Forgive The Past; Define Yourself In The Present

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“The injuries we do and those we suffer are seldom weighed in the same scales.”   Aesop

“Write your injuries in dust, your benefits in marble.” Benjamin Franklin

“I don’t care if you are religious or not and I think the message is that at the end of the day, everybody has to mature and everybody has to heal and mend their own injuries, emotional injuries, on their own pace.”    Boris Kodjoe

How many of us make trip after trip to our past. Most of the times our journeys are to the most painful moments in relationships and injuries. We like to prove to ourselves we have made the correct choices. Somehow  we believe  we will absolve ourselves of any fault in the events that transpired.

Whatever response given by anyone, involved in our most unpleasant situations of long ago, is held responsible for our pain and we deny absolution. As a matter-of-fact, we tend to dig in our heels even more as time passes. We end up believing we did no wrong and all others were to blame.Of course our reality is altered  with time and with our constant review of our injuries. As we get further from the incident we get further from the truth and stronger in our stand of refusing forgiveness. Now we have the real problem  in our present life. We are hung up on our past pain. We feel sorry for ourselves and yearn for justice. We are not going to get it. That is what we must have the courage to face.

From the time we are kids the hurts bounce into us but if we want to live a happier life we need to send them bouncing off as quickly as they arrived. We all take turns at hurts. Others injure our egos perhaps on purpose, while others do it unconsciously or by accident. Sometimes what we perceive as important is less important to another.

As long as we allow these past wounds room in our minds and hearts, we will continue to lose space for positive and loving thoughts. They are usually brought up when we are hurt by a similar situation in our present. Instead of dealing logically we fall to pieces. The past intertwines with the present and makes every new issue a bigger deal that it should be. It is hard to separate fact from fiction. It is difficult to separate present from past.

For instance when we are denied the job, we don’t think about the fact that we have many more opportunities and that this job was not our first choice. We begin feeling sorry for ourselves and believing we are always the loser and it is so typical that this should happen again. How untrue this belief is. Every incident is a new situation and can potentially have a different outcome. If the result is similar to a past event, maybe we can figure out what we did that was similar and change it. We might educate ourselves in the job we are searching for or get advice from others.

We can’t and shouldn’t give up on ourselves. At other times when things turn sour it is simply chance. Most if not all of us lose at various times. It might be the catalyst that sends us in a new and better direction. Maybe it will be one that is more suited for us. That would also apply to relationships. Maybe our choice of  partners is never a good match. What is best for us may not be what we pick because the influence of others convinced us what they thought was best for us. It implores us to look at situations through our own eyes.

It is at times difficult to observe the past with clarity. We have built it up to be so huge and we have the finger pointed at the ones we blame. It is like a mountain that must be climbed in order to get to and see the other side which is beautiful. True comprehension of our distortion of the facts brings a sense of peace and a dawning of truth. Letting go of past injuries gives us more time to focus on the present.

I can’t mention how many times I hurt myself again with my thoughts of past insult and injuries. Something in the present happens and I dwell on so many hurts from my entire life until I don’t even consider the original  transgression that caused my present  pain close to past injuries. I wonder why I do this to myself repeatedly. One new insult makes us recall every insult.

The cycle needs to stop so we can put an end to the wounds. Forgiving yourself is as important as forgiving others. So we messed up. The sun still came up and the coffee was brewing. The power of forgiveness is endless. When we say even to ourselves, it is not the end of the world, you have learned from this and can attempt to make up what you can but accept what you can’t change. It is like having a clean slate or new day. The truth is we get the new day but if we can’t forgive ourselves we are tossing it away.

Now what we can do is use the new day to live in the present. If we keep recalling the past it diffuses our energy, clouds out thoughts, causes us fear and doubt and eats up our present moments in time.How sad. It is as if we are living in the past. We are paying more attention to past acts and words than to what is in front of us at the present.

Forgiving others actually gives us strength to forget. Surprisingly  by resolving any injuries one has caused to another either on purpose or by accident empowers you. I have tried it and it lifts your soul and lightens your mind. It is almost as if it got washed away. It also makes you feel very courageous because you start thinking of how brave you were to do what you did. Now when you think about some past memories you have these courageous moments to think about, which gives you a warm feeling and a smile across your face.

The uneasiness and discomfort of being at odds with others is disheartening. We all need forgiveness at one point or another in our lives. It is no disgrace to search for it or willingly offer it. When another denies the forgiveness you still have the goodness and caring act in your heart as a positive past memory. It is still your gain and their loss. They will now relive the moment and at a future date feel shame for not extending their own forgiveness.

One must remember that we are searching for peace in our souls first. When we find it, the rest is easy. Live in the present. Try very hard to dismiss past pain. Most times it is only sad reminders we use to torture ourselves over again. Enjoy the new day with its’ various options to make a positive impact on your own life and the lives of others. You cannot change the past, you can work on the present, and make a positive future for yourself and possibly others.

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him.
If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.”
– The Buddha

“Pain is what the world inflicts upon us.
Suffering is our emotional reaction when we fail to make the difficult conscious decision to choose Joy.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal
with the intent of throwing it at someone else;
you are the one who gets burned.”
– The Buddha 

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