Understanding Your Daily Focus
Forgiveness isn’t as easy as just saying the words, but with
that said; saying the words is a good start. Part of being able to forgive is
also being able to let go and reset, to start fresh—not by forgetting what has
happened, but by using it as a foundation to move forward and leave the past
behind as a lesson. Sometimes it’s pride
that can keep us from forgiving someone, our own minds attempting to protect
us, convince us that we are better off without whatever or whoever hurt us.
The reality is that forgiveness is an ongoing process, but
that it also gets easier the more you do it. Once we can begin to understand
that there can be multiple true but opposing viewpoints, that you can be right
and someone else can be right too, it becomes easier to allow both realities to
exist. The key to forgiveness is bringing yourself into a place where there is
no longer conflict, resentment, and anger. Sometimes this means letting go and
moving on, sometimes this means moving on in a more physical or tangible way, leaving
things behind, and starting over without the anger and fear hanging over us. In
this week’s Daily Focus, I want to look at the healing power of forgiveness.
Saturday, December 11
“Last night I lost the world and gained the Universe.”
–C. JoyBell C
This is a reminder that when we let go, we make space for the mystical unknown. It can be hard to trade the things we know for the things we don’t. Often, our own fears hold us back more than logic and reality. This week, allow yourself to let go of the things that no longer serve you, to open up space within yourself for the things that are yet to come.
Sunday, December 12
“I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not
with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up,
and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.” –Khaled
Sometimes, when we’re upset with someone, we want the
fanfare. We want the big meltdown and tears and finding common ground. We want
someone to be as upset as we are. But that’s not always an option. Sometimes,
the best way to move on is to really let go, for real. This can mean walking
away without traditional resolution. Sometimes we don’t get the closure, but it
doesn’t mean we can’t move forward and set a new stage.
Monday, December 13
“True forgiveness is when you can say, ‘Thank you for that experience.’” –Oprah Winfrey
When the pain of our emotions begins to fade, we can start
to look at things as lessons instead of pitfalls. Looking back, I can see that
for myself, the times in my life when I was at my lowest did in fact lead to
revelations, to understanding that I myself had to lose something in order to
gain something. This week, try to look at your losses as potential gains.
Tuesday, December 14
“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can
function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” –Corrie Ten
It can be hard to forgive, but the truth is that the power is always within you. When we can start to look at other people as just people, not as good, bad, evil, or saintly—just as humans who will do both harm and good throughout their time, we can begin to understand that forgiveness is not really about being okay with behavior, but rather understanding that it’s probably coming from a place of hurt, more than anything else. Compassion is what allows us to forgive, regardless of our feelings about the situation itself.
Wednesday, December 15
“Life is grace. Sleep is forgiveness. The night
absolves. Darkness wipes the slate clean, not spotless to be sure, but clean
enough for another day’s chalking.” –Frederick Buechner
The old adage sleep on it has a lot of merits. When we are in a state of emotional dysregulation, when anger leads, when we want to fight, or flee, or win at any cost—we’re not going to be able to behave or react appropriately. It’s important to ground yourself, to let yourself find a place of calm before returning to the situation at hand.
Thursday, December 16
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute
of the strong.” –Mahatma Gandhi
It might feel like a strength to lean into pride, to pretend
that you don’t care, or to double down on bad behavior. This week, I urge you
to challenge yourself here. Think about the things you claim not to care about
and ask yourself if that’s really true. Acknowledging your own pain is
difficult, but it is an act of courage and strength as well.
Friday, December 17
“Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a
criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the
burden of being a victim–letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from
victim to survivor.” –C.R. Strahan
At the end of the day, you are looking out for yourself and
the best thing you can do to free yourself from the pain of anger, resentment,
and hatred, even where it may be deserved, is to allow yourself the space to
let go. This is a gift that only you can give yourself, ultimately. Nothing
someone else says or does will have the power to change and move you the way
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