The Art Of Forgiveness | The Most Precious Gift To Yourself

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I am the first to admit it – I let things fester, unnecessarily, to the point where I lose sleep, and dwell on things.  I get to the point where I attach all memories to a specific event, or person and I only see negative.  It turns all of my acquired human decency in prickly little attitude which takes away my shine.  It turns my happiness into frustration.  It take’s the quality of my joy and turns it into mediocre.  It take’s the authenticity out of me.

The thing about fairness in life, is that it just doesn’t happen.  You can take a look at your past and all the events that have bothered you to all different degree’s and you will learn, from your continued life experiences, that it just doesn’t happen.

There have been situations where I have sat there, literally for day’s, month’s, or in certain circumstances, years and thought that what someone has done to me has been so unfair.  No one in their wildest imagination would see their actions towards me justified by any means. I do tend to distance myself from people who hurt me, physically… but letting go and keeping your distance, mentally, is something that takes a little more discipline.

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Do I believe in Karma?  Yes.  Did any of these individuals ever get what I felt they justly deserved to come back to them for treating me a certain way?  No.

Being imprisoned by these hurtful actions does not do anything except lock you into an emotional prison where you are left trapped, and unable to move forward in your own journey.

Don’t lose your joy.  Don’t function as a mediocre being when you try so hard to shine each and every day.

All the years you have waited for them to “make it up to you” and all the energy you expended trying to make them change (or make them pay) kept the old wounds from healing and gave pain from the past free rein to shape and even damage your life. And still they may not have changed. Nothing you have done has made them change. Indeed, they may never change. Inner peace is found by changing yourself, not the people who hurt you. And you change yourself for yourself, for the joy, serenity, peace of mind, understanding, compassion, laughter, and bright future that you get.”

Lewis B. Smedes 

The Art of Forgiving: When You Need To Forgive And Don’t Know How

4 Important Lessons You Learn Through Difficult Times, by MAURA HUGHES

While difficult times can feel like a deep dark hole that we can’t escape and we often wonder “Why is this happening to me?”, there is a silver lining to tough times. It’s through the difficult times in our life, that we are able to grow. It’s when we are tested that we are able to rise, push through and come out the other side stronger, braver and bet

No one wants to struggle. No one wants to even admit their struggling. We all want to have Photoshopped versions of our own lives that fit perfectly into an Instagram square. But life does not work like that. Every one of us will be faced with a variety of tough times in their life. It is one of the few things we can really count on.

The truth is, there are some important lessons in life that we are only taught through difficult times and they can become the silver lining to the darkness.

1. Who your real friends are.

It’s an unfortunate and often time brutal truth to learn that someone we once thought would be there no matter can’t be counted on. Difficult times have a unique way of trimming off the fat in our lives. If someone does not truly care, they will not make the effort to be there. End of story. The realization that someone you love doesn’t make you a priority can knock you off your feet but it will save you time and energy that would have been spent trying to be there for them in the future. Eventually, you will learn who really matters, you will be grateful for them and you will have cleared out some emotional space for someone who will be there for you, through thick and thin.

2. The depth of your strength.

“It builds character,” was my mom’s favorite response to any complaint I had growing up. As annoying as that line was, it is true. Nothing builds our strength like surviving difficulty. Nothing forces us to leverage what we have, dig deep and come up with every ounce of integrity, patience and strength like a hard time. When you survive something, your internal scoreboard registers it. Imagine as if your internal synapses are pushing an extra win into your win/loss column and the next time you go into battle, your will take an inventory of what your winning record is and bulk up your confidence that you can survive and thrive, no matter what you are facing.

3. What really matters in life. 

Difficult times tend to turn our worlds upside down and anything that is nailed down to the floor will go flying. Sometimes it’s comforting to know what actually does stick, what is still hanging in there after the world goes awry. Because when we’re right side up again, we’ll be able to look a little more closely at those things, take a bit better care of them and love them even more for being unmovable. Most of us spend most of our days worrying about everything but what we should be worrying about. But after a difficult time, we’re less likely to worry as much about the little things and focusing on those unmovable pieces in our life that really matter.

4. How to be grateful. 

Difficult times leave us with a lasting impression. They alter us and change the way we view our lives. We have learned who and what matters in our life and undoubtedly we have a greater appreciation for them. Surviving hardship gives us a broader perspective on what hardship really is. You will look back on the things you use to complain about and be thankful they are your only worries. After we have survived a difficult time, we are given a deep gratitude for our life.

