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.

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.

For Better Or For Worse: Accepting Good And Bad Past Experiences

Do you ever find yourself daydreaming about things of the past, both good and bad?  I do.  I can tell you that many of the things I reminisce about are either really spectacular, great memories I shared with others and enjoyed, or they are the horrible, really bad ones that I dwell on and wish I could re-do, or take back.  Never anything mediocre and in between? .. I’m not sure why that is.
 
One of the many lessons I have learned, or rather, have been reminded of on a continuous basis is that the past is the past – the good and the bad have made you in to the person you have become today.  Still, there are some times when I review my  previous years and perhaps out of sheer maturity through over time I find myself rolling my eyes, doing a slight shoulder shrug and a sheepish grimace … wishing that it was all a dream .. but it’s not … I don’t do this for many things -not many things at all- but there are a few 😉
 
The reality of it all is that life is about growing and learning.  Where we were ten years ago is a completely different reality than where we are today both mentally, and emotionally.  We live through the times and develop into a much more complex human being year after year. I can’t speak for all, but I find myself digging deeper into the meaning of things – my actions, people’s actions.  I do not just simply, “live” day-to-day.  I find myself analyzing the good and bad actions of myself, and the people I surround myself … and evaluating whom i’ve become, and who I want to continue to share my life with.
 
 
Let go of your tears that have been a symbol of your attachment to the past. The sadness and self-pity will not wash away one tiny fragment of your past. Gently remind the wounded part of yourself that that was then and this is now. Learn from those experiences. Bless them as great teachers, and then come rushing back to the working unit of your life, now! ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
 
 
Lessons from the past are probably the most influential way of learning, for me.  I am definitely a “feelings” girl so when things upset me or give me a negative feeling I tend to not forget them very easily and vice versa – things that are great give me a great and positive feeling and I remember those times.  Learning from your past is a great way to make you into a better more evolved you.  Embrace both the good and the bad.  Learn from anything negative that you have brought into your life or worked through because of other individuals.  Remind yourself daily of your values and what you want to surround yourself with in your day-to-day routine and make your future as spectacular as you wish for it to be.  Afterall you, and only you, have the power to place yourself on the right path for your final destination … I would prefer to be somewhere positive, with skies filled with copious amounts of emotional sunshine!
 

Off The Beaten Path: Taking The “High Road”

Never sacrifice your class to get even with someone who has none. Let them have the gutter.  You take the highroad ~ unknown.

My goodness does that quote ring in my ears!  Each time it repeats it gets louder and louder.  I know it’s true.  You know it’s true.  But boy oh boy, have you ever found yourself in circumstances where “letting them have it” is the only way this conflict could appropriately be resolved? …. at least  in your mind?  I mean, come on,  we’re human.  Feeling like we want to “correct”, or “fix” a situation by implementing our own personal view points, morals, and ethics is a natural instinct. 

I, in fact, have done so in the past only to showered with guilt for my actions.  Not by people who point fingers back at me, but by my own conscience whispering back at me saying “WTF is wrong with you.  Why did you do that?  This isn’t you!”  

Why is that so?  Why is it that when we try to “right” a situation we end up feeling worse than if we had simply left things along, or took the “high road”, so to speak?

Situations like this have got to be the ultimate frustration in my world over the past few months.  Your damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.  I am by no means saying that everything I do is “right”, but I find so many people in this world function in a very selfish, non-empathetic state.  It has certainly proven to be a huge disappointment in my world when I come across people who act this way.  How can people function in such a nature?  Is this a learned behaviour?  A way of life through their own upbringing?

I operate in a very empathetic state.  Not necessarily raised, or taught – it is who I am.  I constantly put myself in other individuals view-point and try to understand where they would be coming from.

My “black cloud” began following me during the winter months.  My husbands best friend had been dating a women whom, in my opinion, was not a very tolerable person … but who was I to judge, right?!  I have witnessed, first hand, many of the games that have been played.  If I sat you down and told you the things that I had been exposed to you would seriously tell me that this girl had it coming to her for a long time!  But,  I did what any “good friend” would do … I kept my mouth shut.  Afterall,  we were talking about my husbands best friend of 20 years.  My friend of now 7 years.  The best man at our wedding.  The first “friend” to hold my son when he was born in the hospital just the year prior.  He was our family, so we were willing to sacrifice our opinions in order to see him happy – which he isn’t, but that is a whole other post! …

It wasn’t until I had my own indifference with her that I finally had put my foot down.  I was witness to a certain behaviour at my son’s 1st birthday party (in my home) and finally said that enough was enough … and I gave her a piece of my mind the following week.  Boy did I let her have it, and my goodness that felt good to finally let it out after all this time. 

To my surprise though this great feeling quickly passed.  It did not last and it very quickly turned to doubt and disappointment – caused by my own actions.  I began to question my ability to recognize the triggers that activated this outburst.  I was disappointed in myself for my actions.  I wasn’t angry for how I reacted to her doing the things she did.  I was angry that she was able to get under my skin in that manner.  I was upset that I did not know myself well enough to recognize the “trigger” that would set me off.  After all these years of peace and spirituality it was the handy work of one solo woman who brought my composure to a corrupting halt.  I have to hand it to you, missy, “job well done”! *eye roll*.

It’s been seven months and I frequently think about the situation.  I wonder if given a second change if I would have done things differently?  The reality of it is this… I very well could have walked away, but I know it would have continued to bother me.  So, I have no choice but to take a look at my actions and view my “black cloud” as a lesson.  A constant reminder that I am indeed human, but there is a place and time for everything. 

I’ve learned that with the way I felt over the past seven months that I am not the type of person that can easily speak my mind in such a negative state – whether rightfully justified or not – without feeling the consequences of my own actions.  Even if I had toned it down I realize that there would be no “right” way of trying to express my disappointments to her without feeling this way because of the way I am built.  This is my character.  Although a hard lesson to digest, I am a firm believer in karma – although it seems to take eon’s for it to happen!!  I have learned to choose my battles.  Pick those that are truly worth fighting for and take the high road as it is a road that is well-travelled by many, with a much more enjoyable view of the world.