Forgiveness – Letting Go…



Next to love, forgiveness is the most misunderstood concept. Forgiveness has been twisted by a lack of awareness as to how it functions. To forgive does not mean we must rejoin with our ex-lovers, free criminals from prisons, return to old jobs or anything else absurd. We are taught to believe that if we are to forgive the one who hurt us, it must manifest in some form of behaviour and it reflects weakness.

Forgiveness is a function of love that seeks to understand the negative impact of another person and then to release the pain and find inner peace. When you choose to forgive somebody this does not mean that you acknowledge their cruel behaviour as acceptable, for doing this would be dishonest. Above all, it does not mean that we assume a superior (holier than thou) attitude to pardon the sins of others.

Let’s explore the truth of forgiveness. The meaning of the verb forgive, translates into “to let go”, which is the act of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the releasing (letting go) of negative feelings generated in you by another. It is your responsibility to let go of the hurt that another produces for you. The other person can apologise to you for their negative impact, but you still have to let go of the hurt feelings in order for forgiveness to become a healing experience.

What makes forgiveness so difficult, for so many? The greatest obstacle in the living of our life is the negative ego, which loves to hold onto a grudge and is our greatest source of resistance toward forgiveness. Our negative ego is what blocks our happiness and peace of mind. We hold within us grudges, bitterness and resentment which later manifest into stress, ulcers and poor health conditions. Ultimately, we have a choice to support our EGO or our SOUL, to be RIGHT or find PEACE.

Forgiveness like all other soul qualities (peace, love, innocence, respect, oneness, and passion) does not require a type of behaviour. It begins with a relinquishing of emotional baggage and the choice to function from your Soul versus your negative ego. Forgiveness is a willingness to perceive everyone, including yourself, as either feeling and expressing love or perceiving it’s absence, and having a need for more love. It is a relinquishing of a harmful train of thought that leads to constricting feelings. Forgiveness offers freedom to live a full and harmonious life.

The bi-product of forgiveness is our own willingness and ability to forget. If we cannot seem to forget then we have never completely let go. Holding on to pain only weaken us and produces misery. The purpose of forgetting is to prevent the mind from becoming a battle field. Negative feelings evaporate whenever they are looked at calmly and honestly and are dealt with responsibly. Often this process is gradual. The desire to function from your Soul (love) and to live your life in peace is the greatest motivation for forgiving another.
If you feel that forgiving ads one more grudging obligation to your life, you are functioning from your negative ego.

You have to understand that forgiveness is the doorway to your happiness and is the choice to function with love. When you are attacked by another, you must first deal with the hurt feelings that you honestly feel. Forgiveness is not a short cut to avoid dealing with the negative impact of your emotions. Too many try to forgive without releasing their anger and hurt. That common mistake only represses the anger and it putrefies into resentment down the road.

A great habit to cultivate is to pause whenever you are having difficulty releasing an upset from your mind. Look directly, and in detail at the contents of your thoughts. Dissect your emotions. Step back from them for a moment and gain new perspective. Write them down in a journal to gain deeper clarity. And give yourself time to forgive, it doesn’t have to be instantaneous, but know it is necessary to your happiness and peace.
A person who claims they “love everyone equally” and are never hurt by others are not more spiritually evolved, but more likely emotionally repressed.

To be a spiritual, doesn’t mean you have to like the ego of everyone that crosses your path, for you would then become transparent and lose your individuality. Liking somebody and letting go of someone’s negative impact upon you are two completely different issues.

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Contemplation


When we think about something, we are contemplating. Contemplating what to do next, what would be best, what course to follow?

Contemplation is a most useful skill to develop, as we usually make the wisest choices from forethought.

Before I go to sleep each night, I spend some time reviewing what happened that day, and how I wish to proceed on the issues for the next day. Contemplation is a way to mentally house clean the day’s activities–and prepares the space in thought, for tomorrow’s unseen situations.

