You don’t have to forget, but you must forgive.

IHLSandCWho gets hurt when you don’t forgive? Only you. The person you are angry at, has moved on years ago.

Yet, when we are finally ready to forgive and move on, does it mean you forget what happened? No, we learn and move on, we remember, but we forgive. The only real mistakes in life are the ones we make twice!

I love that my sweet husband starts every one of his cooking classes with “all cooking is a mistake!” He claims that every dish we eat was the result of someone’s flop or ‘mistake’ in the kitchen. Satya does not like perfectionism, not at all. He thinks it is one of America’s biggest down falls and I am starting to agree with him. Perfectionism takes so much darn energy. Perfectionism is about control which in another newsletter topic all together.

So back to forgiveness. Have you ever known someone be it a family member, friend or co-worker whom you had a great relationship with for several years, then one day you have a falling out? I mean, they really ticked you off. Now the question is: Did you forgive or did you hold a grudge and let them fall away from your life? Think of just one person where this has happened, just one where for years you had a great relationship, then one day, you had a fight, and now they are no longer in your life. How does it feel when you think of them? Does it still give you a twinge of anger or resentment, hurt? Or even non attachment, like I don’t care…yeah, right! I implore you to consider calling that person for coffee and a conversation.

Forgiveness is freedom. I know this sounds crazy because I have been ticked off at a few people myself. Yes, I admit it, it has happened more then once! I have forgiven my friend, my co-worker, my family member…all of them. I recommend a book called ‘Non-Violent Communication’ by Marshall Rosenberg. If you follow the 3 steps to working through a mis-communication, it makes it all so much easier. Sometimes we just don’t have the tools or the even the words. As human beings we feel literally hundreds and even thousands of emotions but in the English language, we only have words for about 20  or 30 of them readily available on the tip of our tongue. How limiting is that?!

You might be surprised to know that the hardest part of the road to forgiveness was for myself. I remember driving down the road on a quiet Sunday morning in San Diego on my way to sing at church. They had asked me to sing a chant and so I decided to write it on the way. I just started singing ‘I forgive you, I forgive ME, the light has come, the light has come, the light has come. I remember thinking oh, I have forgiven everyone and then tears started streaming down my face…apparently not. So this forgiveness chant has been a signature song and high light of many musical evenings.

Have you forgiven yourself? I don’t have much unfinished business in my life now. I also don’t have control over what someone else thinks of me or if they have forgiven me or not. But honestly, I don’t care. What someone says and thinks about you tells you more about them, then it does about you. People are a little wacky right now. Life is crazy, people are stressed, emotions are high. Be gentle with your co-worker, your friend, family and most importantly, yourself.