Life will give you wounds – wounds as minor as grazes or deep enough to make you bleed. How you tend to those wounds determines your contentment with life. It’s you who decides to let those wounds heal to become a scar. Scars that you can either sulk about or wear them as a memoir of all the hurdles you’ve overcome. But for it to become a scar, you’re going to have to let the wounds close. Open wounds fester to become an ugly sore that only grows and clings like a parasite.
Our minds make us believe that letting this wound grow, be it from betrayal or ignorance or indifference, will justify and avenge the agony we’ve gone through. Wounds, abstract or physical, hurt only the ones that carry them. If anything, you’re going to hurt those that didn’t hurt you.
And how must one heal from such wounds? Your sorrow, anger, guilt, or regret whatever it is rooted in your desire to be compensated for all the hard times you went through. You’re dishing out all these dark emotions, but to whom? Who is on the receiving end? What do you do with a gift/present that the receiver won’t accept? You keep it with you, obviously. And just like that, you’re accumulating emotional baggage that’s holding you back. Holding you back from living happily and holding you back from seeing all the good there is.
The sole key is forgiveness. Forgiving someone is not about saying sorry or hugging it out. No, it’s more than that. Forgiveness definition means letting go of the bitterness and grudges for good.
When you say you’re sorry, you’ve learned how to forgive yourself because let’s be honest; the only one suffering was you. Lock those sour emotions in a box and throw it away. Just like a hot-air balloon flies higher when it cuts off its sandbags, you’ll see yourself reaching new heights and viewing life from a much better point.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
– Lewis B. Smedes
You can only be happy if you truly want to be. Happiness is not something you’ll buy at a shop or receive from a friend as a gift. When you’re happy, it’s because you chose to see past the flaws and inconveniences in life and let go for once.
Sometimes when a happy life seems miserable and tormenting, maybe it’s not the world around you that is hurting you but the world inside you that is battling unresolved issues. It’s like walking with a nail in your foot and blaming the floor.
Self-reflection is an attribute that you must adopt. Only when you know what’s wrong can you go forth to the next step and correct it. If you don’t know where the wound is, how do you expect yourself to heal?
Master your flow of emotions. You always need to stay connected with your emotions. Be it excitement or grief; let yourself truly feel it. When you don’t let the emotions cross the bridge, it accumulates in your emotion bank until it overflows.
That’s when you have outbursts or eruptions. Suicides and self-harm are results of such practices. You treat yourself like a rock until a point that you can’t take it anymore and go about doing something drastic and most likely irreversible. You need to know how to forgive yourself.
Have you wronged a loved one? Have you associated yourself with a narcissistic partner and failed to see the red flags? Life is all about making mistakes, taking the wrong turn, and facing emotional turmoil.
But that is not the end. Have you done anything wrong? Accept that you were too hard on yourself. Accept that you did not stand by a loved one. Accepting means you’re ready to take responsibility, and you know what to do next.
The secret to a happy life is letting go. When you fly a kite, and it pushes to fly further, what do you do? You let go. You loosen your grip, and if you don’t, you’re bound to cut your hands. Just like that, you need to let go of the chains binding you to your past so that you don’t hurt yourself.
Once you let go of the grudges, you’ll have more room to accommodate positivity and happiness. Shed that emotional baggage and move on.
Forgiveness is a form of kindness. You’re kind enough to forgive someone irrespective of how they treated you. You decided to be kind to yourself and cut yourself some slack.
Mistakes and mishaps are part of a happy life. Be kind to yourself and the people around you because, after all, we’re all humans and prone to the erring.
Despite all odds, no wound leaves without leaving a mark. By that, I mean, you are always bound to learn something from all the pain. You’ll grow, and you’ll learn because you’re not the same person anymore.
What’s most important is learning what that mark means and what impact it has on our lives. Learning how to be happy with yourself begins when you learn from the mistakes you made.
Never shy away from showcasing your scars. Learn that the forgiveness definition is living with all those bad experiences yet using those as stepping stones to move forward. No matter how insignificant your experience may be, share it with the people around you. Most importantly, remember that what you give comes around. Be a guiding light to those that you feel are in a similar situation as you were.
“Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie
The thing about forgiveness is that it only comes from within. Don’t wait around for a sign of confrontation. You could have a thousand indications that your past has been haunting you, but you will only escape it if you internalize that forgiveness isn’t a formality but a way to find closure. Lastly, forgiveness comes hand in hand with moving on. That’s why it’s said, “forgive and forget.”
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