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Forgiveness is one key to happiness
Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a cycle of anger and bitterness?
We all do at some point, but how often can we really let go of that feeling? It’s hard to forgive someone who has wronged us and hurt us so badly. But once you start practicing forgiveness, it becomes easier and easier. I know from experience.
Forgiveness may not be easy
I’ll admit, I was never good at forgiving. It was always a struggle for me to let go of any sort of grudge or resentment, but then my mortality was handed to me after an accident. I’d been kicked in the head by a horse, and shortly after my doctor told me that if she’d have kicked my .5 inch lower, I wouldn’t be in her office that day. After that happened, all I could think of was how much energy and precious time I’d wasted on people and things that didn’t matter. So one day I decided enough was enough and just started doing it more often than not because it made me feel better and less stressed out. And the funny thing is when you’re kinder towards people they will respond back with kindness as well instead of being resentful themselves! The lesson here is forgiveness, not for the other person, but for yourself.
Forgiveness is a tough thing.
It’s hard to find the words, it takes time and patience, and sometimes we’re not ready to forgive. When you can’t forgive you’ll never be able to move on either. So how do we know when it’s time?
When someone does something that has hurt us
I can hold a grudge with the best of them, and I’m married to one of the best, so I know. At one time, early on my path to happiness, forgiveness was the step I refused to take. I wanted to hold onto the hate, hurt, and disgust. Why? I have no idea. I look back now and realize how much energy I wasted. How much stress I put on my body. Most of it over things that in hindsight were small. “Don’t sweat the small stuff” is fine, once you realize that in the scheme of things it actually was small.
I’ve since learn to let go of the pettiness of others too. Not that I don’t backslide, I am human after all. I used to let things people said stew in my soul, wishing mean things for the person. How sad is that? I was dropping to a level that was embarrassing. And again, so much energy wasted.
You don’t have to confront the person you feel wronged you, but if you do, sometimes you’ll find you took things the wrong way. And sometimes you were right and that person was a slug. (shrug) Either way, let it go!
If you want to perform a physical act to let this hatred/grudge/bad juju go; write your grievance on a scrap of paper along with the person’s name, then (standing over the sink or in a safe place) light that paper up! (not responsible for any injuries, be smart about this) Breathe in deep, and blow it out, letting the negative energy flow out of you. Whew, doesn’t that feel better?
Social Media and forgiveness
Everyday we hear about someone else’s story of how they have been wronged. We listen to their side, offer our support, and then share their post on social media. The natural reaction is often outrage or anger towards the other person who has caused this injustice. But what happens when it’s your turn? What do you do when you find that you are the one at fault? I’m not talking about a small mistake here…I mean something major where all evidence points to YOU being in the wrong. How can you expect anyone else to forgive and forget if you won’t even be able to forgive yourself? That’s why today I want us all to take a moment and think about how we would like others to treat us for a mistake, then before you jump on a bandwagon, think how you’d feel if it were you being lambasted.
One last thought. When you read these stories, remember, there are always two sides to the issue, and the truth lies somewhere in between. I’ve seen plenty of posts on Facebook, where I was appalled at what I read, but when I dug deeper, the person making all the noise was actually the “bad guy.” That bad guy was online doing damage control by spinning the story to make him look better. In fact, one of my novels revolves around this very things. So, before you jump on a bandwagon, get both sides, or better yet, stay out of if.