GIVE YOURSELF A REAL GIFT By Carol McCloud
How would you like to fill your own bucket with a truly wonderful gift? What I'm going to suggest reflects the true spirit of giving and generosity. And while it costs nothing, it is not without serious effort on your part. However, should you choose this gift for yourself, I can promise you that your heart will be lighter and your spirit brighter.
I would like you to think of someone you have never forgiven for their angry words or hurtful actions. If the thought of something they said or did still has the power to upset you, if you avoid them whenever possible or put up walls when you must be around them, then you have not forgiven them. In bucket filling language, you've overused your lid or used it too late; either way, you've failed to release the negative feelings and perpetuated the damage done to yourself and those around you.
The lid is a valuable tool, however it must be used correctly. Your lid is meant to temporarily protect your bucket. Its purpose is to give you time to stop, think, and understand your feelings and those of the other person. Without forgiveness, resentment and hardhearted attitudes become permanent bucket drainers. They steal joy and can drain the buckets of an entire family.
Forgiving another person is a true gift to yourself and an indication of your bucket filling skills. A person who is willing to forgive, to let go of negative feelings and thoughts of retaliation and , yes, acknowledge their own contribution to the friction, is an advanced bucket filler.
Did you know that those who are "natural" bucket fillers and exceptionally caring are often the people who find it very difficult to forgive? I believe it is because their sensitivity extends to themselves as well as others.
We all have instinctive tendencies to close up, use our lids, and shut other people out when they dip in our buckets. Until we resolve a problem within ourselves, we tend to hold onto anger and resentment, blame others, exaggerate wrongs, ignore any positives. We go into full-blown bucket dipping mode and begin to entertain thoughts of revenge.
So ask yourself: "Am I holding onto anger, bitterness or resentment against anyone and refusing to forgive them?" If your answer is "yes," try saying these words from your heart, "I give up my right to hold onto my resentment toward (name of person). I will finally let it go". Strive to see this person in a nonjudgmental, caring way. This does not have to be done in person. The person my have forgotten the situation.
Remember, this is a gift you are giving yourself and you will know you've been successful when you are able to recall the incident without any increase in blood pressure or negative thoughts about it.
One gift of forgiveness will fill many buckets, expecially your own.
Taken from: BUCKET FILL-OSOPHY 101---Week of December 2, 2012 www.BUCKETFILLERS101.com