A sure path to happiness is to forgive and release hurtful feelings. It is not necessary to forgive and FORGET, but in most cases it is necessary to forgive and release the pain so you can regain your power and live with more smiles in your life.
When you make a mistake, admit it. If you don’t, you only make matters worse.
At the core of forgiveness are relationships. If the relationship is of value, delights us, and nurtures both parties we need to do whatever it takes to maintain it. That means facing our fear, being vulnerable, and putting aside ego.
There are barriers to apologizing and forgiving, these are inherent in relationships. Let’s face it we all make mistakes in our relationships. We speak without thinking. We misinterpret. We rush. We get distracted. We don’t think things clear through. At times we second guess ourselves and our relationships which can lead to poor decision making. And sometimes we are in relationships with the wrong people, they do not delight us and the relationship does not nurture us.
When we find ourselves in a place to either forgive or request forgiveness we need to be willing to do whatever it take to restore the relationship if the relationship brings us value or end the relationship if it is not a nurturing situation. That means we need to be courageous and vulnerable all at the same time.
Think back to the last time you made a relationship error. Maybe you offered an opinion that offended, misinterpreted the actions of another and responded inappropriately, lied, or simply done the other wrong. Now that the deed is done and the relationship is at risk what do you do?
Think back to the last time you were hurt by another. Maybe you were offended by a thoughtless comment, were accused of something untrue, were lied to, or in other ways simply done wrong. Now that the deed is done and the relationship is at risk what do you do?
I think one of the first things we do consciously or subconsciously when we have wronged another is evaluate the relationship. To make amends is not always easy, if the mistake was grand enough to jeopardize a relationship worth keeping it will require courage and vulnerability. If the mistake was grand enough to jeopardize a relationship you are willing to let go of, it will require courage and vulnerability. This is the point where one decides, “I am willing to do whatever it takes” or “I am willing to let go of this relationship but still grow as an individual”. This decision will lead to an apology that restores the individuals and the relationship OR restores the individuals while letting go of the relationship.
For the one who made the error and decides “I am willing to do whatever it takes”, it will require courage to own your actions and vulnerability as you acknowledge the impact of those actions on the other person and ask for forgiveness. We have to humble ourselves as we put aside our ego and allow the other to respond as they choose. Part of the vulnerability is to allow the other to respond as they chose; this means you could be rejected even with complete remorse for your actions. But even if this is the scenario, you know you have done the right thing which will build your courage and aid in your own healing.
For the one hurt, it will require courage to address your feelings about the situation again and vulnerability as you acknowledge the impact of the actions, offer forgiveness, and consider the future of the relationship. For one’s own personal healing it is always wise to forgive, yet not always wise to continue with the relationship. As we consider the relationship we consider our ability to trust again, to open ourselves to the other again, and the track record of the relationship. Can we be vulnerable again to this person without being on edge? In this case vulnerability is not only about courage, but also about wisdom and intuition. What do you believe and feel is the best thing for you in this situation? For the one hurt, this is the point when they decide “I am willing to do whatever it takes” or “I am willing to let go of this relationship”.
If a relationship is restored or not it is ALWAYS wise to seek and grant forgiveness. When we avoid seeking forgiveness or refuse to grant forgiveness we allow ego and fear to rule our lives which is a sure way to discontent. When we seek and grant forgiveness we release the anger within ourselves and towards others. We know we have lived with courage and can survive and thrive in vulnerable situations. We prove to ourselves and others that “we are willing to do whatever it takes” to live a whole and happy life with lots of smiles.
Today’s SIMPLE SMILE IGNITER is to do whatever it takes to restore a relationship that is of high value to you. Make sure it is a relationship that delights you and nurtures you and the other. If you do not have a relationship that needs to be restored than today nurture a high value relationship by doing something special with or for the one you are in a relationship with. Today be the blessing that your friends and family love so dearly.