Forgiveness of Others 5
Chapters 21 through 23
Chapter 21 - Your Role as a Guide
Even though this website is an attempt to enable people to use the forgiveness processes even if they have no access to an experienced guide, it can still be useful to you to know what a guide would be doing, - then you can do these functions for yourself. Also, when you come to share these skills with others, you will find yourself in the role of the guide.
As a guide you help the forgiver be dis-identified (i.e. to be a detached yet compassionately understanding and loving observer of their own sensations, feelings and thoughts). You faithfully watch over him/her as s/he creates a distance between their observing "self" and their "in-the-world self".
Sitting beside the forgiver reduces transference and counter-transference.
You remain identified with your own Soul, Higher Self, or Naphsha, unconditionally loving and supportive of the forgiver, yet firmly centered on the purpose of the forgiver to complete the forgiveness processes.
You help the forgiver to progressively lift their consciousness until they are identified with their Higher Self level of consciousness, for it is here that forgiveness takes place. You must hold the precious truth about the forgiver (and the one being forgiven!) - that s/he too is a Higher Self, capable of unconditional love and forgiveness - even when the connection with their Higher Self is temporarily weak or lost.
You help to evoke the Will of the forgiver - for example "Are you ready for the next step?" keeps the forgiver in charge of the process, enabling them to go at their own speed.
An important role is to help the forgiver, if they stumble on the way and want to back off from forgiveness. Sometimes this is because of a misunderstanding about the nature of forgiveness (See Demythologising forgiveness - truths and untruths). Sometimes it is because they have not realized fully, or have forgotten, that to not forgive is to perpetuate their own suffering. They may need reminding.
You maintain an
atmosphere of joyfulness and partnership. This work is amongst the most
beautiful that anyone can do, and a great privilege. There is no need for it to
be sorrowful or "hard work".
At an advanced Forgiveness Workshop in Adelaide, South Australia, people with experience in psychosynthesis and with experience in using the forgiveness processes with themselves and in guiding others, were invited to come up with ideas for self-assessment of guiding skills. This is what they came up with:
Did I as the Guide:-
1. Use the qualities the trainee's group decided were essential in a guide/teacher, namely, Abilii, Kenoota, Khooba, Rukha, Makikh. Did I maintain connection with my Higher Self, and keep my personality aligned with the Higher Self as an instrument for healing for the forgiver in alignment with the forgiver's soul purpose?
(I suggested we add the sixth quality of Clear Communication and Understanding to this list).
2. Keep the forgiver focused on the task throughout?
3. Probe deeply enough into the negative beliefs systems, the layers, for clarity and awareness?
4. Return the forgiver to the use of "you" in the preference statements to avoid gossip about the other person ("he", "she")?
5. Insist that the forgiver be specific, full and complete enough about the preferences? Insist that the forgiver learn the skill of Clear Communication of their needs?
6. Avoid getting involved with my own "stuff" if there was any similarity or "resonance" between my life history and either the forgiver's or the life of the one being forgiven? Were there any transference, counter-transference or counter-transference issues?
7. Ensure that the forgiver learns to separate out their values, benefits, burdens, feelings, beliefs, preferences, and the deep values underlying the preferences?
8. Pin the forgiver down to details, events, to being specific, eliminating vagueness?
9. Use a nurturing tone of voice and manner?
10. Enable the forgiver to experience the differences that come with different kinds of language forms and "inner speech", thus moving the forgiver in the direction of Right Speech?
11. Use humor and lightness wisely?
12. Understand and use skillfully the Third Person (name of the forgiver) in the meditation stage of the forgiveness process?
13. Ensure healing of each of the emotionally distressing memories discovered?
14. Bring each of the negative beliefs up for "wisdom upgrade" by the Higher Self
15. Non-verbal: Watch the forgiver closely during the meditation stage for clues and keep pace with them (ie. use accurate empathy)? Head positioning in the Healing of the Emotional Nature?
16. Use the information gathered from the history creatively during the meditation process? (i.e. use my own intuition skillfully)?