We can also contemplate on qualities we wish to develop in ourselves. By assessing the pros and cons about a quality, we can determine if it will uplift our lives through making us a better person, because, as we grow in consciousness, we become more conscious of the greater plan for our life in the world. We attain a more universal overview of life.

Contemplation serves as a clearing house in our mind. We bring out a situation for review, process it, and then pass it on into usefulness or discard it as unusable for us. Or maybe send it back into our memory storage to be brought forward at another time.

Contemplation also buys us time to think over and digest new ideas that may come from outside sources; other people or the media.

Contemplation gives us the time to allow a good solution to come to mind. If we are in a hurry or pressured to make a decision quickly, we might not instantly come up with the most useful answer. But if we instead say, “I’ll think that over and let you know later” – tomorrow or next week;  or whatever future date we choose, then our mind will have time to digest, mull over the situation, and come up with the most workable solution.

As we contemplate we can take notes on ideas that come to mind. Writing down my ideas while contemplating helps me evaluate the best course to follow. I look over my notes and decide the pros and cons of each idea before making an important decision.

As we progress in upgrading our consciousness through sticking to the virtues and truths we have decided to follow, we will more quickly be able to make the best decision when called upon to decide spontaneously.

As we upgrade our consciousness our conscious decisions become more spontaneously for the better. Time spent in contemplation uses our mind optimally, stirs our thoughts and sifts out the dross, leaving just the right answer for us each time!

What is Counseling?


Counseling is a special relationship built on confidentiality, mutual respect and open communication, with the intention of helping people to clarify and identify their problems and to find their own solutions. It is about empowering the client to make their own decisions; it is not advice giving or offering sympathy.

Many people may use counseling skills as part of their work, but the counseling relationship is quite different, as it entails commitment and clear boundaries.  The principle behind counseling is that it helps enormously to share problems with someone who is there to listen and try to understand how things are for you, the client.

The counselor is unbiased and there to offer support and strength during emotional times. More importantly they can help you unravel the reasons behind issues such as depression, substance abuse and low self-esteem, or come to terms with childhood pain caused by bereavement or sexual abuse.

Counseling is a process during which you will come to know yourself, to understand why you engage in the same destructive behaviour or repeat the same patterns, it is a journey of self discovery which can be painful and difficult, but the end result is a more fulfilling and enlightened life.

There are many different forms of counseling, each with different ideas about how the human psyche has developed and different ways of working with issues. Therapy is more short-term that concentrates on one issue and tries to find ways of solving this, good for work problems and relationship issues.

 Humanistic counselors place great importance on the relationship between client and counselor and believe in the essentially positive nature of human life, they tend to work more creatively and are more client orientated.

What Happens in Counseling?

In a typical session you would meet with your therapist to decide whether counseling is what you need and also whether you feel you could work together. It is important if you are going to be able to share personal aspects of your life with the counselor, that you feel a connection and warmth as well as trust and confidence. Counseling is suitable for most people and most problems, providing you really want to change your life and are willing to experience some emotional turmoil along the way.

Destiny & Fate


The law of destiny determines what forces influence our lives to ensure we encounter the life experiences that we require for our continued development. Destiny is essentially a series of opportunities that enable us to learn lessons, acquire new abilities, develop our consciousness and help others.

 

Destiny is commonly regarded as fate; a fixed timeline of events that is inevitable and unchangeable. Although the words are often used interchangeably, fate and destiny have quite different meanings:

  • Fate is usually seen as “set in stone” and often has negative connotations, e.g. the jury decided his fate. Fate is an agent that predetermines and orders the course of events. It means that events are “meant to be” and are set in motion by an external force or intelligence.
  • Destiny is more of a likely outcome and often has a positive feel, e.g. he is destined to become a star. Destiny guides us towards a specific goal, but without our wilful participation we will not achieve our destiny.

 

Put simply: destiny is opportunity and fate is karma. We are in control of our destiny but have no control over our fate. Destiny cannot be forced on us; if we are forced then it is our fate. Destiny gives us an opportunity to turn a situation to our advantage and accomplish something great through our own efforts. It is designed to give us the best opportunities for the development of our consciousness, but it is only an outline – not an exact script. It doesn’t detract from our free-will in any way, because we decide exactly how we want to act in any situation.

