Tag Archives: regrets

March Post for Peace

“People in general would rather die than forgive. It’s THAT hard. If God said in plain language. “I’m giving you a choice, forgive or die,” a lot of people would go ahead and order their coffin.”   – Sue Monk Kidd

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz
Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz (Photo credit: Nutmeg Designs)

Forgiveness is not easy.

It’s not even easy to write about, never mind actually getting through the process myself.  To me, forgiveness means that I must stop blaming, stop being resentful, and give up the desire to hit back and get even.  I must try to be less judgmental. I must be finished and done with something to the point where I am over it and able to let it go and finally move on.

Sometimes it seems to me to be a never ending process that I will struggle with forever.  And even after all that I may never get it right.

This months Peace Challenge is Marching Towards Forgiveness. 

Forgiving Others

Forgiveness does not mean excusing or tolerating evil, and it does not absolve the criminal from the crime.  People do need to be held accountable for their wrongdoing.  Forgiveness should never mean having to shrug our shoulders and say that’s okay, when it’s not okay at all.

When we are wronged I believe we need to face our anger and our hurt head on.  We need to vent and call it what it is.  If we don’t, we will bottle up our feelings of rage, resentment and heartache until they harden into a need for revenge with no room left in our hearts or heads for anything else.  We will set ourselves up for an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.

It is never healthy to condone someones hurtful actions against us.  But at the same time we should try to understand that people hurt others as a result of their own pain.  We need to stay in touch with the other persons humanity, and believe in their capacity to change. Forgiving someone can mean giving them another chance, not necessarily because they deserve it, but because they need it.  When you forgive, you love.  You stop being a victim and you let go of the pain.  Forgiving others can give us back the laughter and the peace in our lives.

How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the  circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than  angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to say about it all.   – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Depending on the severity of the offense, the process of forgiveness may take days, or months, or even years. It is something that all of us will struggle with, every day of our lives.  If we respond to every little act of rudeness and inconsideration with anger, the situation simply becomes worse.  Every day we have a choice to be loving and kind and forgiving.  Anger and hatred, if left unfed, will fade away. People who are negative and complaining all the time probably don’t really want to be that way. So smile at the person who scowls.  Brush off the bad driving of the person who cut you off. It won’t be easy, but whoever told you life would be easy?  Let go of the little things that don’t really matter whenever you can.

Forgiveness is not always easy.  At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it.  And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.  – Marianne Williamson.

Being Forgiven

Every one of us has done and said things that we regret and wish we could take back.  Quite possibly it happened when we were facing our anger head on and venting our little hearts out.  We passed our own pain and suffering on to someone else.  It takes a great deal of humility and spiritual and emotional maturity to say I’m sorry, and to seek forgiveness from the people we have hurt.  But it’s the only way I know of to make the guilt go away.

Tell yourself that you are important, and that everything you do is important.  You have the power to hurt, and you have the power to heal.  Admit it when you are wrong, and then pay for your mistakes.  Make it up.  Do the right thing.  Deserve the forgiveness you are looking for.  Apologize, and really mean it.  Will that be easy?  Good Gawd no.  But do it anyway.

Forgiving Yourself

This is by far the very hardest forgiveness of all.  Forgiving yourself means showering whoever you are at this exact moment with love and kindness every day.  You must let go of regrets and guilt and sadness and stop wasting your energy on worry, self-criticism and feelings of unhappiness and depression.  You are human, and you are not perfect.  Everything you have ever done and said and felt has been a learning experience for which you must find it in your heart to be thankful.

When you foster warmth, kindness and compassion towards yourself, you can’t help but spread it to everyone around you.  We forgive our children everything because we love them unconditionally.  I think we need to learn how to love ourselves like that, so that our lives will become meaningful, more peaceful, and much,  much happier.  Love yourself, love your day, love your life.

With every single act of true forgiveness, I believe the universe takes a deep breath and expands and heals.  One forgiving heart at a time, we can change the world.

People are often unreasonable and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you.  Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.  Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.  Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.”
― Mother Teresa

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You Can Always Start Over From Here

Daily Post Writing Challenge:  Starting Over

Same Old Brand New You
Same Old Brand New You (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Starting over in time is not possible no matter how fervently you might wish for it.  Time marches on, and do-overs of your past are nothing more than head games.  Stop torturing yourself with regrets, wondering how things might have turned out if you had done them differently.  You can’t change where you’ve been, but you can start now and head off in a different and better direction.  Starting over means starting from where you are now.  Here’s a starting over list to get you started.

1.  You can’t go back and start your childhood over again.  For one thing, your parents are too old for that now and would never be able to keep up with you.  And it’s just too difficult to find onsies in your size.

But you can still  build a fort out of the couch cushions, color a picture with your crayons and tack it up on your fridge, or leap from one piece of furniture to another to avoid the lava and the monsters whenever you feel like it.  Try not to break your neck – you’re not five years old anymore.  But no matter what age you are,  it’s still okay to cry when things go wrong.  You can still  laugh hard and play hard and love with all your heart.

2.  You can never take back the words you’ve spoken, or written, or sent by text.  Once they’ve left your mouth or your pen or your fingers, they will forever belong to whoever heard or read them.  They have power.  Will they be hurtful or helpful?  It’s not possible to un-say something, so try very hard to get it right the first time.  When all else fails, blame temporary insanity and auto-correct.

3.  You can’t unbreak things.  But you can try to mend them.  As in the case of ‘hearts’ for instance.  But if we’re talking about some piece of crap junk that never worked right in the first place, save yourself some grief and agony and get a new one.  It’s only a thing.  It won’t hold a grudge.

4.  Baking cannot be unburned.  But there are windows you can open to let the smoke out.

5. If you are a parent who has your childs best interests at heart, you still will not always do or be what they need most.  Forgive yourself.  You are human and you will make mistakes.  Learn from both your kids and your blunders, start over from here and try to do better.

6. If it’s not possible to start over in a new job, start making small changes that will help to make your present job easier.  You can’t change the people you work with, but you can change the way you act and react with them.  You can change your attitude.  I’m not suggesting it’s easy to do that, but I am telling you it’s not impossible.

7.  You might not be in a financial position to burn your house down and rebuild it, but you can start over in one room, or in one small section of a room, and renovate and reorganize and revamp until you’re so happy with the results you want to spend all your home time in that exact spot.  Well, you know, within reason.  Hopefully we’re not discussing a closet here.

8.  It may be a little late in your life to start over with a brand new career, but it is never too late to learn a new skill or to change the path you’re on.  It’s never too late to teach someone else the things you know.

Brand New Day
Brand New Day (Photo credit: Tim Albano)

9.  You can’t start over from the beginning and have a better relationship with somebody.  And it’s a very sad thing to discover that the person you wanted to be closer to has suddenly gone from your life and that you will never have the chance to work on that relationship and to know him better.  Learn, learn, learn from this.  Don’t wait for the bond to miraculously form on its own, start working on it now.

10.  You can never start over and take better school pictures of yourself and change that geeky face that only a mother could love.  You can’t re-write your high school year books or change who your friends were or any of the decisions you made as a young adult.  But you can learn to love the person you were, and know that the choices you made then are the reasons you have become who you are now.

Right this minute, tomorrow morning, next week – you can start over from wherever you happen to be.  The changes do not have to be sudden or tumultuous.  Second chances and new beginnings can start small, and from deep within.

This is where you’ve landed – now spread your wings and fly.