Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. Several years ago I wrote an article by the title of Behind Prison Doors. In keeping with my recent articles on the topic of acceptance, I wanted to share what I have found to be a block to acceptance. In the below version of the article, I have made some modifications to add accent. As you read this article and questions come to mind, please ask.
Behind Prison Doors
Posted by Second Chance to Live on October 13, 2009
Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by to visit with me. Recently I read a quote that I thought was excellent. I want to share that quote with you.
Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner. Max Lucado
This quote is rich with awareness. Although I may believe and feel justified in my anger and resentment I am the one who suffers the consequences. By choosing not to forgive I place myself behind prison doors. I have also heard that holding un-forgiveness and resentment — in my heart toward other people — is likened to drinking poison while hoping that the other person dies.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. – Buddha
Many years ago I listened to a speaker share how some monkeys are trapped in Africa. Apparently, bamboo cages are built with rungs of bamboo bars that are spaced with small gaps. The spacing allows for the monkey to reach into the cage to reach the piece of fruit, but the spacing does not allow for the monkey to remove the fruit. Because the monkey focus’s on the bait, the cage traps the monkey.
In the monkey’s determination to hold on to the fruit or bait, the monkey does not recognize what they will not let go of is keeping them trapped.
The above three illustrations remind me that I can make changes to release me from my self-imposed prison. I can choose to do the work to let go of my resentment. I can choose to do the work to let go of my unrealistic expectations. I can choose not to drink the poison of bitterness. I can choose to let go of the bait of justification that keeps me trapped in a cage. I can choose to do the work to forgive and be free.
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