We’re human, as the saying goes. People say things, behave and act in certain ways that are particularly hurtful. People have survival modes or competitive modes or whatever makes them tick. And some people truly do not have kind hearts. So there are times in our lives when we are recipients of such words, behaviors and actions. While we may choose to remove ourselves from this harm’s way, we may still feel bad long afterwards. And the stories play over and over again until we find a way out. One way out is forgiveness. And forgiveness is really not for or about the other person, it is for us, so we can move on and feel better.
A friend recently shared this definition created by Oprah Winfrey: “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different, it’s accepting the past for what it was, and using this moment and this time to help yourself move forward.” This makes so much sense to me. It brings to mind my belief about regret. How can we have regrets when we’re thinking and judging something that happened in the past when we thought a certain, different way? If we were faced with the same situation at this moment in time, we might not have taken that road, but that is how we thought and felt at the time. So we can’t look back with our current mind, body and heart and judge the action we took, or what we said or how we behaved. It is what we believed or felt at the time.
So if we continue to feel badly about a situation, focus on why this person did this and didn’t do that, etc., etc., we never get out of the cycle. If we really want to move past, one way is to embrace this idea of forgiveness shared by Oprah. It was what it was, it happened. Nothing we can do right now can change that. It could not have been any different because of the players, who have certain natures, and the timing, this is where they were at. And that’s that. In time, the painful feeling or the fluttering feeling or however it manifests in our bodies, will lessen, and with that, the mind will stop thinking so much about it.
Bringing in gratitude for having had the experience and being out of it now helps to move forward and cultivates the positive energy signals to the body and mind. Dr. Joe Dispenza: “Where you place your attention, is where you place your energy.” Practicing gratitude then, placing our attention on being grateful for this moment, here and now, or something particularly satisfying or someone uniquely present for us, gets us out of the negative loop. Before long, a feeling of well-being settles within. Until the next thing presents itself!
May you be happy. May you be free. May you be grateful. May you be compassionate. May you let go of things that do not serve you. May you have inner peace.
(This column is a reprint of a column from last year.)