Archive for December, 2011

December 29, 2011

ABC’s of Life… Forgive

Over the past year, I have been focusing on forgiving those in my past and even forgiving myself. Some of the people I was forgiving, I told so and others it was just a positive intention I sent out to the universe, knowing that if I ever saw them again, I would either say it or let it be water under the bridge.

I have learned it’s impossible to escape needing to be forgiven or needing to forgive someone for what has been done to us or those we love. It could be a small act or a big one. Sometimes these actions are intentional, mean, or spiteful and sometimes they were unintentional or we are unaware that our behavior hurt someone. These actions have nothing to do with us, instead they are all about the one inflicting them upon us. Even though I know this, it can be difficult not to personalize it. Perhaps by realizing that it is not personal is a key in offering forgiveness.

Forgiveness is something that we always have the option to give freely. Nobody can make us do it and we all have our own time frame for offering it. In a bad situation it can be the only thing we have control of. For some, it feels empowering to not give it because it is the only thing we feel in control of.  Although, it may seem easier to hold onto the anger and the pain that someone has brought on us, the truth is, we only do more harm to ourselves by holding onto that anger or grudge. We only truly heal from being hurt by letting go of that anger. I don’t know any other way of letting go of anger but by offering our forgiveness for what’s been done.

There are things in this world that happen that seem unforgivable, but forgiveness isn’t only for the other person, it’s for us – to take back control and remove ourselves from being the victim. There’s no joy in being a victim. By being a victim we give up the control of our lives and let the one who hurt us rule our lives.

People say forgive and forget. I agree with forgiving, but not with forgetting. Sometimes we have to remember our pain, our sorrows, our anger to learn and grow from it or to keep us safe by making sure to remove ourselves from an unsafe situation or to make a healthier decision in the future. We can let go of the pain, but sometimes our lessons in healing our invaluable to our growth. However, it is important to know that by remembering what we have learned from our past isn’t to let the past rule our present and it is also important to know that just because one person hurt us, it doesn’t mean that all people will. A word of caution, sometimes our past is ruling our lives even when we’re denying that it is. That’s the challenge of letting go.

I can’t tell you how to let go and forgive, it’s something that is found in your own heart. But when I let go, I can tell you it feels amazing to not be carrying around the burden of anger, pain, or sadness. Forgiving is the only way to release it, be free and to move on.

December 3, 2011

ABC’s of Life….. Express Thanks

It was not intentional that I waited to write about the next ABC of Life – “E” Express Thanks – until Thanksgiving time. It just seemed to happen that way, but it did force my hand a little bit and I’m even a week late, but it’s a topic that I have been trying to focus on a lot this last year, realizing that I have taken so much for granted, from people to things and I realized my attitude towards them were not phenomenal and I was determined to change that. To become thankful for everything I have, no matter if it wasn’t what I thought I wanted. I always thought of myself as a thankful person, but somewhere I forgot and on my journey the past few months has made me realize how much I have and how abundant my life is. I am incredibly grateful for the people in my life.

So, even before I made it to “E”, I have been focusing on expressing thanks to people from now and from my past over the last few months. And I keep wondering how should I express my thanks. I really am grateful for all that I have, it’s just a matter of telling those that I am thankful for about how I feel. I  have decided, just now, that since I love to write handwritten notes, for the holidays, I am going to write thank you letters to all those that I am grateful for no matter how long it takes.

I don’t have words to say how thankful I am to my family and to all of my friends, old and new. You have shared with me so much and you have given me so much from laughter to a shoulder to lean on to motivation to advice to encouragement to love – this list could go on forever. What would we do without the people we love in our lives?