Tag Archives: positive mindset

FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM – you’re allowed to let go

Forgiveness is a necessary life skill for anyone living a human existence. We are going to make mistakes; other people are going to make mistakes. We must accept this as a fact of life and learn how to let go of anger and resentment and move forward in a healthy way in order to heal.

Usually when we think of forgiveness we think about forgiving people who have wronged us but even more important and profound is learning to forgive ourselves. Yes, we must let go of the anger, frustration, disgust, disappointment we have towards ourselves; we are allowed to. Forgetting or repressing what we have done keeps us trapped.

When we have been around people who are very hard on themselves and others it can make it difficult for us to learn to forgive. Search for forgiveness stories and realise that people are able to let go of deep hurts and heal. People have found the strength to forgive themselves for worse than we have done, it’s time to stop carrying these burdens.

Compassion towards ourselves leads to compassion towards others and vice versa. This is a cornerstone of healthy relationships. Forgiveness can set us free from people who have hurt us or betrayed our trust. When we hold resentment towards someone, they don’t suffer, we do. We think it brings justice but it’s actually just hurting us. Forgiveness is not for them, it’s for us.

What forgiveness is NOT

Let’s clarify some forgiveness myths:

  • Forgiveness is NOT: Denying or pretending something didn’t happen. 
  • Forgiveness is NOT: Having no consequence for a behaviour. 
  • Forgiveness is NOT: Having the pain magically go away. It might take a long time to heal.
  • Forgiveness is NOT: Finding a way to allow that person to stay in our life.
  • Forgiveness is NOT: Changing our boundaries to accommodate Someone else’s behaviour.

If we are suffering due to an inability to forgive ourselves, we can begin by trying to right the wrong. Often, expressing an apology in any form will help you towards self-forgiveness. That doesn’t mean the other person has to forgive us. Our own self-forgiveness is not dependent on others. That being said, if we are really honest and vulnerable with the person about our mistake and offer a heart-felt apology, they are likely to forgive us. We shouldn’t be attached to this outcome though.

If there is nothing more we can do to make it better, we gain nothing by living with guilt and regret. There is something to be learned from the experience, so consciously acknowledge the lesson and implement it in life. Self-reflection is key here. We may need to venture into deep and uncomfortable places within ourselves to truly see why we did something but only then can we understand it, heal it, and trust ourselves not to do it again. Remember that all humans make mistakes and it does not make us bad people. These life experiences are crucial for growth. What is that thing you are still punishing yourself for? Time to let it go.

POSITIVE LIFE CHOICES – Long-lasting Changes for Health and Happiness

These days we are told that we have the power to transform our lives into everything we want them to be. That the only thing holding us back is ourself and our laziness. Wow, way to feel guilty if things don’t go to plan. Truth is, it’s about a lot more than positive thinking and self-discipline.

Of course there are some things we can change through pure willpower alone. But if we stay in the same place, see the same people, do the same things day in and day out, we are not just swimming against the tide, but eventually a huge wave is more than likely going to come and wash us back to where we started.
What we need is to find a different beach with calmer water. Regardless of whether we want to eat healthier, feel calmer, find more fulfilling job, increase our motivation, etc. There are factors outside of pure willpower which have a much more profound impact on our lives than perhaps we appreciate.
1 – The Place
This is not just the city we live in, not even just our house or apartment, but the places we spend the hours of our day. Our physical environment has a huge impact on our health and happiness. I’m not saying you need to move (although maybe if it’s something you’ve been thinking about – consider it more seriously), but make the time to go to places you feel calm, happy, disconnected, connected; what ever it is you need. Whether it’s a park, a friend’s house, a little cafe, a woodland walk or somewhere further afield. Find a way to visit your happy places more regularly. Notice I didn’t say comfortable places. Acknowledge that your sofa although comfy, homely, easy, safe, and can be great; it is not necessarily always a healthy, inspiring place.
2 – The People
Sometimes the people and the places go hand in hand. Positive and negative. I know that stepping out of our comfort zone and meeting new people can be very intimidating, but if the people who we see on a weekly basis don’t have an overall positive impact on our lives, maybe it’s time to meet some new people. That’s not to say cut people out completely, but the more positive, genuine people we have in our lives, the better it’s going to be. It can be so lonely being around a lot of people but feeling disconnected from them. It can also feel lonely being around only your partner all the time, it’s nice to have a bit of diversity. It doesn’t mean they have to be your best friends, but just being around other kind or inspiring or wise people helps. Of course we should always strive to be that kind of person to our friends and loved ones too.
3 – The Routine
If there is something you want to implement in your life but your routine does’t change, just hoping that little voice in your head that’s saying ‘don’t do that’ will be enough is such a struggle. Say for example you want to eat healthier; that doesn’t just happen in the moments you are about to make something to eat, it happens in your weekly routine. Change how you shop at the supermarket, change where you buy your lunch, change the restaurant you meet your friends at. If you want to include more exercise then rather than feeling bad that you didn’t go on that jog you said to yourself you would do in the morning – join a fitness group, a sports club or a dance class. Having a specific time to do things and a teacher or coach to motivate you makes things more straightforward. Exercise can be tiring enough without having to exhaust ourselves over finding the time or making the decision to start. Include it in your new routine and if others hold you accountable, not just yourself, then even better!
What I’m trying to say is that of course we have the power to change things but sometimes the changes might need to be on a bigger scale to become long-lasting. Having gone through a lot of this myself this year back in the UK it has made me realise that although I consider myself a motivated, positive, hard-working, happy person, it doesn’t just come from within me. Life becomes so much smoother when things are reflected in my environment. Being in a place I feel connected to, having my own space, seeing my friends, having the financial independence to create my own routine. So take the time to consider your day to day environment – physical, social, emotional. You don’t have to struggle day to day fighting against an environment that isn’t conducive to the way you want to live. I know that bigger changes are more scary but in the long-run they make life so much more enjoyable and fluid.