Forgiveness

Pity Party Extravaganza!

pityI threw myself a pity party the other day.  I tried to invite some friends, but they weren’t really buying into it.  I had the sad music on, whined and sulked and sat in the dark.  What the heck I was doing? 

 So what is the purpose of a pity party?  For the life of me I don’t know.  It seems to be an excuse to let negative emotions and imagination run wild, making us resent, regret, cry over, and even get angry about things that were not done right or areas we were wronged in our lives.

 Pity parties are not enjoyable; after all being in the throes of negative emotions is not a fun thing to experience.  Yet some choose to have long and lingering pity parties that can go on for years and become addictive / habit forming behavior.

 I believe the real purpose of a pity party and that sinking feeling you get when you know you are headed in that direction, is that they are a wakeup call.  A reminder that problems and hurt feelings do not just go away, we will eventually deal with them, or have them pop up from time to time as unresolved issues that wreak havoc on our emotions and on the lives of the people around us. 

 When people enter into the “pity party zone” or their stress levels go up from being afraid, angry, anxious, insulted, or tired; they tend to engage in cognitive tunneling.  This means that they start focusing on the threat or unresolved issue and wind up ignoring a lot of other things going on around them. 

 Focusing on our emotional turmoil, past hurts, and unresolved issues, or perceived threats, is what causes us to miss many of the good things that might be right in front of us.  People in that state have trouble hearing / listening, understanding and remembering.

I think it may be human nature to have a pity party every once in a while, but we should remember that it really is just a reminder that there are things that we need to stop, take a good look at, perhaps get an outside opinion on, and come to terms with so that we can move forward and heal.  So go ahead and visit the party if you must, but don’t stay too long, don’t make it a way of life and don’t lose yourself in the party.  Life is so much more than that!  Leave that party and open the door to possibilities instead!

 Cherry Coley ©

Happy New Year, New Start, New Outlook!

IMG_0100Ahead there is a new path, do not be afraid, you have not passed this way before.

It is finally here, 2013, a new year holding unlimited promise for a bright future. 

I can’t say that I was sad to see 2012 go away as it was a challenging, hard and often depressing year. 

The holidays proved to be one of the hardest times I have ever lived through, the grief was hard to keep in check and some days I simply could not do it.

So on New Years Eve I made a promise to myself that I would again do the burning bowl ritual.

I wrote all my excuses, grievances, fears and regrets on pieces of paper and offered them up with much thought, a prayer and burned release at midnight.

One by one I let go of all that was holding me back, keeping me down and blinding my sight for the future.  I am free.  The ashes of what once was are gone, scattered in the wind.  I am thankful.  I am at peace where I am, with who I am and with my past.  I am ready to move forward, to embrace the future whole heartedly. 

What are your goals?  Have you made New Years resolutions?  Have you created a calendar, set deadlines to meet along the way?

This year I decided resolutions are not enough.  This year I made commitments to myself instead.  I will eat healthier. I will exercise regularly and take my health seriously.  I will take more calculated risks. I will be involved in community and charity work. I will make a difference. I will take an active part in life and not just exist, but live, really live.

Whatever you resolved to do, or change this year, take a moment to reflect, to plan, to decide, to set goals, and celebrate when you reach those goals, find ways to hold yourself accountable, or find a partner so you can encourage and hold each other accountable along the way. 

Life is more than just struggling to make ends meet.  It’s more than going to work and coming home at the end of the day.  Life is more than routines and schedules.  Laugh, play, strive, struggle, encourage, have faith, love, and reach out to help others along the way.  Live.  Happy 2013, may this new year bring you more joy than you’ve ever known.

Cherry Coley (c)

 

 

 

Grudges and Resentment? Forgiveness is better

“Our purpose in life should be to see one another through, not see through one another,” – Zig Ziglar

I saw this quote this morning and had to stop and really think about it.  I have to admit, there have been times someone has kind of rubbed me the wrong way and I spent more time trying to see through them and what they were up too, and not just helping them along. 

I confess to not being the most trusting person, though I do try to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially when I first meet them, but if they should betray my trust or lie to me in some fashion then it will take a long time and a lot of good experiences with them for me to begin to trust them again. 

That’s not to say I am holding grudges.  I am not a grudge holder in the least.  I will, usually, forgive the action, but not be so willing to trust the person whole heartedly again.  Grudges are hurtful and can cause the holder of the grudge to become bitter, angry and resentful.  What’s more is the person you are holding the grudge against may not even know you are holding a grudge, so who are you really hurting?  

It took me years to truly own the gift of forgiveness.  Forgiveness is for you, trust is for them.  You can forgive and live your life free of bitterness, anger and resentment, and then decide who you will trust and who needs to earn your trust again.

I choose the path of forgiveness because I refuse to waste my energy with wasted emotions like hate, bitterness, anger, revenge, and grudges.  That’s not to say that those things are not justified at times and that I never feel them, because I do, but I choose what stays and what goes in my emotional bank.

It bothers me when I talk to people and they bring up some grudge they have been hanging on to for years.  They get animated when they talk about it, their face turns red, their voice gets louder, anger flashes in their expression, and their whole demeanor changes.  Stop and think about the changes that just took place in their body and what possible effects that could cause.  I have known several people, filled with bitterness that are constantly plagued with one illness after another.     

How we view others, respond to our circumstances, attitude and mindset have an impact not just on our mental health, but our spiritual and physical health too.  Everything works together and if we are holding onto old baggage like grudges and hurts from the past, then we are holding on to a type of spiritual and mental poison that is affecting us every day, and having no effect on the person we’re holding the hurt against. 

As for me, I am making it a point to discuss these type of issues as I come across them in my life.  I would rather choose to help someone along and see them grow, succeed and be happy.  Life is about celebrating milestones and learning to appreciate the things and people around us.  It’s so much easier to do that and be aware of what’s going on when I’m not focused on something that happened a long time ago.

Cherry Coley (c)