Key Extracts from Lecture 109

© The Pathwork® Foundation 1999

One can make restitution when one really wants to… There is no ready-made formula. There never can be for a reality which is dynamic and knows infinite varieties. Restitution is comparatively easy for clear-cut actions and incidents of wrongs that have been inflicted. But it is not so easy for the subtlety of attitudes and emotional reactions. In the former case, atonement can take place, for example, by talking to the wronged person in candor. This in itself may take away the wrong because the other person will no longer feel unjustly treated, confused, disharmonious. In other instances, in addition to talking, certain productive actions may be indicated that will come to your mind when you search in a spirit of sincerity rather than in a spirit of superficiality and glib cheap disposal of a duty done. In both cases – only talking it out or talking it out with subsequent action – it will relieve a bleeding heart, a festering sore. Beware of undertaking any actions before you are fully convinced and desirous of doing so… When issues are not clear-cut, when it is a question of subtle emotions, of indirect results such as, for instance, your withholding and withdrawing, even then you will find ways to know how to make up for committed wrongs. You can inflict pain by not daring to give of yourself, of your best (due to fear, cowardice, pride, betrayal, misconceptions), thus leaving others in need, and increasing their sense of unworthiness. These subtle effects are more difficult to determine and are also not as simple to make restitution for… Even if you no longer have the opportunity to make good with the same person you have shortchanged, the cultivation of the very ability of giving your best rather than deliberately hampering it, as before, will make for restitution! If others now profit from this new-found ability, it too is restitution! You will deeply feel the truth of this. If you voluntarily give up the wall of isolation and thus let the richness of your inherent being stream onto others, it is restitution.