The basic outline for our life was planned (pre-destined) before we were born to give us the right opportunities for growth. But we don’t have to follow the pre-destined route if we don’t want to. A life plan can be compared to a maze, and our life’s purpose is to complete the maze. We don’t know where we are going or where we will end up, so all we can do is make our way through life using our best judgment.

Every wrong turn leads to a dead-end and every correct turn leads to progress. A correct turn may not correspond to success in the physical sense, for example: failing to get a promotion may not seem like the best outcome from a financial perspective, but it might actually be the best outcome for the development of your consciousness. We all occasionally make what appear to be bad decisions, but if we learn from those seemingly wrong decisions, we eventually discover that they were in fact right decisions. If we deviate from our life’s plan we may need to be coaxed back on to the right track, and the further we stray from the optimal path the harder the lessons get. Every choice we make affects our future and therefore our destiny. Right now we are experiencing the destiny (and the karma) that arose from choices we made in the past.

Inner Peace…


It is in the stillness of our heart that we find the peace we seek in the world. It is the connection deep within to the very source of our being where we recognise the oneness of life. It is here that we transcend the duality of perceived right and wrong thinking, judgment, control and attachment. In this awareness, we let go of the need to have the world behave according to our preconceived expectations and we dare to love unconditionally. We embrace love for love’s sake and in doing so, we also experience peace. 

To know unconditional love is to know peace. When we love without condition, we naturally engage the dynamic quality of peace and allow this energy to permeate our outer experience as well. We balance the inner and outer reflections with a grander perspective that sees beyond the obvious before us. We know we are simply experiencing life from our unique viewpoint in the moment and we have the power to choose love and peace.

Although many assume peace to be quiescent, idle and quiet, it is truly an energy that is vibrant and alive. It is colourful, engaging and encouraging. It is filled with potential and enhances our creativity. It calls to us to explore without limitation and to express ourselves with a distinct sense of freedom. Peace is also something we easily share as it is in limitless supply. We joyfully convey it to others and witness its expansion in ever-growing waves.

Peace begins with us. It has always been this way. The more we express our love, the greater our sense of peace. The more peace we radiate, the more profoundly we comprehend the sublime beauty it reveals. Since love and peace already exist as a state of consciousness within us, it ensures that it will become our collective reality.

The Power of Words


Most of us underestimate the power of our words. We sometimes miss how our words set a tone. A few words can make someone’s day, or shatter it. Words can inspire someone to buy, or to go away without buying! Our words can move someone to do their best work, or to work against us. Your spoken words serve either to build up or to tear down. They serve to empower and inspire, or to disempower and hurt. Words are either life affirming or destructive. For this reason we should choose our words carefully.

When you are talking to someone ask yourself this question: “Who am I being and what does the impact of my words have on the people around me?” The power of your words lies in the intention behind them. Is it your intention to create a resolution or to be right?

We communicate best when we are clear about who we are and what we intend. This kind of clarity prevents us from saying words that are harmful to ourselves and others. It may prevent us from engaging in harmful gossip and complaining.

Gossip is usually destructive. It is often a careless use of our words. We just aren’t thinking about how we are affecting others. Sometimes gossip is mean-spirited and intended to cause hurt. Whether gossip is careless or intentional, it causes pain. We may be hoping for a little humour or self-justification, but the results of gossip are anger, suspicion, embarrassment, and fear. These creations of gossip negatively affect morale, service, and productivity. You cannot both care about someone and gossip about them.

Similar to gossip is chronic complaining. Complaining about people and situations makes us feel and look powerless. Chronic complaining leads us into a dead-end street where there is nothing to be done. We become victims who are powerless to change anything. While venting frustrations to a trusted friend can be helpful in releasing negative feelings, complaining to everyone tends to reinforce negative feelings. Like gossip, chronic complaining disempowers us.

