Lessons in Success: #17 Practicing Forgiveness
A huge block to any kind of positive movement forward is when we are mired in the bog pit of feeling angry, hurt, destructive, or vindictive to others.
Practicing forgiveness effectively gives you a lifeline back onto steady footing, and your forgiveness of others and yourself gives you back your time, energy, and health.
Forgiveness gives you your peace of mind, and in turn, you have the opportunity to share your peace of mind with others.
The Archbishop Desmond Tutu says this about the Dalai Lama:
"we revere the Dalai Lama…. But why? Why? Because he is good, he is good, he is good.
I have met very few other persons as holy as His Holiness. I have met very, very few who have his serenity, his deep pool of serenity...
"And his sense of fun. He laughs easily, he is almost like a schoolboy with his mischievousness. Fun, fun, bubbling, bubbling joy...
"And that’s odd... By rights, he should be filled with resentment, with anger, with bitterness. And the last thing he should be wanting is to extend compassion and love to those who have treated him and his people so abominably. But he does. He does."
As we know, the Dalai Lama and his people were forced out of their home country and have been living in exile for the past half-century. Because of this exile, however, many more Westerners --- people who would have never come into contact with Tibetan Buddhism --- have become aware of this different spiritual viewpoint.
Out of every great challenge rise opportunities for us to become better, stronger, more tolerant, compassionate, and more whole.
When we practice forgiveness, we mentally, sprititually, and physically release the feeling of being dragged down, and instead our spirits soar.
Think of one situation in your life where you’ve felt wronged, and consider how much the time and energy you've spent berating yourself or berating the other party has cost you.
Now I encourage you to write out that past situation on a piece of paper and next, burn it with a match or over the kitchen stove.
Your intent is to set that situation free, heal your heart, and turn your attention to something that brings you greater happiness and health.
When we physically release the burden of carrying anger or hate in our heart, we are able to be cleansed of the toxic waste of those emotions, and we are free to re-focus our efforts towards love, compassion, tolerance, and understanding.
"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
- Mahatma Gandhi
Find ways to forgive others in your life, and always focus on what you can do to make your life more whole, more compassionate, more fulfilling, and more strong.