We humans make mistakes...we just can't seem to help ourselves. As a mother, wife, sister, and friend I have forgotten important dates, said hurtful things, and taken out my PMS out on the people around me. I always feel badly after the heat of the moment has passed and apologize to the wronged party but do they forgive me for my mistakes? I like to think so....
The Forgiveness Alliance would like to encourage you to celebrate Global Forgiveness Day and open your hearts and minds to the power of forgiveness. The date of this celebration varies from year to year but on August 27th, 2011 bloggers everywhere are being asked to spread the message across the Internet.
Wikipedia defines forgiveness as: "The process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution"
Nowhere in that definition does it say we have to FORGET what happened...just that we have to let go of the anger and stop demanding punishment for the offense. This is easier said than done. Anger is a powerful emotion.
1. The best revenge against your enemies is to live a happy life. Don't give them the satisfaction of seeing you constantly stress out over their actions
2. The second best revenge is to turn the wrongdoing into something good. Make lemons out of lemonade, so to speak!
3. Make a list of the good things that came about as a result of this experience. Sure, you wrecked your car because someone ran the red light but maybe you bought yourself a new hybrid and are reducing your carbon footprint!
4. Stop telling the story! Don't harp on it day after day over the water cooler!
5. Maintain perspective...in the big picture of the universe, it really isn't all that important that your co worker ate your lunch from the office fridge.
There are horrid atrocities committed every day whether it is an act of terrorism, a cheating spouse, a careless driver or merely a husband who forgot to take out the trash. When we are wronged it is in our nature to hold on to that grudge and nurse it and let it simmer but what exactly does this accomplish? According to the Mayo Clinic, forgiving those that have wronged us can lead to:
- Healthier relationships
- Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
- Less stress and hostility
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety and chronic pain
- Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse
It isn't an easy process but on Global Forgiveness Day (August 27th, 2011) maybe you can try and let go of just ONE grudge? Which one is it going to be?
If we practice an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, soon the whole
world will be blind and toothless. (Mahatma Gandhi)