Gratitude Challenge, Day 5: Forgive

Written by: Denelle Padgett
Anger, hurt, betrayal these are the first words that come to my mind when I think about forgiveness. Everyone has experienced at least one of these negative feelings. (If not they just live in some magical bubble with rainbow filled skies and unicorns at every corner)! But can you truly forgive someone who has caused these feelings?
There might be feelings that keep true forgiveness from happening
Pride defined as  “The consciousness of one’s own dignity”
If someone hurt you it’s natural to want to hate them forever. I mean really how can you forgive someone who allowed or caused you to feel anger, hurt or betrayal? Do you think the world would look down on you if you forgive someone? Hardly. The world needs forgiveness, kindness, and by far less pride.
Jealous is defined as “The feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages”
Maybe someone you know did not spare your feelings in order to (or to try to) find their happiness. Maybe a lover or friend found someone else and left you hurt and alone. Or someone left you to find a new career or dream?  Why would you want to hold onto those feelings of negativity?
When I have hurt someone I think it was worse for me than them, I couldn’t sleep at night, it’s constantly on my mind, I feel shame and anger at myself. I would bet anyone with a conscience might feel similar. There are plenty of mistakes I’ve made in my life, hurting others, that haunt me years later, but as time goes by I bet they don’t even remember my name. The irony of the golden rule, if you don’t follow it, it will be you who spends years with regret and not the person you treated unkindly.
Of course there are people I know that I really don’t like or don’t like things they do or have done. I can think of a handful right now, but I don’t let them affect my life or my mood. So what if they are ridiculous and treat people terribly or lie or whatever horrible thing the my do. It is. It my life. They will experience their “comeuppance” one day. I avoid relationships with people like that. I do not want the negativity in my life or my kids life. They can find others who will let their drama live on, until one day, they feel terrible and lonely or stressed beyond belief. These types of people won’t be surrounded by people who love and admire them in a time of need. They will be alone feeling regret.
Life is way too short to spend it on regret!
In the yogic traditions, we live by the teachings of the eight limbs. The second limb is called Niyamas (Inward Conduct). Within the Niyamas, there is the teaching of Santosha, or Contentment. if we live by these principles and work towards self contentment, then working to release the grudges is one of the first steps. Do not give your power to others, by holding negative emotional ties. Find an affirmation that resonates within you, work to let go of the things we no longer need, and forgive the trespasses of others.
Live!! Love!! Laugh!! That’s a true moto for this crazy life on earth.

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