 Our power to do harm is exceeded only by our power to do well. A simple, sincere apology (given without expectation of return) can heal a relationship. An uplifting word at the right moment can change a life, launch a career, or convince someone to go beyond perceived limitations. By consciously looking for evidence of greatness in others, and by using our words to tell them, we help others to build confidence. When we sincerely speak well of others we uplift ourselves.

There is great power in making the commitment to keeping our words as positive and life affirming as we are able. As an affirming presence our influence grows. We feel better about ourselves. Constant negative speech imprisons us and prevents us from finding joy and success. Developing the habit of speaking well of self and others frees us to enjoy life more. We become a blessing to ourselves and to others.

 Our spoken words originate from our thoughts. The best way to increase the positive power of our spoken words is to clean up our thinking. We must become willing to think well of ourselves. Constant self-criticism needs to become unacceptable. We free ourselves to think and speak well of others by thinking well of ourselves.

 

Humility


Humility is the opposite of arrogance and narcissism. It means recognising that you are not inherently superior to others and consequently that they are not inferior to you. It does not mean diminishing yourself, nor does it mean exalting yourself.

Humility is not something that comes naturally to most, especially in today’s busy competitive society. Every day, people see others taking advantage of a situation trying to get ahead. A humble person is someone who does not boast or try to impress themselves on you. They are generally quiet, meek and typically not self serving. This is a good set of attributes to be seen but is a very difficult trait to be known for; since being humble involves so many behaviours in our lives and is really the opposite of the way most people are living their lives. I believe that being humble means to be truthful and honest. A humble individual does things without regard for personal gain.

These are a few of the ways we can practice humility:  Speak as little as possible of oneself.  Mind one’s own business.  Avoid curiosity.  Do not want to manage other people’s affairs.  Accept contradiction and correction cheerfully.  Pass over mistakes of others.  Accept blame when innocent.  Yield to the will of others.  Accept insults and injuries.  Accept being slighted, forgotten, and disliked.  Be kind and gentle even under provocation.  Do not seek to be specially loved and admired.  Never stand on one’s dignity.  Yield in discussion even though one is right.  Choose always the hardest.

To be selfless is one aspect of humility; being humble means you do something nice for someone, like open the door for a woman struggling with three children or giving up the last seat on a crowded train, without expecting anything in return. You are satisfied because of the act itself and not from the breathless “thank -you” from the mom or the loud “you are so kind!” from the person to whom you gave your seat. When you see someone who seems to exist for the sole purpose to care for and be kind to others, or someone who gives up things so another person can have a necessity they lack, the word that comes to mind is humility.

A person who expects something in return for any act of kindness, no matter how big or small, and becomes upset when they receive nothing, is not showing humility. A truly humble person is fulfilled without the need for recognition.

Have you ever said, “I’m sorry” just because you felt like it was required and not because you actually meant it? That is not a way to show humility. It is nice when you apologise or admit you made a mistake. However, it only truly means something to the person you are speaking to when it is sincere and honest. When you admit the error of your ways and make a concerted effort to show that you were wrong, that is a humble act. It shows more strength in your character to be humble and apologise and mean it, than to try and defend your actions.

No one will learn anything at all, unless one first learns humility!

Motivation


It has been said that nothing is more powerful than the human soul on fire. What is meant by this? Well by fire is meant ambition, which is another word for motivation. The power of self motivation is one of the most powerful forces that you’ll ever come in contact with.


Motivation is the fuel that propels people to take risks, to set large goals, to develop plans to reach their goals, to continue forward in the face of obstacles, and to persist down the long path that will eventually lead to the realisation of their highest ideals.

The starting point of success is motivation, because without motivation no large success would ever be accomplished.

And another statement that is equally true is that when someone has developed a strong source of personal motivation, they will be immune to failure and in time will do amazing things and reach all of their goals. This being the case, it is obvious that most people must not be very motivated. Why is that?

