Thursday, September 13, 2012

4 - Give - Ness

As I get older, I often wonder what is the best prescription for forgiveness. Common sense tells us that letting go of hurt, helplessness and anger will increase our confidence, hope and happiness. The most gratifying of all is finding perfect peace. Ahh, doesn't that sound wonderful? It sounds pretty simple to achieve, and maybe it is. However, for most it is a constant battle.

Forgiveness is defined as the process of ceasing to feel resentment, indignation or anger for a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.

Over the years, people (parents, teachers, neighbors, etc.) have said to me, “Forgive, forget and move on.” If we take the forget out of the equation, we might just be on our way to a solution, understanding that forgiving isn't the same as forgetting what happened to you.

The act of being hurt will always be a party of you, but forgiveness can help you lessen its grip on your heart, aiding in your ability to move forward and focus on the other positive parts of your life. Forgiveness doesn't mean you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn't minimize or justify their actions and inappropriate behavior.

I also believe that not forgetting helps us to, we hope, not find ourselves in a repeated situation. They say we learn from our mistakes. Let it be the push you need to never hold a grudge, be stronger to self, and begin new relationships with a more meaningful outlook.

The people most likely to hurt us are those closest to us (family, friends, partners and coworkers). When we are hurt by someone we care about, trust and believe in, whether it be a betrayal, insult, abuse or rejection, it can be the biggest challenge to overcome. The more significant the person is in our life the bigger the challenge.  I know because I have been there more than once.

When we experience hurt from someone's words or actions, it’s hard not to feel extreme sadness or anger.  We don't realize that these feelings start off small and more often than not increase over time unless we deal with them quickly. The first step in this process is acknowledging.

A grudge has much power. Too many times we give it more power than it deserves. It’s a cancer that crowds our positive feelings. Grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and hostility have this amazing ability to cause significant damage to our overall happiness, especially when we replay the hurt over and over again in our mind – so not healthy.  If this is allowed to continue, you might just find yourself consumed with eternal bitterness.

So, are you ready to start forgiving? Are you really ready? It’s a process, and once you begin you must never stop. The advice I offer comes from deep within my heart. It comes from mistakes, learning, growing, understanding, reading and practice.

It is important to have patience with yourself, to know that forgiveness doesn't happen in one, two or three days. It doesn't happen in a week, month or year. It happens when you least expect it, but you must want, appreciate and believe in it.

The key to forgiveness lies within you. Express your feelings in a positive way (hard to do sometimes), which might include keeping a journal, talking to a professional or a close friend who will listen without judging, maybe a close family member who can help you make sense of the situation (that is a tricky one, but sometimes it works), or writing a letter.

Make every attempt to step into the other person’s shoes because you just might gain a new perspective, which might move the forgiveness process along a little quicker.

The biggest part of the entire process involves you being kind to you. A little bit of self-love goes a long way. One of the more specific goals is to find peace, renewed joy, a decrease in stress and improved health.

People consistently become more loving, friendlier and compassionate after a deep emotional “forgiveness cleansing.” There is nothing like having emotional pain released. It empowers you to send depression on its way. You will find yourself laughing again, more than you did before.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to clean the clutter in your mind by forgiving, never forgetting, and finding the courage to move on. A new place is waiting for you.

On a more personal note, to family, a few friends and those horrible bullies from yesteryear – I forgive you, won’t forget you, but simply don’t need to be around you.  I found my joy in unconditional love – now find yours.  Peace. – paerki

What would life be like without memories? It’s fair to say, there would be no life at all. Memory is our communication, reason, coherence, our action and more importantly, our feeling. Memories create our path in life, developing our psychology and leading us emotionally.

One of the best ways to create and store memories is with video. These simple effortless little snippets of time create diaries and become perpetual time capsules, which justify our walk on earth, telling all with great enthusiasm… I was here! I mattered! I lived! Please, don’t forget me.

Share your views, thoughts and opinions in the written word. Snap photographs so that your eyes can travel back in time, remembering the happy and sad moments that made you the person you were, are and became in life. But, whenever possible, capture video to enhance the memories you leave behind, so that others may pass the essence of your life on to future generations.


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"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

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