Residential Week 10: Making Peace with the Past
Residential: Week Ten Making Peace with the Past
Group Objective: To explore the power of making peace with the past.
Key Teaching Points: Often people believe that making peace with the past is difficult, often because they are stuck at a level of consciousness that is deeply entrenched in “right and wrong” and “good and bad.” This group will offer tools to open up to a new way of viewing and working through forgiveness.
Materials Needed: Paper, pens, clipboards (or something to write on).
Reading from Conscious Recovery: Forgiveness is a very powerful tool in letting go of the perspectives that keep us in a limited and limiting way of seeing and being. Forgiveness allows us to move more deeply into the truth of who and what we are, to eradicate our stories of separation, powerlessness, and being stuck in blaming and victimization. Many of us have a terrifically hard time with forgiveness. We feel that terrible things have happened in our lives, and we are unable to let them go.
So, let’s start there, with the experience of forgiveness that many of us have had. When we’re stuck in unconscious reactions, forgiveness is next to impossible. The beliefs we hold about ourselves and our world become the lens through which we view the world, the way we frame our stories. They limit our perspective and block us from freedom and authenticity. When we’re living at this victim/martyr level of consciousness, hearing about the need to forgive can push us further into limitation.
If we are holding the idea that we’re fundamentally a victim, then “forgiveness” may look like admitting that we are “wrong” or “bad,” that we “deserve what we get.” Or it can look like giving up, admitting that the other person is stronger or better and that we cannot ever win. From this level of awareness, forgiveness supposes that we’ve been harmed, or have lost, and that we need to forgive the person who harmed us, which can feel like basically admitting that the person who hurt us has won. From the perspective of a victim, forgiveness might also mean pretending that things that happened in the past never happened. This requires forgetting, and burying things deep in the shadow.
Residential: Week 10 Group Outline Making Peace with the Past
(10 minutes) Meditation
(10 minutes) Check-in: Everyone says their name and something about making peace with the past.
Review Shared Agreements
One Person Speaks at a Time
Share the Air
Feedback Upon Request
(15 minutes) Group Activity: Ask clients to write out a situation that has been challenging for them and where they are finding it difficult to find peace. (For this exercise, they cannot work with self-forgiveness.)
Have them get with a partner and share what they wrote. (No feedback for this process and definitely no “solution” seeking.)
(15 minutes) Group Activity: Now, have them write about the same situation, but from the OTHER PERSON’S perspective.
They will the get with the SAME partner and share what they wrote. (Again, no feedback for this process and definitely no “solution” seeking.)
(15 minutes) Group Activity: Now, have them write about the same situation, but from their HIGHER SELF (or higher power’s) perspective.
Time Permitting: They will the get with the SAME partner and share what they wrote. (Again, no feedback for this process and definitely no “solution” seeking.)
(15 minutes) Group Process: Have each person read ONLY their third version. (Without telling the “story.”)
(10 minutes) Closing Process