- Special Sections
- Public Notices
By Susan Rider
For The News-Enterprise
April is a month of new beginnings. Birds are coming back from the warm climate and we’re awakening in the morning to beautiful tunes. Easter flowers are blooming — tulips, redbud trees and dogwood trees. April is a wonderful month for awakening. April also is a good month to think about forgiveness.
The power of forgiving someone who has wronged you in some way is very strong. Family members many times have disagreements and stop speaking. The reason for the disagreement I’m sure feels justified on both sides, but the amount of time we let go by without forgiving might not be.
How does unforgivingness, hurt, anger, hatred, jealousy, grief, sadness affect you? It can make you sick. Truly, unforgivingness can be responsible for anxiety, stress, high blood pressure, depression, hostility or substance abuse to name a few ramifications. What good has it done to hold those feelings inside for a period of time? Did the other person feel the anger, feel the pain or get the ulcer? No. By holding all the negative feelings in, you have given the other person the power.
This April, take the power back and forgive. Imagine yourself as a newly appointed Power Ranger putting your hands over your head in your new nifty Power Ranger costume and saying, “I forgive; I have the power.”
You will have a euphoric release and experience a great joy when you finally release the negative feelings you have been harboring. Make a list of any unforgivingness you have been holding for family, business associates, friends or peers, past and present. Once you have made a list — yes, get out that piece of paper right now and make a list of everyone you need to forgive — you then can have your own personal ceremony. You don’t need to tell the person you forgive them, although you can, the important thing is that you know you have forgiven them.
The need for forgiveness can go way back in our lives to when we were children. Maybe a perceived preference for one of your siblings created a deep hurt inside of you; it is time to take back the power. A school mate who called you names or made fun of your big ears, forgive, it’s been a long time holding in that hurt. Here’s a big one, an ex. Ex-spouse, ex-family member, ex-boss, these sometimes are big hurts that run deep and will take some work to exorcise from your thoughts, but you deserve the peace and joy. Once you have forgiven, don’t relive the hurt ever again. Let it go. It’s in the past. Leave it there. Stay in the present.
OK, now that you’ve made your list, you are on your first step to forgiveness and will experience a wonderful state of joy. Except, you have one more person to forgive. Yourself. Forgive yourself for gaining that extra few pounds, for saying something before you thought out the consequences, for not being as beautiful as a model, for allowing that person to hurt you. Forgive whatever you punish yourself with in your thoughts such as wishing you were different. Stop being so hard on yourself. Commit to improving your mind, body, spirit and financial well-being. Relax and feel the joy in your new and improved state of mind and being.
It’s not always easy, but if you take the first step this month and improve every month you’ll be on the path to a renewed you. If you release your feeling of being a victim, you free the control and power the offending person had on your life. People will wonder why you always are smiling and content.
Remember forgiveness doesn’t deny that someone else has hurt you or done you wrong. It just means you are greater than any hurt, you are able to excuse the act that hurt you and forgive that person. I also would add a little prayer, blessing that person with love.
Someone once asked me: How could you forgive? My reply was by keeping hurt inside of me, I’m allowing that person to injure me twice, to double my hurt. Because all un-forgivingness does is make me sick, give me disease. I refuse to allow hurt to hurt me twice. So I choose to approach anyone who hurts or intends to hurt with love. By embracing forgiveness you can enjoy peace, hope, joy and gratitude.
Life is too wonderful, too full of beauty and joy for you not to enjoy every moment. Take back your power.
Susan Rider is Speakers With Spark’s Lead Dynamo. She lives in Upton.