harbouring_offense

Harbouring Offence

Today I want to start a conversation about harbouring offence. The dictionary tells us that ‘to harbour’ is a verb, which means it is an action that needs to be taken. It is not something that automatically happens, it is a decision you make. As I am typing this, everything within me wants to scream. Why? Because I want to believe that when someone wrongs me or hurts me, I have no control over it. I did not ask for it, neither did I sign up for it. It happened to me! Which means that I am the victim! Correct? Incorrect? Let’s talk.

The Covid-19 lockdown has given me ample time to process, re-think and re-live experiences and relationships that caused me to take offence. I consider myself as a fairly forgiving person who extends mercy easily. I look at things realistically and I was under the impression that I came to rational conclusions that serves everybody positively. I did realise however that when and if I feel wronged by the behaviour of another person, organisation or group, I immediately take offence, feel victimized and slowly but surely tie that ‘boat’ of offence to my peer. As soon as I get hurt, instead of allowing the boat to slowly drift away on its own, I TAKE the offence and tie it to my emotions and everyday life.

So everyday as I walk out to the peer, which actually represent my perspective on life and what I see. I find that boat (of offence) tied to the side of my peer. It is right in my line of sight. I am constantly reminded of what and how I was wronged and how I was wrongfully treated. This boat in my way, this boat brings me pain, it takes up space and hinders me from harbouring or hosting another boat ‘of freedom’. It takes up space in my emotional capacity to function and even to experience joy. What really irritates me is the fact that I have the ability to untie that boat. I can loosen the hold. I can let go and only I can release that boat (of offence).

What do you have tied to your peer? What offence are you harbouring today? What bad behaviour or decision or action, that somebody took offended you in such a way that you cannot let go and instead of forgiving and letting go, you ended up tying that to your peer. Allowing it to stay in your line of sight and occupying emotional space that keeps you from being your joyful self.

Join me on journey of rediscovering your joy. Little by little untying every boat (of offence) that we have tied to our peers (perspective). We have the control. We are not powerless, we are not victims. Choose today to let go!

How can you let go:
1. Make a list of who offended you and who needs forgiveness.
2. Think through every action or behaviour as if it is the last time you will feel it.
3. Choose a date and mark it somewhere. This will be the last day that you entertain the story or re-tell or re-live that moment. Untie it that day, in your mind, and let it go. Never talk about again.
4. Sit down. Relax. Close your eyes and untie every rope attached to your peer. As you do that say out loud: I release you and I forgive you.
5. Walk out on onto your peer everyday. If you find a boat of offense untie it immediately.
LEARN TO LET GO!

2 thoughts on “Harbouring Offence”

  1. Bernadette – I googled ‘harbouring offence’ – didn’t know what it means. I am reading “Dealing With ZIZ – The Spirit of Forgetting” by Anne Hamilton.
    You explained it well AND i love your action plan.
    Being a lover of water and boats I like your analogy – it became clearer when i substituted pier for peer (which works also for people i work with – thanks

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