17. Use the Goodwill Patterns creatively with the client?
18. Live them and the Forgiveness Process in my own life?
19. Understand meridians, the "domino effect" and can I use the inner Flame test, will-to-Wellness test with discernment?
20. Have the right intention in being a guide?
21. How do I rate myself on each of these?
22. How could I do it better next time?
23. What is the order of importance of the above for me at this time?
24. Which should I give priority in my self-development as a Guide?
In different countries, after seminars on this material, participants have continued to meet in small groups fortnightly for up to a year, sometimes for longer, helping each other learn about this material, and exploring its beauty and depth together.
They overcome difficulties and produce wonderful results in their lives. They build deep and lasting friendships. You could do the same.
Action Circles are support groups for learning and practicing Forgiveness Skills and the Goodwill Patterns
Here are some suggestions for you to consider.
Number of Members: Three people is an ideal number, for at each meeting one can be the Forgiver, one the Guide, and one the Observer, these roles rotating so that within three weeks everyone gets a turn in each. But two or four could also work. Larger than that and the groups can become unwieldy, and it take too long for the rotation of roles to occur.
Frequency of meetings: Weekly is best, the work gets completed quicker, and the group's learning is faster. Fortnightly is OK, but longer than that and the work becomes slowed, and interest may become hard to maintain.
Group Agreement: It is just as important for the small group as in the seminar, that members come to an agreement about rules and ethics for the group's meetings. This agreement could be based upon a discussion of the Guidelines for Building Community at the beginning of this manual, with adaptations by each group to meet their own requirements. Confidentiality, trust, acceptance, no competition, cooperation, "I"-statements, honesty, 100% commitment to the group's process and the forgiveness work, and so on - these are all things that need to be discussed clearly, and be agreed upon by all at the first meeting. It is also important to discuss how difficulties, if they arise, will be handled by the group. This is excellent practice in knowing your needs and stating your preferences clearly!
Meeting places: This could be in rotation at each others' homes, or at an agreed place. Obviously the group must be undisturbed during meetings.
Suggested format for meetings: What has worked well for other groups is to:-
1. Have a round of sharing where every member shares in turn telling of his or her experiences since the last meeting. It is wise if this is focused and specific to the purpose of the group and not a rambling "chat". Experiences with the use in daily life of the Goodwill Patterns, and any effects of using the forgiveness processes are the essentials here. Insights gained, lessons learned, successes achieved, obstacles overcome or difficulties to be overcome are useful.
This kind of sharing can be most productive, especially if the other members just listen lovingly and acceptingly. Interrupt the speaker very little, if at all. Speakers, keep to the group task, and remember that gossip about people outside the group, and criticisms of self or others are to be avoided. People outside the group should be spoken of only in the light of the Goodwill Patterns or the Forgiveness Processes.
2. Next, the next of the Goodwill Patterns derived from the Aramaic words could be taken as a theme for the coming week. The meditation or exercise on it could be done, and the groups discusses how it could be applied in their own lives. They agree to meditate daily upon it, invoking its qualities and practicing it as best they can in the coming week. They will share their experiences at the beginning of the next meeting.
3. Someone volunteers to do forgiveness process and does it. This might be in rotation, or if there is urgency for someone their needs might take precedence over the roster.
4. Someone guides them through it.
5. The other(s) observe with two purposes: (a) to be detached and develop powers of observation of process, and give feedback to the guide later, and (b) to be involved in the process and assist in the content . It takes skill and practice to do both these tasks simultaneously and the group's growth may be best served by doing one only according to where the need lies.
6. It goes without saying that each is seeking to practice unconditional love within the group dynamics.
Here are the Stages of the Act of Will as outlined by Roberto Assagioli, applied thinking about the forgiveness process.
To heal and forgive. To enhance life, health, and relationships through Unconditional Love.
My Life and Health. Goodwill. Creativity. MORE THAN the negatives.
I weigh the benefits of doing it versus the burdens of not doing it.
Yes, I'll do it, and I will set aside other goals until I have completed it. I give it top priority now.