Difficult times will happen. To find the light, we have to go through the darkness and while you’re in the midst of it, try to take a deep breath and remember that the lessons you are learning will shift your view of life. You will learn what matters, who matters, how strong you are and how lucky you are to exist. That’s what difficult times teach us and they are some of the most important lessons we can ever learn.

Original Post; http://www.purposefairy.com/80874/4-important-lessons-you-learn-through-difficult-times/

She Was Done: A Magnificent Read by Adrienne Pieroth

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She was done not fully being herself.

She realized she was the only self she could be—and not being unapologetically true to herself was a disservice to her soul and the world.

She was done listening to the noise of the world. She realized the quiet voice of her own soul was the most beautiful sound.

She was done questioning her motives, her intentions, the call of her soul. She realized questions seek answers, and maybe she already knew the answers.

She was done striving, forcing, pushing through and staying on the hard path. She realized toughing things out might be a sign to pick another path.

She was done with friends that admonished her to be more light and breezy. She realized they didn’t understand she swam in the deep waters of life, she felt at home in their dark depths and died if she lived on the surface.

She was done with the distractions, the denials, the small addictions that pulled her away from the true desires of her soul. She realized that strength of character came from focus and commitment.

She was done not following the desires that yelled out in her soul every day. She realized if she did nothing about them, they died a quiet death that took a piece of her soul with them.

She was done with dinner parties and cocktail hours where conversations skimmed the surface of life. She realized the beverages created distortion and a temporary happiness that wasn’t real and disappeared in the light of the day.

She was done trying to please everyone. She realized it could never be done.

She was done questioning herself. She realized her heart knew the truth and she needed to follow it.

She was done analyzing all the options, weighing the pros and cons and trying to figure everything out before leaping. She realized that taking a leap implied not fully seeing where she landed.

She was done battling with herself, trying to change who she knew herself to be. She realized the world made it hard enough to fully be herself, so why add to the challenge.

She was done worrying, as if worry was the price she had to pay to make it all turn out okay. She realized worry didn’t need to be part of the process.

She was done apologizing and playing small to make others feel comfortable and fit in. She realized fitting in was overrated and shining her light made others brave enough to do the same.

She was done with the should’s, ought to’s and have to’s of the world. She realized the only must’s in her life came from things that beat so strong in her soul, she couldn’t not do them.

She was done with remorse and could have’s. She realized hindsight never applies because circumstances always look different in the rearview mirror and you experience life looking through the front window.

She was done with friendships based on shared history and past experiences. She realized if friends couldn’t grow together, or were no longer following the same path, it was okay to let them go.

She was done trying to fit in—be part of the popular crowd. She realized the price she had to pay to be included was too high and betrayed her soul.

She was done not trusting. She realized she had placed her trust in people that were untrustworthy—so she would start with the person she could trust the most—herself.

She was done being tired. She realized it came from spending her time doing things that didn’t bring her joy or feed her soul.

She was done trying to figure it all out, know the answers, plan everything and see all the possibilities before she began. She realized life was unfolding and that the detours and unexpected moments were some of the best parts.

She was done needing to be understood by anyone but herself. She realized she was the only person she would spend her whole with and understanding herself was more important than being understood by others.

She was done looking for love. She realized loving and accepting herself was the best kind of love and the seed from which all other love started.

She was done fighting, trying to change or not her accepting her body. She realized the body she came into the world with was the only one she had—there were no exchanges or returns—so love and acceptance was the only way.

She was done being tuned in, connected and up-to-date all the time. She realized the news and noise of the world was always there—a cacophony that never slowed or fell quiet and that listening to the silence of her soul was a better station to tune into.

She was done beating herself up and being so hard on herself as if either of these things led to changes or made her feel better. She realized kindness and compassion towards herself and others accomplished more.

She was done comparing and looking at other people’s lives as a mirror for her own. She realized holding her own mirror cast her in the best, most beautiful light.

She was done being quiet, unemotional and holding her tongue. She realized her voice and her emotions could be traced back to her deepest desires and longings. if she only followed their thread.

She was done having to be right. She realized everyone’s truth was relative and personal to themselves, so the only right that was required was the one that felt true for her.

She was done not feeling at home in the world. She realized she might never feel at home in the world, but that feeling at home in her soul was enough.

