Forgiveness Is the Fragrance the Violet Sheds on the Heel That Has Crushed It
People make mistakes. Sometimes very serious ones. Sometimes they have no idea the pain and emotional turmoil they can cause us. As often as not, the mistakes aren't deliberate or personal. I think some people just don't know what they are doing. This means if, in the past, people have behaved badly towards you, it wasn't necessarily because they meant to be horrible, but maybe its because they were as naive, as foolish, and as human as the rest of us. Sometimes we just don't know any different.
If you want to, you can let go of resentment, of regret or anger and meet these emotions with the power of forgiveness. You can accept that you are a fabulous human being regardless of the bad things that have happened to you, not in spite of them. Try not to use the labels 'good' and 'bad' in these situations. I know some of it was very bad, but it's how you can let things dramatically affect you, this can be the real 'bad'.
You could let all of these things get you down, let them fizzle away internally like some emotional acid that makes you ill, resentful and stuck in the same place. Or, you could use these events for their real purpose: to teach you how to let go and embrace forgiveness as character forming and in general as a positive experience rather than negative. You dont need to keep these people who wronged you in your life either. Forgiveness is about freeing yourself, not the other person. Each person will practice the will to forgive at their own pace. If you are struggling, here are some suggestions to help you move through the steps based on what works for you.
HOW YOU CAN DO IT
1. Know exactly how you feel about what happened and be able to articulate what about the situation is not OK. Then talk to someone you trust about your experience.
2. Make a strong commitment to yourself to feel better about this in time. Forgiveness is for you and nobody else.
3. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean becoming friends with the person who upset you or condoning their actions. In forgiveness, we seek the peace and understanding that comes from blaming people less after they offend us.
4. Get the right perspective on what is happening. Recognise that your primary distress is coming from the hurt feelings, thoughts, and physical upset you are suffering now, not from what hurt you ten minutes—or ten years—ago.
5. At the very moment you feel upset, practice stress management to soothe your body’s fight or flight responses. This could mean taking deep breaths, doing a mindful meditation or yoga exercise, taking a walk in fresh air—whatever is most effective for you.
6. Give up expecting things from your life or from other people when they choose not to give to you. Remind yourself that you can hope for health, love, friendship, and prosperity, and work hard to get them. However, these are “unenforceable rules”: You will suffer when you demand love or affection from someone who will not give it to you.
7. Put your energy into looking for another way to get your positive goals met than through the experience that has hurt you. There is always another path.
Remember that a life well-lived is your best revenge. Instead of focusing on your wounded feelings, and giving them power over you or to the person who caused you pain, look for the love, beauty, and kindness that is present all around you. Put more energy into appreciating what you have rather than attending to what you do not have. There is no going back, only forwards.
Keep moving forwards. Much Love,
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