Every thought we form has a life of its own now and into the future. Each thought contributes to an inner conversation and external discourse. Over time, repeated thoughts, even small and fleeting, can accumulate, reinforcing positive or negative moods. The power of mood is great. Our moods are our assessments of and for the future… they can strongly influence our future possibilities and actions with others. Positive moods are like paradises; negative ones like trash heaps. They truly are self-fulfilling.
Our family has had a historic tendency to value and assess equity and reciprocity in relationships. This discernment can contribute a happier future if it helps us invest more in relationships we deem to be “fairer”. On the other hand, as a judgment, it can contribute to a prevailing if under-the-surface mood of resentment, especially in relationships where repeated invocation of the fairness test effects no change. If we don’t want to carry the baggage of a resentful mood around with us, we need to let it go, since all change comes from the inside out.
I bring this up in relation to the practice of forgiveness. Forgiveness is like a universal solvent for karmic crud. If we are carrying around a mood of resentment toward someone built up over a long time of repeated thoughts/judgments, it may take many many invocations of forgiveness both to the other self for any perceived offenses, as well as many repetitions of forgiveness to your self for thinking and holding the initial judgment thoughts instead of letting them pass. Some stains need a lot of bleach!