She was done being drained by others—by people who didn’t want to take the time for their own process and saw shortcuts though hers. She realized she could share her experience, but everyone needed to do the work themselves.

She was done thinking she had so much to learn. She realized she already knew so much, if she only listened.

She was done trying to change others or make them see things. She realized she could only lead by example and whether they saw or followed was up to them.

She was done with the inner critic. She realized its voice was not her own.

She was done racing and being discontent with where she was. She realized the present moment held all it needed to get her to the next moment. It wasn’t out there—it was right here.

She was done seeing hurt as something to be avoided, foreseen or somehow her fault. She realized hurt shaped her as much as joy and she needed both to learn and grow.

She was done judging. She realized judging assumed the presence of right and wrong—and that there was a difference between using information to inform and making someone else wrong.

She was done jumping to conclusions. She realized she only needed to ask.

She was done with regrets. She realized if she had known better she would have done better.

She was done being angry. She realized anger was just a flashlight that showed her what she was most scared of and once it illuminated what she needed to see, she no longer needed to hold on to it.

She was done being sad. She realized sorrow arose when she betrayed her own soul and made choices that weren’t true to herself.

She was done playing small. She realized if others couldn’t handle her light, it was because they were afraid of their own.

She was done with the facades and the pretending. She realized masks were suffocating and claustrophobic.

She was done with others’ criticism and complaints. She realized they told her nothing about herself—only informed her of their perspective.

She was done yelling above the noise of the world. She realized living out loud could be done quietly.

She was done needing permission, validation or the authority. She realized she was her her own authority.

She was done being something she was not. She realized the purpose of life was to be truly, happily who she was born to be,and if she paused long enough to remember, she recognized herself.

You Don’t Solve Your Problems, You Outgrow Them

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” ~ Einstein

We all have problems. Some are big and some are small, some are important and some are not that important, some are urgent while others not so urgent, and of course, most of us think that problems need to be solved, right? Well,  problems don’t need to be solved, they need to be outgrown, because if we don’t outgrow them, it will take us a great deal of time to “solve” and “fix” them, and chances are that we will get stuck at that level.

We are meant to be constantly growing, constantly evolving and constantly learning from our mistakes, and also the mistakes of those around us, and when we have a problem, if we want to get rid of it, we shouldn’t spend too much time talking and thinking about it, because that will only make things worse. I always say to people, think not about those things you do not want, because that will only attract more of the things you don’t want, but rather, think about those things you do want, so you could get more of them. Think in positive terms, always! Don’t be pushed by your problems, but rather be led by your dreams.

The first thing we want to do, whenever we are faced with a difficult situation, is to imagine ourselves already free of those situations, to imagine how our lives would look like without those problems, and how would that make us feel. This is what we should be doing, because, if you ask me, people insist way too much on the problems they have, instead of focusing on the solutions and the results they want to get. Like attracts like, and if you invest your precious energy thinking about your problems instead of thinking about the solutions to those problems, you will definitely get stuck.

I once heard Wayne Dyer say that Abraham Maslow believed that 15 minutes was more than enough to spend on our problems. Whenever a patient would visit Maslow’s office, he would allow them to talk about their problems up to 15 minutes and then he would have them focus on the desired outcome. He wanted them to focus most of their time and energy talking about the things they wanted to achieve, on the solutions of their so called problems, not on the problems.

You see, when you spend too much time talking and focusing on the problems, you get too caught up, and it will be quite hard for you to detach from them, and see the big picture. You will start seeing your problems as being bigger than yourself, and you will be overwhelmed; you will have a hard time finding your way out; you will have a hard time outgrowing your problems, and chances are, that you will be outgrown by them.

And you know what? A lot of times, we don’t even perceive these problems, that we may encounter with, from an objective and realistic point of view, but rather from a subjective and distorted point of view. Many of our so called problems are only in our heads, and we need to learn how to see reality as it really is, we need to see facts as facts, and not based on what our mind and emotions tells us is real. How we feel about a certain thing or situation, doesn’t always mean that’s how everybody is going to be feeling about it; it doesn’t mean that’s how we should be feeling. It’s how we choose to respond to whatever comes our way that will eventually determine how we perceive the environment and the world we live in, and the amount of problems we will have. Our thoughts and perceptions about the world, will eventually create our reality, and it depends on us, whether we choose to see the words as loving, or not so loving.

