Forgive and (maybe forget)…but move on

Life is interesting.  A simple,  blasé thought perhaps, but true.  Life and the meaning of life is so different depending on where you find yourself on this so-called journey.  Is life about finding the “why am I here?” answer.  Is life about just having fun?  Is life about suffering so that you can live in a wonderful afterlife?  There are many schools of thought.  In the quest to figure out what life is about, I have been introduced to two specific types of people and I have been incredibly lucky to have met both types:  help you and hurt you.  Both of them have provided me with life changing experiences.

Through years of living (lucky me) and having my life journey cross the paths of others, I have learned, I have taught, I have lived.  I have had the pleasure and honour of meeting people that have helped me move forward in a happy direction.  I have also had the displeasure of meeting those that used me, abused me, and discarded me like a piece of refuse.  I am truly grateful to have met both.  Why?

There were those who appreciated me and helped me.  They showed me that there are true “givers” in the world.  These individuals taught me that kindness exists.  There are people willing to unconditionally assist you and help you grow.  There is no need for paybacks or “owe-sies”.  It’s about being a kind human, with feelings of love for their fellow man. A desire to let others grow.

Then there were the selfish folk.  Those who pretended to be there for me, but were really trying to figure out how I could help them out and make their lives better.  It usually ended with me being shocked, injured, scarred, and with a feeling of great injustice.  Lies, accusations, leaving me feeling worthless, dejected, lonely, unloved.   My extreme hatred of them negatively affected me, both physically and emotionally.  Why would I be grateful to these dregs of society?  They taught me to love.  Crazy?  Maybe, but I became a happier person when I learned to forgive and move on with living my joyful life.

Forgiveness…sounds simple but is oftentimes so hard to actually fulfill.  Forgiveness is not about condoning bad behaviour.  Forgiveness is about letting go of the anger and the hate you live with.  Think about it this way, you are hurt and angry and cannot believe that someone you trusted would hurt you.  You hate them and want to ensure that they suffer as you did.  You obsess about it.  How do these spiteful, vengeful thoughts actually hurt them?  Do they care that you are hurting?  No.  Do they feel any of your pain?  No.  Who is actually hurting?  You.  You are holding venom inside you and only damaging yourself.  The ones who betrayed you don’t even think about how they treated you and really couldn’t case less about how you feel or what you think about them.  They used you and then removed you from their lives.  In forgiveness, you are actually freeing yourself.  You are going to let bygones be bygones and go on to live a happier life.  If anything, these transgressors will probably be even more upset to learn that you are happy and are not affected in any way by past incidents.  That is the “giving” part of forgiveness.  You are “giving” yourself freedom; to love, to trust, to find joy, and your own peace of mind.

Those that rejected me were there to teach me that I did not need their approval or love to exist in a happy life.  Loving myself was and is most important.  Letting their misdeeds go so that they didn’t affect me emotionally was critical to my future happiness.  Forgive and forget?  I would forgive.  The forgetting was not something that I would or could easily do.   I truly believed it was important to remember past misdeeds so that in future I wouldn’t fall into the same circumstance …a.k.a. “Life Lesson”.

Thank you to those wonderful people in my life, past and present, who have been there for me when I didn’t have the strength to live by own convictions and beliefs.  You held my hand and guided me out of the muck of negativity that was sucking me in.  You brought me to the surface and breathed new life into my soul.  Words really cannot express my gratitude for having you in my life.

Thank you to the leaches and the soul suckers who made my life miserable.  Your thoughtlessness and selfishness taught me that I am worthy of love from others and especially from myself.  You made me work harder to live my life in the polar opposite way that you live your life.  Thankfully, your kind has disappeared from my life and I am surrounded by beautiful spirits who appreciate goodness, kindness, happiness, and a joie to vivre.  Truly, without my trials and tribulations that you exposed me to, I would not be living the great life that I now live

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~Maya Angelou

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” ~C.S Lewis

 

Welcome to Heaven…

Heaven.  My parents were Roman Catholic so heaven was the place where God lived with (the Virgin) Mary on one side and Jesus (his Son) on the other.  Heaven.  The place where there was no pain.  Everyone was happy.  There was no anger.  No jealousy.  Nothing bad. I think I summed up that theory of heaven.  Sorry if I offended anyone, but this is just my theory and version on this topic.

I have actually studied many religions because I was curious.  After high school I decided to major in history.   Wiseguy loves to quiz me all the time about historical facts.  FAIL.  (Why are the years so important in history?  I know, some historian right?)  I LOVE history just because of the drama and social aspects in all the his-stories. 

Anyway, let’s return to the taboo topic of religion.  Being brought up RC I went to church every sunday.  I was a soprano in the choir.  At the age of 14, I wanted to be Mother Teresa.  Honest.  However, meeting boys kind of changed that.  They were cute and I loved to danced and MT never really did that did she?  So, my goal was just to be a good person.  Yup, that should do it for my RC soul.

In keeping in line with “being a good person” I was very open about many things.  My parents (bless their hearts) believed that “birds of a feather MUST flock together”.  So, keep the same heritage / religion when you are looking at potential dates.  The awful teenager that I was, I decided to date someone of the Muslim persuasion.  Ouch!  It was more based on personality and not religion, but I really learned a lot . I actually read the Koran (Quran), took notes, asked the boy questions about stuff I read.  The one thing I learned (which I think is the most important thing I ever learned) is that rumours and the unknown breed fear.  Not to mention that scriptures taken out of context (as is the case with many writings) can really do a bang up job in creating and breeding fear in any society.

Each religion (and there are many) talk about love and forgiveness.  They talk about patience and understanding and loving.  So, my amusement has always been that anytime there is a war, and “God’s people” are brought up, I can’t help but feel happy and sad at the same time.  Really, I don’t want to stir the pot (I am a peace-loving person after all), but after studying ALL religions (honestly…ALL religions…even the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) the basic message in each is:   love and understanding and inner peace and community.  How shooting other people was derived from THAT message baffles me.  

My blog today is not a lecture.  In my opinion (yes, opinion) I believe that every religion is right.  I also believe every religion is wrong.  Weird right?  But I strongly believe that if we followed the basics of any religion, we would actually be happy.  Every religion  believes in a higher power.  Each one believes that we must love ourselves and by accomplishing this feat, we can and will love everyone around us.   Love and forgiveness leads to happiness.  That is the root of every religion.  If we mixed up all religions with only the parts on love, kindness, tolerance and discarded the parts on how to dress and who can beat whom and who goes to heaven and who doesn’t, then I believe the most perfect religion would exist.

Today I think it is important to realize how important loving yourself is.  It’s not about being a narcissist.  I believe that when you stop looking at what others have that you do not, you can start to appreciate what “wonderfulness” you have in your life and in yourself.  When you feel that beauty inside you, that rose-coloured world returns and life starts feeling and looking good again.  THAT world is a beautiful place to live in.  The more happiness and joy you emanate, the more the same kind of happiness is attracted to you.  You are amazing and beautiful and wonderful.  Once you appreciate what you really have and stop concentrating on what you believe you are missing, you will have a clear path to that wonderful place.  Welcome to Heaven!  That happy place where there is no pain, anger, jealousy.  Just lots of Happiness and Love. (Right John?)