FORGIVENESS IS CHALLENGING FOR SURE
If we’re honest, we all have harbored resentments, collected injustices, and become angry over insults that aren’t that important. I meditate. I burn candles. I drink green tea. And I still want to smack someone who offends me. It is challenging and completely exasperating to forgive someone. It might even be harder to forgive yourself. Forgiving is about letting go, surrendering, and moving forward. Forgiving not only clears the mind of negativity, but it is also crucial in resolving issues, communicating more effectively, providing empathy, and living a happier life. Without forgiveness there would be no history, no hope, and our species would have annihilated itself in endless retributions.
I’m proposing that you give yourself the gift of forgiveness for the holidays. “Easier said than done,” you say. Okay, I’ll grant you that. Yet, the reality of living is that the mind is all you have, really all you have, and if you don’t give it a rest from the mental struggle of forgiving yourself and others, you won’t extract the best of what life can offer you. It holds you back from experiencing your true self; it holds you back from living in the present. The power is in the now – not in the past!
I make it a practice to still my mind several times a day – a mini meditation, if you will, and release the negative from my body and mind. I forgive myself for my mistakes, for speaking ill of someone, for judging someone, for labeling someone, for my negative feeling about my last relationship, for the fight with my son(s), for everything that happened and capture the lesson learned. Finally, I let go of my bad feelings. I surrender to what is.
Research shows that you have, on average, three times more positive experiences than negative ones in a day, but your mind insists on focusing on the negatives. WHY when relishing in the positive enhances your well-being and leads to more joy, more energy and a much more satisfying life. And WHY when your well-being influences those around you. It’s thinking negatively that makes your life small; think positive and you’ll have a big life.
And finally, practicing forgiveness gives us all the ability to love, hope, and live with grace and dignity above all else in life.