“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi
I was talking to a friend the other day and I was shocked at how bitter she still is over something that happened years ago. She still foams at the mouth anytime she recounts the events.
There is no reason for her to be reliving the past other than hurt and to feel like a victim again. I guess it feeds something in her, otherwise she wouldn’t be doing it.
I tried telling her to let it go, that holding anger in is only hurting herself. It only keeps her in the past, not allowing her to move on.
She was not listening. She said that I couldn’t possibly understand all she went through. She forgets I do understand. I probably have gone through more, I just choose not to advertise and live in it like she does it.
She also starts talking about how she hopes that that person is suffering now. There is nothing more unattractive and distasteful to me than vengeance. I don’t understand it. I don’t see what someone gains with it.
I have stopped trying to reason with her. Now I just listen when it is unavoidable, and change the subject as soon as possible.
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” – Steve Maraboli
Today my message is for her, but since she is not ready to receive perhaps somebody else is, and it also serves as a reminder for myself to look around and see if I am really being as forgiving as I like to think I am.
The harder something is to forgive the more you need to forgive and the freer you will feel when you do it. Forgiving is a gift you give yourself. It is not easy but it feels so good.
Is there someone or something in your past that still has a hold on you? Is there someone that you still think about it and it gets you angry, sad, and overwhelmed every time?
I am one of those people that easily get mad but I am even quicker to forgive. I consider that a gift. Most of the time I don’t even remember I was ever mad to begin with.
I believe in redemption, but I also believe in keeping my spirit light without carrying around the baggage and burden of anger and rancor.
Still there are times that even for me is not that simple. At those times I need help and I pray.
Many of you know that I started this blog out of the pain of a broken heart. Several years ago I thought I had met Prince Charming and for 3 years he treated me like a Princess. Then one day I found out he was cheating. There was no working it out, he didn’t want to. He just asked me to move out. Not only was he a cheater he was also an extremely cold human being.
Having the rug pulled out from under me was one of the hardest things I had to go through. I was calling my sister multiple times a day until one day she said she was worried about my sanity. At that moment I realized that I had no right to drive anyone else crazy over that. Instead of calling her I started putting my pain on paper and then on the web, thus this blog was born.
“Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.” – Bob Dylan
At that point I went through all the stages of grief, more than once, and anger was there also. It was a tough period in my life. So I prayed, I prayed and then I prayed some more.
There is one specific prayer that I used and use often. I use it when someone angers me, hurts me, anytime I see sadness and resentment building up inside me.
I was blessed to have grown up attending Seicho-No-Ie teachings. Their teachings are about the power of the mind and the power of positive thinking. I am being overly simplistic here so feel free to read more online. Even though it has been many years since I have studied anything regarding their teachings it is a prayer that I learned there that I turn to time and time again.
Forgiveness Prayer. (Where it says “you” I normally add the name of the person or event)
“I have forgiven you. You have forgiven me. I have forgiven you. You have forgiven me.
You and I are one in God.
I love you. You love me. I love you. You love me.
You and I are one in God.
I am grateful to you. You are grateful to me. I am grateful to you. You are grateful to me.
You and I are one in God.
There is now no longer any ill feeling between you and me.
I wish you ever increasing happiness in the days to come.”
“I have forgiven all of these people. I surround each and every one of these people with God’s love. In the same way that I surround every one of these people with God’s love, He too forgives my mistakes. He surrounds me with infinite love.”
“God forgives you. Therefore, I too forgive you.”
What also helps me it to look at the person as a teacher and at the event as a lesson, as a vessel for my betterment. I can see now how each experience has made me stronger. If were not for my Ex I would have never had started this blog and have never encountered so many amazing friends with amazing life stories. For that alone I would get hurt all over again. For that I thank him.
“The wound is the place where the light enters you” – Rumi
Also very important is to not forget to forgive ourselves. We make mistakes, daily, little and big ones. We say what we didn’t mean to, we gossip, we forget to be nice, etc. We hurt others.
We need to forgive ourselves also for the part we play in hurting ourselves. We choose the wrong person to trust, to love, and we get fooled and hurt.
Forgive yourself, you are human and flawed, but you also have a loving heart, a trusting soul, a gentle spirit. Never admonish yourself for being open to love. That is one of our greatest gifts, the ability to love.
I am going to open my heart many times, and many times I will feel like a fool. Many more times I will get hurt and cry. Still I am going to continue doing it, because not trusting and not loving is not living. And life is too precious a gift to waste.
Forgive, always! Forgive a person, forgive an event, forgive yourself, and move on!
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” – Martin Luther King Jr.