The Power of Forgiveness

Hey guys! I hope all of you are enjoying the first few days of the new year! If you’re having trouble finding ways to be motivated in your goals or have no goals for this year, check out my previous post Living Life With Arms Wide Open to see how you can get on the right track this year!

For the next couple of weeks, I am going to be doing a series called, “The Power of…”. My aims are to outline different ways in which you can incorporate certain virtues into your lives and become a better person.

So let’s get started, shall we?

Forgiveness. Where do I even start?

Forgiveness is a powerful thing. It sounds so easy to do, yet it is one of the hardest things a person has to overcome, depending on the severity of the issue. Sometimes, people go years, maybe even a lifetime without forgiving someone who has hurt them. Other times, it takes years and maybe a lifetime to forgive someone. The thing is: forgiveness not only helps you grow, but it helps bring peace within yourself.

I mean imagine having a deep seated hatred for people who have hurt you in the past. You’re mad. You’re furious, over every little thing they do and have done to you. What good are being mad and bottling up that anger?  It is not good for you, at all. You hurt yourself more, in the long run.

That’s why I don’t hate. I let go of all the people who have hurt me. When you let go of the people who have hurt you, you have room for more people in your life. Granted, if a relationship with someone close to you has drifted, due to a fall out, try your best to make amends on your end. If, after trying to make amends on your part, doesn’t work out or the person doesn’t answer you for whatever reason (phone number change, wrong email, etc), then take on the task of forgiving yourself.

As a kid, I used to get bullied. Now I know what you’re thinking, “kids just say the darndest things, they don’t mean it!”, what if I told you their words cut deeper than I could ever imagine? The same way one were to pluck away at the petals of a flower, is the same way bullies were able to pluck away at my weaknesses. I’ve been called everything in the book. It was awful. I did whatever I could: ignore it, tell them off or have my parents get involved with the school. One of the the three actually was proven effective. Thankfully, my last year in middle school, no one messed with me.

My point is, After I graduated from middle school, I was able to forgive the people that hurt me and most of all forgive myself. In the end, I went to a different high school than everyone else that year.

Don’t just forgive, to forgive. Forgive to close a chapter in the book that is your life. You don’t want to harbor any pain you have from that relationship. What will happen is it’ll pour over into all your other relationships and that’s not good either. It doesn’t allow you to heal. To grow.

Remember, the whole point of any change in your life, it starts with you.

If you’re trying to be a better person, start with yourself. Start by applying the power of forgiveness, by taking steps towards forgiving yourself and by forgiving others. If you feel that you should seek out a higher power, then do that. Personally, I seek God and I feel that when I ask for forgiveness, I could do it all in the comfort of my home or at church on my own time. When I have my time with the Lord, I don’t see a priest, but I let myself be free in God’s presence, speak from the heart, and pray at my pew.

It’s all about putting in the work and putting it all into action. The path to greatness doesn’t have to be hard. Just take it step by step and day by day.

Forgiveness is a powerful thing, Meredith. Not only to make the other person feel good, but to heal you. You need to forgive her, Meredith. Forgive her for not being Derek, for being the wrong Shepherd, just enough to remind you of what’s missing, but not enough to bring him back. That’s not her fault. You need to forgive her. You don’t have to like her, you don’t have to love her, but forgive her. So you can forgive Blake, for being in that room when a wrong decision cost you your husband. Forgive Derek for dying too soon. Forgive yourself for hating him for dying too soon. Let it go, Meredith. And forgive.”

Forgiveness. It’s the right thing to do.

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Living Life With Arms Wide Open

Happy New Year, guys! I am so excited for what 2018 will bring, I really hope that this year brings a ton of positive energy, lots of love, and light in all of your lives. may you accomplish the goals you have set out for yourself this year.

So, I recently got back from vacation with my family. One day, while we were out to eat, we were talking about a ton of interesting things, mainly things that we were thankful for, opportunities we never had, people in our family that we admire and the like. In the midst of the conversation, I thought about a song I had heard earlier that day called “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield, more specifically I thought about the lyrics, in one part:

Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

The part that I put in bold was something that was bouncing around in my head. Living your life with arms wide open. The wording and meaning is pretty self-explanatory, but on that day it meant so much more to me for some reason. Maybe it was the topic that we were on. Maybe it was the fact that my younger sibling and I are two different people with different approaches to life. Now, I’m not saying there is a so-called right approach to life, because the way one person goes about their life isn’t the way another person would go about their own.  The way I see it, there is no right or wrong way to approach life.

My approach to life is taking advantage of opportunities and making the best of these opportunities. I’m someone who doesn’t let anything steer me away from the things that I want to do. In some respects, I’m fearless and try to live in the moment, I might even want to try to document the moment, because that’s the kind of person I am. I’m always down for an adventure with just about anyone, immersing myself in new and exciting experiences that aren’t really seen everyday. I’m loud. I’m crazy. Like I said before, there are no rules when it comes to how you’re enjoying your life.

I get this approach to life from my mom. One of the things that I love about my mom is how she lives her life with arms wide open. When I thought about those lyrics on that day, I didn’t just think about the literal term of living with your arms wide open, I thought about it a different way. To me, it means how you are able to live your life with an immense amount of love in your heart. How you can just open yourself up to feeling something real. How you can live everyday knowing it could be your last. More importantly, it brings into perspective of freeing yourself from all doubts and your insecurities.  You should be able to walk through life confidently, not letting anyone tell you how you should be living your life. Be thankful for yourself, for being present with yourself (gosh, I’m starting to sound like a yoga instructor).

Make every opportunity to be there for yourself the same way that you’re there for the amazing people in your life. Believe in yourself.

Make goals towards being a better you. Do things that you really love. Do what makes you happy. If you have trouble finding what makes you happy, then make it your goal this year to find what it is that makes your heart beat a little faster and brings a smile to your face.

New Years’ Resolutions don’t have to feel unattainable to keep. They just require work, as with anything that you want in this world. If you want something, a change, for example, then you need to put in the work for it to happen. You can’t expect anything to come to you, if you don’t try. Make it your goal to try and to work at what you really want. You want that new job/internship? Apply. You want to get fit and toned, like your fit role models? Put in more time at the gym and eat right. You want to get on the dean’s list this upcoming semester? You better hit the books and study. The list could go on, but when you think about it, these are all simple solutions to your goals.

I think what makes our resolutions feel unattainable are our expectations. Sometimes we get discouraged because we want results *snaps fingers* like that. The truth is, though, life doesn’t work out like that. You need to also learn how to be patient with yourself. Once you become patient with yourself and you hone in on how you can achieve those goals, you are then able to stay consistent with your goals.

Here’s my rule of thumb on how you can keep our New Year’s Resolutions in check, write them down and keep them in a place where you can always find them. I wrote mine down and I left the list on my desk where I can always refer to them.

But most of all, make your goal to live your life with arms wide open. Be open to new things this year. Achieve new things this year. Become a better person. Grow. Learn something new about yourself. Do more of what you love. Spend time with people who really see the amazing person you are. Live simply and strive for happiness in whatever it is that brings a smile to your face. Live for today.

Anything is possible. Sending lots of love and light your way.

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