3 days to 41

Last Monday, I blogged about my countdown to my 41st birthday:
What 40 years taught me… a countdown to Monday! « Rica Rants & Raves.
For the whole week preceding my birthday, I am sharing, everyday, what I have learned in the past 40 years, what I believe, and what may shape the rest of my life.

Today, I am celebrating FORGIVENESS.
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I really have great difficulty with this one. I can’t say I’ve learned to forgive but I’ve been thinking about forgiveness a lot more these past years.

This is not about forgiving a friend who lost something she borrowed or when my Hubby forgets to do a request I asked while on an errand run. This is about forgiving offenses that strike deep – profound pain that lingers in the rim of my consciousness for years.
So much pain to entertain thoughts of unspeakable acts of revenge.
So ugly.

What I learned so far is that unwillingness to forgive is like being imprisoned, not by others but by myself. It is a self-inflicted suffering. It also feels cowardly. All the seething and vindictive thoughts really just turn inward.

So, as a gift to myself on my birthday, I am going to really try hard to release all the negativity and free myself from these chains that weigh me down!
These are the three things I think I need to embrace:

COURAGE
It’s going to take a lot of courage to embrace anger head on and defeat it. And oh how I need anger management skills! It would’ve been easy enough to channel explosive anger into a good half hour on my spinning bike or kick bag… but physical release is not my anger language. I use sarcasm and bushido blade-sharp words to inflict pain!

STRENGTH
Not being able to forgive is a sign of weakness. It takes a lot of strength to accept that people make mistakes. It will take a lot from me to accept that there are people who just can’t go beyond their own version of reality. It’s even harder to accept when they deliberately parade around believing that the only truth that exists is the one that’s fabricated in their head.

LOVE
I have to really love myself to be able to forgive. No more self-inflicted suffering! In my moments of anger I tend to forget that forgiveness is an act of love – for myself. Yes, words can hurt but the intense emotion harms me more than the object of my anger.

I am choosing to change the way I used to define forgiveness so I can move on and grow into the person I want to be. This is a promise I am making to myself.
After all, the best revenge is to live a beautiful life.
Let the haters self-destruct while I am enjoying the life I choose to live.

“We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed. When we are no longer able to change a situation…we are challenged to change ourselves.”
“Man’s Search For Meaning” by Viktor E Frankl (1997)

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2 comments

  1. mallotte

    bull’s eye!

    • I think I should’ve included ACCEPTANCE. When hope is lost, when the object of our anger will not heed to reasoning and elusive common sense… there is nothing left but acceptance. It isn’t victory for the wrong doer at all. It is being able to triumph over adversity and moving on to living a beautiful life devoid of the annoyance of having to feel responsible for these people’s conscience!

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