“Grace comes to forgive and forgive again”
A mystic was once asked what forgiveness is. He said it is the fragrance that flowers give when they are crushed.
In order to lead a contented life, one must learn to accept and forgive every experience that does not coincide with our expectations.
Acceptance is accepting everything that happens to you – the good stuff and the bad stuff. When we accept, we evolve and come into alignment with the present moment, as opposed to being in resistance to it. Accepting that life is a series of challenges as well as wonderful experiences helps us evolve our thought processes and allows us to make sane and logical decisions.
Acceptance does not mean that what happened to you is alright, or that it should be tolerated. If someone hurts you or disrespects you, you do not have to condone their behavior. Acceptance will however ensure that you are choosing to let go of feelings of anger and resentment towards that person (or sometimes even a situation) and move on.
When we come across a challenge in life we have two options: we either accept the situation, or then turn it into our personal sob story of “Why Me?”. While most of us let our egos discern whether a particular experience is good or bad for us, few of us choose to seek out the opportunity present in each experience: an opportunity to grow, an opportunity to develop a more creative way of thinking (the famous “think out of the box” advice we normally get), an opportunity to recognize our own limiting beliefs centered around that experience, an opportunity to heal and surrender to the infinite’s plan.
Forgiveness is all about letting go. Letting go of those toxic thoughts and emotions that keep you fixated on the experience. It is through forgiveness that you can you actually heal yourself and move forward. When you forgive someone it is in your highest interest. Carrying the burden of anger and will only impact you negatively.
In his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz advices us not to take anything personally. People who hurt us probably have no idea what impact their words and actions have and would probably continue to hurt others just the same. Instead, learn to practice Self-forgiveness.
Self-forgiveness is an important part of forgiving someone else. Self-forgiveness improves our well-being and productivity ensuring that we do not fall into the snare of unconsciously sabotaging our lives with unresolved emotions of guilt and shame.
It may not be easy to process and release negative feelings associated with hurt. It may take some time depending on how bad the damage was. However, the sooner you learn to accept and forgive, the better it is for you. Lessons in life will be repeated until they are learned. So while acceptance gives you wisdom to learn your lessons, practicing acceptance and forgiveness will give you the freedom to create beauty and peace in your life that cannot be known unless it is embraced.
Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.