We need to learn not to sweat the small stuff, because you see, a lot of our problems are just that, small stuff. When you are too caught up in whatever it is that you perceive as being negative, wrong, disturbing, etc., you no longer see reality as it is, you no longer see things as they are. It’s crucial that you understand this, because if you don’t, you will always see yourself as being just a small person with really big problems, you will always see yourself as being a victim.

The idea is, for you to stop trying so hard, to stop talking to everybody you meet about your miserable and unhappy life, about your horrible, and impossible to overcome, problems, because that’s not how you will get rid of them. Like attracts like, and if you direct your energy in the wrong direction, you will be overwhelmed and you will be unhappy for the rest of your life, because, the way you see it, your problems are way bigger than you are, and they are the ones who are controlling your life, not you!

You are bigger than all of your problems, and you have to see yourself as being that way. Detach yourself from whatever it is that is happening to you, with you, and all around you. Step out of your mind and try seeing things objectively. By doing so will you be able to see yourself as being bigger that all your problems. By doing so you will feel in control of your life and no problem will be bigger than you are.

 

Source:  http://www.purposefairy.com

Keep It Simple, Stupid: Eliminating Stress In A Stress Induced World

 Life is about moving forward, right? … At least that’s what they tell me.  Some days I feel like I am in a rut.  I look at my life and feel like it is at a stand-still, and other days I feel like I am climbing straight up the ladder at an alarming rate … feeling like I am on top of the world and nothing could bring me down!

When I look at those “stand-still” days I have to wonder, what exactly is it that makes me feel like this?  Is it a person who has hurt my feelings? a circumstance in my life that I feel helpless and stressed out about?  …  sometimes it’s not anything – but just a nagging, “blah” feeling I have.  We’re allowed to have those days, right?

Most of the time, through my own experiences, there is, indeed, something to blame, or pinpoint.  Sometimes I am just not able to see that clearly.  Sometimes it’s a situation, or feeling that we’ve buried or tried to ignore that, over time, has manifested itself into our subconscious .. triggered by another stressor … and is now waving it’s hand right in front of your face saying, “Hey you!  Long time no see.  Remember me!!??”

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Some of the situations that i’ve noticed over time in my life, and my friends lives seem to be as follows; 

People Who Bring You Down:  Friendships, and relationships should help you, not bring you down.  Find time, and people who are similar to you – people who are smart, forward thinkers, positive and happy.  Surround yourself with people you bring you up, not down.

Work, Or A Career You Dislike:  Don’t settle.  This part of your life takes up SO much of your time – and for such a long duration of your life.  I don’t think that there is a job that we will necessarily love going to everyday, but there are jobs that we are suited for that bring out our best that we can excel in with some good efforts.  Find it.  Do your best, and feel rewarded.

Your Own Negativity:  Be aware of your mental thoughts.  We can be our own best friend, or our own worst enemy.  We wake up to our thoughts and go to bed with them. They are our prime influence.  What are you telling yourself on a daily basis?  Are your thoughts motivating, and positive? Be honest with this one.  It’s okay to have negative thoughts at times…. just don’t let it consume your mind.  Have your bad thought and move on to something positive.  Don’t stay in that grey area for too long … it is far to easy to become a habit.

Messy Living Area, And Workspace:  This one makes me cringe.  A house with a toddler is extremely hard to keep clean but there are no excuses for a messy work environment (if you have your own office).  Be responsible for your space.  A clean and organized area makes me feel great – motivated – clear minded.  I could go on and on about how it is good Feng Shui, and a great motivator to getting a good grasp on the tasks you need to complete –  I work my best in this kind of environment.  It helps me to stay focussed, and feel a sense of accomplishment as I work through my day.

Running Late:  I don’t know about your, but running late, or being late for an appointment is something that throws my whole day off.  Being prepared and organized sets my day on the right track and keeps it there.  Give yourself plenty of time for everything that you are going to do that day – try to enjoy the day as it goes by.  Don’t be stressed with not having enough hours in the day.  If your day gets to that point then be honest with yourself – have your overbooked?  Do you need to reorganize your day to give yourself enough time to do things properly? … Give 100% when you give, and if you can’t you should figure out how you can try to change it. Remember, there are 365 days in a year … rearranging your schedule to be sure that you are 100% prepared, and present can help keep your world from feeling chaotic.

