How to Forgive?

I attended the MindValley Summit from June 18 and 19. MindValley is an E-Commerce Platform that has courses about personal growth and self-improvement. “How to Forgive” is the most valuable course I’ve taken, and IT WORKS. 

Prelude

When I was a child, I didn’t know what was shy, or impossible or constrained, and I was a good kid. I had tremendous respect for teachers that everything they said must be correct. 

I had one teacher, Mrs. Z, in my primary school. I didn’t know what I did, but I annoyed her. She kept me in the office after school every day for two months and constantly told me: I was arrogant, not obedient, complacency and spoiled. She needed to “retrofit” me to be a traditional and “good” student. 

Six-step for forgiveness

Step 1: Identify the person you want to forgive.

I chose Mrs. Z, whom I couldn’t forgive after these years. 

Step 2: Choose a place and imagine you and Mrs. Z are there.

I chose her office. I still remember she was sitting at her table, sometimes sipped tea. I stood in front of her.

Step 3: Read your verdict for her like a judge.

“Mrs. Z, I was in the primary school you used to teach. You spent two months “retrofit” me because, as you said, I was arrogant, not obedient, complacency and spoiled. At the time, I didn’t know what I did to be not obedient and spoiled. I even didn’t understand what arrogant and complacency mean. I was only 11 years old. For two months, you bombarded me with these words every day.

After two months of “retrofit”, I was dramatized. I changed from that “go-get-it” girl to withdrawing, from actively participating in school activities to indifference. It changed my personality. More devastatedly, I lost trust in all teachers and kept distant from everybody. In my whole life, you were the only person that I hated and couldn’t forgive.”

Step 4: Release the emotion in whatever way you want for two minutes.

I can’t hit the pillow, throw dishes and shout. That’s not me. I closed my eyes, and tears were streaming down like “broken pears”. After one minute, I thought to finish the ordeal once for all; I have to react more dramatically. So, I said every word that I usually wouldn’t use at the last minute.

Step 5: Imagine you became Mrs. Z and put yourself in her shoes.

I pretended to be Mrs. Z and said: “I had a similar experience when I was your age. My school teacher criticized me for complacency and spoil and told my parents to discipline me. Mt teacher said, as it was, nobody wanted to marry me. Traditionally Chinese ways to educate girls were that girls should be obedient, modest and never aggressive. I honestly thought that after my “retrofit” you, you would be an obedient and modest girl. I felt I was doing a good deed for society.” 

Step 6: Do you feel to forgive her? Can you hug her? If not, repeat it tomorrow.

My feeling is complicated. On the one hand, I wanted to convince and argue with Mrs. Z that she didn’t treat me fairly. On the other hand, I want to draw a “period” on this painful experience. I still remember what she looked like. I felt she didn’t look like the devil for one second, and a heavy stone seemed lifted from me.

I was not ready to hug Mrs. Z, but for the first time, I felt released.

Afterthought

I think this method from MindValley has worked. Step 5, to imagine me as the person I want to forgive, is a critical step for me. 

I also noticed that teachers are so crucial and so privileged in building children characters. I wish all the teachers to cherish it.

Photo from Lifebook online, Jon & Missy Butcher (https://home.mindvalley.com/quests/en/lifebook-online)

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