Forgiveness is Divine

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On my personal Facebook page a few years ago, I talked about how hard it to say “apology accepted.”  Why is it so hard to accept someone’s apology sometimes?  Or, even harder, to forgive someone who has wronged or hurt us, when they haven’t apologized?

There are many reasons why it’s hard for us to forgive others.  Part of it is because we were hurt and we feel that person owes us something.  Whether it was physical, mental, emotional, or verbal, when someone betrays, hurts, or takes something from us, then we naturally want that paid back, in some form or another.  And sometimes, “I’m sorry isn’t enough, either.

This is why forgiveness is so important and can bring us happiness.  When we forgive others, we are at peace with ourselves.  I was told a long time ago that holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.  Holding grudges is only going to cause you stress and eventually wear you out, while the other person most likely has no idea, and is going on their merry way.

Accepting apologies is very difficult to do sometimes.  What can be even harder is forgiving someone who has never apologized.  Keep in mind, however, that forgiving someone does not mean you approve of what they did.  Sometimes, when someone hurts you, all you can do is let it go and walk away.  Again, this doesn’t mean letting them hurt you again.  You can forgive someone and still have boundaries.

So, think about the last person that hurt you.  If you’re still holding a grudge, then maybe it’s time to take a deep breath, let it all release, and say “No.  You don’t have a hold on me anymore.  You hurt me and I do deserve an apology, but if you’re not going to give it to me, I’ll just let this go and move forward.  If you’d like to move forward with me, that’s great, but if not, then that’s fine too.”  You’ll be happier if you learn to let go and forgive others.

Surround Yourself With Positive People

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Have you ever had a negative coworker or friend whose bad mood seemed to ruin your whole day?  They just seem to have a dark cloud over their head, and eventually, that dark cloud seems to come over you by the end of the day?

Well, the opposite is true too.  It’s important to be around positive and upbeat people who can help you up instead of dragging you down.  When you are always surrounded by people who are happy, healthy, and have a positive outlook on life, you begin to see their point of view.

Also, if you’re happier, chances are others around you will be happier too.

 

Next Week

I apologize for the sudden disappearance.  A lot has been going on these past couple of weeks, but I just have to work through them.  Thanks for your patience.

I’ll hopefully be back to a regular schedule on Monday 🙂

Stop and Smell The Roses

I want you to try something.  Read all of this before doing it, of course, otherwise you’ll miss the rest of it!  Close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing and only your breathing.  Feel as it moves your stomach up as you inhale and down as you exhale.  If thoughts come to your mind, acknowledge them, don’t judge yourself, and return your focus back to your breathing.  Do this for 5 breaths.

How did that feel?  Do you feel more relaxed and calm, or did it make you anxious?

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Mindfulness is a fairly new study, but one that many therapists and psychology teachers are using.  There are many ways to be more mindful in your life, but first I’ll talk about why it’s become so popular in the psychology field.

We live in a fast paced world.  Everything is virtually at our fingertips, and we have come to expect instant gratification.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Technology has brought us good things, such as better health care, the ability to communicate to others all over the world, and entertainment.  However, it also has some negative sides to it as well.

As I talked about in the It’s Okay To Feel post, your body is like a machine, and as such needs a tune up sometimes.  One of the ways you can take care of it is to do some mindfulness exercises.

I did a study abroad program in Spain last summer, and one of the things I made sure to do while I was there was become aware of my surroundings.  I knew that if I wasn’t in the present moment, and only thinking about my future or past, I would miss out on some wonderful things.  Especially when we explored the botanical garden, I took my time to observe what I saw, heard, smelled, felt, and even tasted.  At one point I didn’t want to leave but my stomach had other ideas :).

Even if you have 5 minutes in your day, use that time to do some mindfulness.  There is so much you can do, and you can find it anywhere if you google “being mindful” or “mindful activities.”  One of my favorites, though, is to just take a walk and observe everything around you.  The important thing to remember is to observe without judgment, but don’t judge your judgment if it comes up.  Just acknowledge that thought, and then move your thoughts to the mindful activity.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, just like a lot of things in this blog, it’s not for everyone.  Please seek professional help if needed and stop if it causes you distress.  Listen to your body.

It’s okay to feel

To me, society sometimes acts likes the control freak boyfriend/girlfriend who decides what you should do, how you should act, and other things.  This isn’t always a bad thing, actually, because running naked through the street may not be the best idea.  However, it has also stifled us in many ways.  Some of those ways affects our emotion health.

I was raised thinking that “it’s not attractive to be angry” and “you shouldn’t be so emotional because then people will think you’re weak.”  I’m sure you’ve heard these in your life as well, in different words.  However, this is dangerous to put into practice and can cause serious problems for you down the road.  Thankfully, though, you can learn how to adapt and change your way of thinking.  It will take time, patience, and loving yourself, but it’s possible.

I do want to mention that with just about anything else I talk about, this might not be for everyone.  Most everything on this blog is not one size fits all.  Also, keep in mind that I’m not a professional, and you may want to seek one and discussing your own personal situation.

You are allowed to feel angry.  You’re allowed to feel whatever you are feeling at that given moment.  Let that sink in for a few minutes before I continue.  Whatever you may have been told in the past, you are allowed to feel.  Not only that, but it’s important to feel.  I was told in therapy group that your body is just like the “service engine soon” light in your car.  You can ignore it for a while, but eventually something is going to break.  The more you suppress your emotions and ignore them, the harder it will be to hold them in and one day they will explode.

Another thing I learned in my therapy group is that your emotions are like waves hitting the beach.  They won’t last long, even if you feel like you’ll never be happy again.  This will pass, as long as you ride the wave at that time.

Just remember that emotions do not equal actions.  What you do with that emotion is extremely different than feeling it.  Don’t hurt yourself or someone else.  Later I’ll talk about things you can do instead.

Your feelings matter too.  It’s okay to feel.

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