Fitting In With The Crowd:  This can be especially true for our younger generation .. and now that I have children I admit that I sometimes feel this way – but most of the time I couldn’t care – well, at least in the comfort of my own home 😉  Sometimes we let the social scene get the better of us.  I did it when I was younger.  Try to stay true to who you are.  Be yourself, and love who you are.  Don’t conform to be a part of the crowd.  Over time you will realize that it doesn’t matter and much of the energy wasted is on the wrong people, and for the wrong reasons.  This one is all about trial and error.  I’ve learned over the years that my efforts to “fit in” really did go unnoticed.  Where are those people now, now that I stopped trying to fit in?  The real ones stick around because they care for you for who you are.

All Work No Play: GUILTY!!  life is about balance – so find it.  Think of life-like a scale … finding the balance equals harmony.  Letting one end of the scale outweigh the other only causes imbalance in our lives.

Debt:  This is a huge factor for so many people these days.  It’s so hard to avoid this because we live in a society where everything costs money.  In our generation it is so hard to move forward and so many of us try to – usually by accumulating mass amounts of debt, which only cause mass amounts of anxiety, and stress.  Try to remember that living a simple life is the best.  There are not a lot of things we need in this life – food, shelter, clothing, and friendships.  Yes, I love my designer handbags, and sunglasses, and clothes .. but truth be told.  I look back now at all of the money i’ve spent over the years and I feel a huge sense of guilt – mainly because I now look at my son and I think that there were not many things that really brought me true happiness.  The few things in my life that did – came in the form of my husband, and my son.  Things that I could never buy.

Dishonesty:  Living a life of lies, and being lied to are things that are not only hurtful but damaging to yourself, and potentially damaging to friendships that you do that to.  Being honest can cause awkwardness at times, but at the end of the day it helps me sleep at night.  I’ve been lied to many times before – and by people who are extremely close to me.  It hurts me a lot – but at the end of the day I remember that I go to sleep with a clear conscious.  If I was the liar, I don’t think I would sleep as well at night 😉

Infidelity:  Again – this has everything to do with being honest.  Be true to yourself.  Be true to those who you have in your life.  There is nothing more hurtful to me than knowing I hurt someone out of selfishness.  This is one of those things- If you are not happy – then work through it, or go in a different direction.  Don’t try to combine two different worlds thinking that you will find happiness – you won’t.  What I can guarantee you will find it guilt, negativity, and a whole lot of tears … by yourself!

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What many of us do not realize is that it is so easy to get back on that great path where we feel rewarded and fullfilled in life – all we need to do is eliminate the chaos and clutter, and keep our worlds simple.  Don’t overwhelm your lives with things you don’t need.  Figure out what you really need to survive.  At the end of the day this list can go on and on.  The point is that if you are living a life that is honest with yourself, you will eventually begin to feel a sense of fulfillment and positivity.  Now, I am not saying you will be skipping down the road feeling hunky dory 24/7, but you will find a world that has a lot less stressors, and chaos. 

Keep it simple and do good.  Good things are rewarded with good karma.  In the grand scheme of things i’de rather live a simple mediocre life filled with positives than a negative chaotic life that I don’t want to wake up to in the mornings.

The Karma Factor: What Goes Around Comes Around

karma1Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.   ~Henry James

The Chain of Love

“One day a man saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even In the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her. Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn’t look safe; he looked poor and hungry.

He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill which only fear can put in you. He said, ‘I’m here to help you, ma’am. Why don’t you wait in the car where it’s warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.’ Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two.

Soon he was able to change the tire.But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt. As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn’t thank him enough for coming to her aid. Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her.

She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added, ‘And think of me.’ He waited until she started her car and drove off.

It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight. A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair.She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn’t erase. The lady noticed that the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan .. After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred-dollar bill.

The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred-dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin.There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: ‘You don’t owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I’m helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you.’

Under the napkin were 4 more $100 bills. Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it?

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle. ~Plato

With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard…. She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, ‘Everything’s going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.’”

Does this story mean anything to you apart from it just being another proverb? Well, I’d say it’s a reality. Try it out once. Afterall, miracles do happen! Hope the following story changes your outlook towards life (It did for me!). Keep shining!

This beautiful story began as a story that appeared in the Chicken Soup for the Country Soul book in 1996, written by Jonnie Barnett and Rory Lee.