Be kind to one another…forgiving each other…do do doodlie do

Do you ever sit in Church on Sunday and think…’WOW! Has the preacher been peaking in my windows? or is he mind-melding my thoughts?’ Yesterday was one of those days for me. If you read my blog often, you’ll know that I rarely speak on religion but this blog is burning in me. So, bear with me.

The sermon started with a cute ditty I learned in Church camp at Christian Acres a life-time ago. It’s the words to Ephesians 4:32 set to a cute tune that includes do do doodlie do (maybe you remember it too). But yesterday the words to the scripture really resonated with me: Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

You see, forgiveness it NOT my strong suit!

I have been struggling to write a blog post for weeks. I have many starts – but no finished posts. Yesterday, sitting in Church I realized, I can’t write because I am angry! It is nothing specific and maybe it is just a WHOLE LOT of little things all strung together.

Yesterday Curtis (he’s the preacher) talked about anger….slow burning anger. I realized that I suffer from slow burning anger. Anger is my default emotion! I’m worried about paying my vet bill = I’m angry. I am angry some one ran-over my cat and killed her = I’m angry. My business was approved into Whole Foods and I must figure out bar coding and potentially large scale sales = I’m angry. I just passed the 15th anniversary of my daddy dying in a car wreck = I’m angry.

I don’t often use the word angry (although I do on occasion). However, the word “irritated’ is often on my lips. For variety I may change it to exasperated, annoyed, peeved, bothered or aggravated. When what I really mean is I AM ANGRY!

At the root of anger is self-doubt little things don’t throw you into a rage unless you’re feeling helpless, harried, overextended, or otherwise victimized—says Steven Stosny, PhD, a Maryland anger specialist who has treated more than 6,000 people and written  You Don’t Have to Take it Anymore (affiliate link). I believe this is true for me.  It’s the small things that may cause an erupt but it is the feelings of being helpless, harried, or overextended that are the root of my anger.

One key to letting the anger go is to practice forgiveness. I wrote about this back in January in my post Forgiveness is not an Occasional Act. True forgiveness isn’t easy, especially when it comes to forgiving yourself! If you are like me, you remember all the hurtful things you said. You dwell on your shortcomings (real or perceived) and you hold a lifetime of missteps against yourself. You coddle them and cherish them until they have taken over and your self doubt is all you have left and then you are angry. Angry for what you should have done but didn’t. Angry for what you did but shouldn’t. Angry for the words you wish you had forced your mouth to express but waited a day too long. Angry for the words you wish you could suck back into your mouth and stop from passing your lips.

Start now, work on forgiving yourself!

Also decide today to start living more in the moment. Stop wishing you could change the past and start living right now. Here are 8 tips to get you started. I’d also love to hear things that have worked for you or about how these tips or ideas may resonate with you or maybe you just want to say ‘Hi Gayle’ (just leave me a comment).


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Forgiveness is not an Occasional Act

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” ~~ Martin Luther King

We have all heard it said that holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. We know that holding on to past anger and resentment eats away at out own happiness. Yet, we still battle with letting it go.

Why is it so easy to hold a grudge?

When you’re hurt by someone you love and trust, you might become angry, sad or confused. If you dwell on hurtful events or situations, grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and hostility can take root.

What are the benefits to you for forgiving someone?

Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for compassion, kindness and peace. Forgiveness can lead to:

  • Healthier relationships
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse

How do you stop holding a grudge and forgive?? (this is the hard one for me)

1. Acknowledge the problem. Figure out what it is that’s causing you to hold a grudge. You have to know what the problem is in order to solve it.

2. Share your feelings. A grudge can form when an issue isn’t fully confronted. Without being judgmental about yourself or another, clarify your feelings on the situation. Communicate with the other person about the issue. Whether you work it out on your own or involved the other person, you may feel more relieved by releasing that build up.

3. Accept what is. Choose to create your own healing, with or without an apology. Don’t wait for the person you are upset with to come around.

5. Don’t dwell on it. Once you have decided to move on, keep on moving.

6. Let it go. Letting go allows room for peace and happiness..

7. Forgive. Of course forgiving does not mean you will forget the issue. Forgiving isn’t the easiest to do especially when you’ve endured a lot of hurt and pain, but it’s the only way to truly let go and have peace.

 

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