back to the task at hand – to think only of love for them. And with this simple meditation the negative emotions slowly start to change, to shift to something other than the way they were. We can’t change the events from the past, but we can change how we feel about them now. And having done this for the person I mentioned earlier, I am now happily wishing them a lifetime of happiness, which is much more in line with who I truly am and the way I wish to be in the world.
So, if you’re thinking of giving something up for lent, then think of an emotion that doesn’t serve you. Stress? Anxiety? Jealousy? Anger? See how it goes. Try it for 40 days – and hey if you really want to bring that negative emotion back into your life go for it – but I suspect this might be something worth giving up for good.
With Love, Kate