Farrah Rudd: Forgive Me
There it sits. A friend request on Facebook. I haven’t seen him/her in so long and each time I do it’s a negative feeling. Ugh!
Did you know we remember painful events to protect ourselves from future threats? Our brains have actually evolved to keep us safe; not happy necessarily. Hence: a grudge. Psychologically when people have reported higher levels of forgiveness they have also reported healthier habits, decreased depression, anxiety and anger.
Let’s think about all the energy it takes to hold that grudge.
Anxiety, worry, angst, negative & anger all over again. Now ask yourself if it’s you feeling the feelings of having the grudge on or is the other person “feeling” it? Tough question, right...?
So what’s the weekly challenge, correct? I want us, myself included, to scan our brains right now as we are reading and think about one normal day. Being late, moving in front of someone in a line, pulling out too quickly in a parking lot, your child hitting the heels of your legs with the shopping cart, forgetting your mask, forgetting an anniversary or a birthday and the list goes on. How many times in a day do you think we need grace or forgiveness. Let alone our entire life.
4 simple steps to activate our forgiveness muscle:
A) We must stop waiting for the other person to do it first.
B) Take a step back and remember a moment that person was good or helpful to you.
C) Change your perspective. An example for me is: my birth father left me at the early age of 2. I could hold a grudge and be resentful the rest of my life or I could thank him for teaching me very early how to be the strong, independent woman that I’ve grown to be.
And finally) Get busy. Yes, the person may have treated you badly and I don’t want to discount that our feelings are real but it’s up to us what we do next.
Before I let us go from this topic; We need to talk about forgiving ourselves. Yes I said it and I know how difficult it can be first hand. I can tell a story of my own and hope it sparks a conversation and allows you to forgive yourself also. As you will see I’ll write about a lot & one of my bigger topics may be about the history I’ve had with alcoholism. I am currently sober and I will stay that way for myself and for my health, for my son and for his future. I will dive more into that subject as the year goes on. But for now let me tell you how hard it has been to forgive myself for the bad decisions I have made.
I literally had to put pen to paper and write myself a letter at times, other times I’ve written 10 topics of why I am worthy of being forgiven. When I don’t forgive myself it gives the enemy a foot in the door. I can tell you that it holds me back from living out whatever my dream is. It holds me back from being the best mother I am to my son because of self-doubt. So I had to make the decision to forgive myself. I wanted to move on and I have nothing to prove to anyone.
I’m really glad I took that step. I will be the first to tell you it wasn’t easy and if I allowed other people to have an opinion it would’ve been much harder but I didn’t. I kept that choice between me and myself. Sometimes it’s very healthy to keep things to ourselves and this, I feel, is one of those times. I had experienced so many setbacks just by not forgiving myself. It was like I couldn’t move onto the next phase in life, like something was always holding me back. So not only do you feel more free when you forgive yourself but when you do this for you to someone else you’re going to get the same freedom. Trust me, I know.
I also know I’ve had a lot to say this week because this is a really big topic, but I wanted to leave you with this.
Some of my confidence comes from knowing my God forgives me. No. Matter. What. Now THAT’S reason to live!!!
Go on already, forgive yourself & someone else. And please let me know how it goes.