The Power of Forgiveness

I am responsible for my happiness.

Peace does not come when I point fingers.

I own my thoughts, words, actions, and behaviors.

I take ownership of my life.

The outside world does not dictate my inner world.

Only I hold the key to my happiness.

I blame no one for any unwanted feelings.

I know I can choose again.

I can see things differently.

I can forgive and move forward.

I can take back my power and be happy right now.

My happiness is in my hands.

I came across this affirmation, and it resonated with me so much I had to share. I believe as we get older, it’s easy to forget how simple it is to be happy. We are not born sad, depressed, mad, or holding a grudge. Children tend to like one another just because they are sitting in the sand together. Children forgive quickly and move on. At what age do we lose the ability to be carefree and happy? Forgive and forget? When do we become so consumed with mine and yours?

How many times have you been frustrated with someone and allowed it to ruin your entire day? Why do we blame others for our unhappiness? What happened in our lives that flipped the switch from a happy baby to a disgruntled adult? Is it learned behavior or a birth trait? Should we fault someone for being the way they are or help them shed the weight of these feelings?

These are some of the questions I ponder as I view the world and the people around me. It seems many people need to “be right” more than they want to be happy or feel joy in their hearts. I know first hand how hard it is to let go of pride and allow another to “win”. When I feel strongly about something that significantly affects the greater good, I fight for what I believe is right. But am I always right? 

As I have gotten older, I have decided that having peace within myself is more valuable than being right, getting worked up, or angry. Being in this state of mind is an ongoing practice, and I owe gratitude to my yoga and meditation practice.

My daughters might say my yoga persona is not my real persona. They may have been correct in the past. I was always busy rushing around, burning the candle at both ends. My temper and allowance for the mistakes of others were short. I was not always happy, and it showed. Over the years, I realized the feeling of being around like-minded people who enjoy peace and serenity is my happy place. Now I try to teach that to my yoga students and anyone else that is open and willing to learn. I try to remove myself from anything and anyone that has negative energy. I try to listen more than I speak, which is not an easy task. I work on seeing both sides of the coin. I don’t always agree, but I feel it’s essential to listen because I might learn something. That simple act goes a long way to diffuse a bad situation. 

One of my greatest joys in this journey of forgiveness is that I can acknowledge I am not perfect and take responsibility for what I have done wrong. I can look back and say to myself I have learned how to let go and let live. I can pass on what I have learned, and by doing so, I feel I am helping others live a happy and joyful life. It’s like a weight has lifted off of me. When you finally realize this, you recognize the power of forgiveness.

I might suggest meditating on forgiveness and just opening yourself up to what it may bring into your life. Know that the road is rocky and you may fall. The proof in the pudding is when you first feel the change—the change from anger, hurt, and frustration to calm and happy. And as a wise friend of mine once said on her journey, “Fake it until you make it.”

 

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