by David Ward
I would imagine that the vast majority of people in this world have been challenged to forgive someone and often in ‘unbearable’ circumstances or at least with a price to pay that is simply too high.
If that is not your case, then count yourself extremely fortunate and just download the monthly calendar and stop reading here. For the rest of you mortals, like me, read-on.
Forgiveness is probably one of the most longest serving subjects of self-learning in life, almost as if as soon as we have learnt to forgive, we forget the lesson and have to go through the whole learning process again. This is super tough if it involves the same people and for the same wrong or hurt. Sometimes we fail this process indefinitely, especially if the hurt is so deep that it has set-up lodgings in our mind, soul, emotions and body. Indeed, no matter how hard we try to forgive someone the chances of forgiving them (‘who trespassed against us’ as one state in the Lord’s prayer) are indeed very slim. So how do we set about improving things when we already we will fail, at some point or for some circumstance.
One clue is to consider wrong-doing as a prison where instead of you locking up your wrong doer(s) you are in actual fact locking yourself up instead. In other words, the prisoner is YOU and you have deliberately thrown the keys to farthest and distant corner of the jail! Moreover, your ‘enemies’ have got away scot-free, meaning that their ‘wrong’ doing goes unpunished and end-up being punished (yet again).
Another clue is to ask yourself how such circumstances came about and if you have fallen into the classic trap of desiring serving punishment to those who have supposedly permanently hurt you. Note that in these cases it is not the degree of hurt that matters and/or if you are still suffering, but the punishment you would like to dish-out but can’t. You will likely have the conviction that punishment implies relief but unfortunately the relief is usually only temporary and no matter what the punishment is, it will never be enough and most likely counterproductive and temporary. You end-up hurting yourself two-fold.
So, you are probably asking how do I solve or improve things here?
Well, get ready for it, start to forgive!!! yes, it really is that simple. This doesn’t mean ‘forget’ rather healing yourself and moving on. You end-up being the person you deserve to be, a sort of reset button for your life.
Easier said than done? True, so consider going through a process in stages and with specific tools, such as the 8 keys of forgiveness by Robert Enright:
There are also tons of good videos on YouTube and you will be surprised to find so many people close to you that can help and will help! So, in closure, the happiness calendar for the month of October (actionforhappiness.org) is about being Optimistic and as usual every calendar provides daily actions to help you focus on what really matters. Optimistic October tackles this by making sure we ‘have goals to look forward to’ which should include getting over that ‘hurt’. Why not choose a day and put your own ‘forgiveness’ goal! Why not share this goal with the one who hurt you?