Social Connections: Forgive and Release

Throughout the month of June I will be blogging about Forgiveness.  As we move into the summer with more family time, more social time with friends and neighbors, vacation and retreat time, and family reunions let’s look into forgiveness and the power it brings us.

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.

“It really doesn’t matter if the person who hurt you deserves to be forgiven.

Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.  You have things to do and you want to move on.”

Real Live Preacher, Weblog, July 7, 2003

Forgiveness maintains long term friendships

Without a solid act of forgiveness we hold onto all sorts of negative emotions that probably have no effect over the one who hurt us.  We need to forgive to release ourselves from:

  • Regret
  • Sadness
  • Hurt
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Blame
  • Resentment
  • Desire for Revenge

“Forgiveness is choosing to love.  It is the first skill in self-giving love.”

Mahatma Gandhi

When we forgive we renew within ourselves a host of positive emotions.  Through forgiveness we embrace:

  • Peace
  • Hope
  • Gratitude
  • Joy

“The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Are forgiving people initially healthier people or does the act of forgiving make people healthier?

There are many studies correlating health and forgiveness, throughout this series I will share a few with you.  Researchers have shown the forgiveness leads to:

  • Healthier Relationships
  • Greater Spiritual and Psychological Well-being (integrity)
  • Less stress and hostility (peace)
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety and chronic pain
  • Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse

“Sincere forgiveness isn’t colored with expectations that the other people apologize or change.  Don’t worry whether or not they finally understand you.  Love them and release them.  Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time – just like it does for you and me –“

Sara Paddison

Love and trust will not necessarily be restored just because you have forgiven someone, and it does not need to be.  However, releasing the grudges of the situation is imperative for your well-being.  Grudges lead to:

  • Repeated patterns of anger and bitterness
  • Being wrapped up in past can not enjoy the present
  • Feeling life lacks meaning and purpose
  • Feeling out of sync with your spiritual beliefs
  • Lost connections with others

Today’s SIMPLE SMILE IGNITER is to seize the power of forgiveness in a simple way.  I’m not suggesting a grandiose act, although if you feel intuitively led I encourage you to always follow your intuition.  I am suggesting a SIMPLE SMILE IGNITER act of forgiveness to “get you in the mood”.  Here are some places to start…

  • In your car…forgive your kids of the mess they make and create a clean the car practice upon each car exit.  Make a Simple Smile Igniting Car Care Rule:  Grab your stuff plus one thing to keep the car clean and welcoming for friends and family.
  • On the road…forgive those who cut you off or otherwise demonstrate a “me first” or seemingly thoughtless attitude.  In the distracted world we live in their minds are probably just somewhere else.
  • At the office…forgive those who cause you to work late or delay your piece of the project.  However, set up a time to talk about how the delay impacted your ability to get things done and brainstorm ideas to do things more cooperatively next time.  Be forgiving and solution oriented.

How will you put this SIMPLE SMILE IGNITER into practice today or this weekend?


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