Well to answer that question we need to look at another question which is what creates motivation? Motivation comes from desire and passion. When you want something, and you want it badly enough to where you’re willing to do anything to get it, you have motivation.  And that is the exact reason why most people do not have a lot of motivation.
Unless you know clearly and definitely what you want to achieve, you will never have the motivation to achieve it. Sure many people might have goals or aspirations, but they are usually general and not specific. A general goal will not inspire motivation because there will not be a strong desire to achieve it.

However, when your goals are crystal clear and you know exactly what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it, you create inside yourself a burning obsession to attain the object of your desire, and therefore you ignite the fire of ambition that will propel you through any obstacle and land you on the high road of success.

Remember, the more clear you are about your vision, the more motivation and passion you will have!

Self Acceptance


Self acceptance is a large factor in the whole self-esteem personal issue. Self acceptance is the acceptance of self for who you are. Self acceptance can be described as an agreement between you and you. A condition of this agreement is to appreciate and accept yourself and love you complete with what you may consider faults and also your positive points. Practicing self acceptance also means forgiving yourself, and cutting yourself some slack from time to time.

Lack of self acceptance leads to many self-created challenges in life, and typically affects our relationship with ourselves and relationships with others. People who suffer from a lack of self acceptance often have a tenancy to conceal their true good natures and present themselves as something, or someone they are not to other people. Sadly, it becomes evident that the shoes they are wearing don’t really fit, in a manner of speaking.

Lack of self acceptance actually creates a cycle that cements low self-esteem. People who suffer low self-esteem often feel that people don’t like them. Unfortunately this is only partially true. It’s not the person themselves that isn’t liked; the fact is other people rarely even know who they are. They have never been their true self around other people so they have never had the opportunity to know if they are not as themselves. When people who suffer a lack of self acceptance allow themselves to be themselves, they soon learn that others truly enjoy their company.

A lack of self acceptance and its natural effect of contributing to low self-esteem results in a lower success rate in the achieving of success in life. People who suffer low self-esteem rarely have the confidence to strive for their desires. Those that do make some attempt to turn their wishes into goals are not usually so successful, they have not visualized a positive outcome in the beginning and will simply give up instead of pushing on when the way forward seems a difficult one. Basically people with low self-esteem lack the confidence to succeed.

If you suffer from a lack of self acceptance there is so much you can do to rise up out of your present difficulties reach the desires you have been denying yourself for too long now.

Learn to forgive yourself. It is a natural part of the human experience that we should make mistakes. Our friends make mistakes, our families make mistakes. We forgive others when they may have acted in a way that might not have been acceptable. We forgive others when they are not so perfect. We owe it to ourselves to forgive ourselves just as we would any of our friends. The truth is that we love many of our friends because of their imperfections.

Learn to view your mistakes as lessons in life. The fact is that there is no such thing as a mistake, unless it is something that has somehow hurt someone else. The more lessons we learn in life the fuller our life experience is. Learn to be grateful of the lessons that gave you the opportunity to experience a richer, fuller life. There are times when we have unintentionally hurt someone along the way; usually this is someone we love. These people forgive us in a heartbeat, as we forgive them. If you may have bridges left to build, now is the time to make amends. Forgive yourself first and move on.

What Gratitude means


Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. In addition, behavioural and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.

People tend to take for granted the good that is already present in their lives. Few things can affect your overall quality of life as powerfully as your attitude can.  Your attitude affects your career, your relationships, your hobbies, and even your financial status.  Most people discover that when they improve their attitude, everything else in their lives seems to improve also.  

Gratitude can help you remember that along with the darkness of every ending comes the dawn of a new beginning.  Gratitude can smooth the sharp edges of any painful experience and usher in a more gentle transition that contributes to your personal growth. 

A daily practice of gratitude is one simple way to give yourself a painless attitude adjustment because it reduces your temptation to focus on more “negative” mind-sets.  When you feel grateful it is nearly impossible to feel frustrated, sad, empty, or disconnected.  A negative focus and a gratitude focus cannot co-exist!  They are opposites and will repel each other. Finally, gratitude can help you shed the burden of unhealthy situations in order to clear a space for something better to arrive in your life.