Making a list of all the people and events for which I need to apply the forgiveness process. Joyfully looking for all the occasions when I have blocked the flow of love through me. Listing the occasions for self forgiveness. Rank-ordering the incidents and starting with the easiest ones first. Becoming conscious of my own needs and subpersonalities lovingly and with good humor. Approving of myself for doing this project. Getting together with a friend or small self-help group. Using some of the exercises daily. Reading the notes and/or the book, perhaps several times. Practicing the Transpersonal mind-sets (good attitudes) daily. Reviewing my progress with love and compassion for myself, either in my journal or with my support friend or group. Taking more courses in this (psychosynthesis and the forgiveness project). Recording the changes in my journal, to help evaluate my progress. Welcoming crises as opportunities for growth and learning. Forgiving myself for not mastering it all yesterday!
There is a tendency for a
car to not steer itself - it must be guided by a vigilant driver. You will need
to use vigilance and to apply the process from time to time, then you will be
able to return to the safe course quickly and easily. But, like driving skills,
it tends to get easier and become part of your unconscious skills in time. And
like driving skill, it's worth it.
Early on in my work with forgiveness, I thought that it would be most unlikely that couples would be able to "handle" working on forgiveness with each other. This view was my own limitations speaking! Events happened which showed me that couples could greatly benefit from working on forgiveness processes together. If done in the right way, with trust, love and compassion, it greatly deepens their relationship.
As I came to think more about this, I could see that when I worked one-to-one with clients, benefits could certainly occur - but when couples came and worked together, the level of energy was higher, and the benefits increased exponentially. I was beginning to experience synergy - the group energy being greater than the sum of its parts.
Extend this principle. One person working on unblocking their love-flow in a family can certainly produce benefits. What can happen when a whole family does this work simultaneously? For example, what happens when the rest of the family forgives the "bad" one (the addict, offender, sick one, victim, perpetrator, etc....)? Some have begun to do this.
We all live in a "system" of networked relationships, and as you get deeper into this work, you will want to work at unblocking the love-flow, not only in your own body etc., but also in the "system" in which you live. Your family is where you can begin.
Extend this principle to the groups you belong to - the workplace (management and staff), the clinic, the hospital, the religious, political and other groups. What happens when everyone in such a group is practiced in the forgiveness processes, so that Unconditional Love flows freely throughout the entire "system"?
Extend this principle to the larger groups on the planet. What happens when national and other prejudice and strife is replaced with a freely flowing love energy?
We can begin to see how the use of television and other rapid communication is already beginning to bring this possibility before us. (The work of Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mother Theresa, and many other individuals and international groups carries the hallmark of this style of thinking and acting). From time to time you will see how the theme of forgiveness comes up. Begin to imagine how this force for right human relationships could be fostered, developed, brought generally into public awareness, then into actual behavior of groups. This brings us to the idea of:-
Have You Considered This?
The United Nations has in the past declared other International Years - e.g. of the Child, of Women, etc. This has resulted in beneficial focusing of attention on certain important issues, raising consciousness, drawing out the inventiveness, creativity and productive service of countless people and organizations all over the world.
Much preparation has gone into these International Years - people, money and energy are gathered together and used constructively. Barriers between people have been broken down and international cooperation has been achieved.
Most importantly, let us
remember, each of them began life as an idea, which was then nurtured by the
collective thought of many people into manifestation.
If this is an idea that touches you and stirs you in your heart, and you give your attention to it, thoughts and actions will follow.
Write to the United Nations itself, the United Nations Association of the USA, 485 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10017 USA, your own local United Nations Association, your church, your politicians, or to Global Cooperation for a Better World, 866 United Nations Plaza, Room 582, New York, NY 10017, USA, about ideas and support you may have for this project. There are local branches of this in many countries. You could discover your own by contacting this main office.
Write to your country's Prime Minister, President, and/or Ambassador to the U.N. asking that the proposal be put to the U.N. General Assembly.
International Year of Unconditional Love and Forgiveness for the years 2000
-2001 A.D., and an International Day of Forgiveness each year thereafter.
Continue to next section: Common 11 - Further Resources
Continue to: Self-Forgiveness 1
Return to: Forgiveness Process Navigation
Return to: Dr. Pettitt's Forgiveness Process
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