Saturday, 18 February 2012

Mussar: Forget and Forgive

From - NarrowBridge.Org

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught...

Most people think of
forgetfulness as a defect.
I consider it a great benefit.
Being able to forget frees you from the burdens of the past.
(The Empty Chair, p. 108*)

What does this mean to me?

"If only I could forget the wrong that my neighbor did me ten years ago."

"If only I could forget all of the old baggage that I'm carrying from my childhood."

"If only I could stop reacting negatively to the situations that I face every single day. I wish I could just put all of my old patterns behind me and start fresh."

The truth is that we can, because we were given the great gift of forgetfulness. Every capacity within the human character has its potential for holy expression, and forgetting has its place too. One of the words in Hebrew for a human being is an enosh, and its root is in the Aramaic inshi—to forget. How do I learn to forget the memories and ways of thinking that harm me? First of all, I have to really want to let go of them! After that, I have to develop the habit of asking G-d to remove the memories from me whenever they come up. Little by little, I will find myself liberated.

Rebbe Nachman said, "When a person is caught in a morass of clinging mud, he can't get out all at once. He has one foot in, one foot out; one foot in, one foot; one foot in, one foot out—and then he's out!"

A prayer:

Teach me, dear G-d,
to make a fresh start;
to break yesterday's patterns;
to stop telling myself
I can't—
when I can,
I'm not—
when I am,
I'm stuck—
when I'm eminently free.
(The Gentle Weapon**, p. 101)

When we Forget the Hurt, it is so much easier to forgive.


No comments: