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The A – Z of Happiness: F is for . . .

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is letting go of angry and resentful thoughts and feelings.  It is a key element of happiness, because if you continue to think about the “wrong” somebody did you, you are fuelling unhappy emotions. 

 

When somebody hurts you badly, it can be extremely difficult to let go of your anger towards them and forgive.  A lot of the time it’s difficult because you actually don’t want to forgive them – you don't think they deserve it!  In order to protect yourself, you hold onto your anger.  This is all very understandable, but regrettable too, as in harbouring these feelings, the person you’re hurting most is yourself.  In hanging onto these feelings you’re affecting your own energy, and not to your benefit.  Forgive, if not for the sake of the person “who done you wrong”, then for your own sake.

 

Every action that anybody takes is, at its unconscious root, motivated either by love or fear.  When somebody treats you badly, the unconscious reason for that was their own fear.  Bear this in mind, and it may help you to feel compassion rather than anger, or at least to let go of your resentment.

 

Forgiveness does not have to mean you pick up the pieces of your broken relationship with the person you feel betrayed or let you down.  You can let go of the friendship if that’s what feels right, but the essential thing is that you do let go of your feelings of anger, betrayal and resentment.  It can take time to get there, but if you resolve to move on for your own sake it becomes easier to let go of the angry thoughts when they do come to the fore.

 

Forgive yourself

 

It is just as critical to your health and well-being to forgive yourself for past mistakes, as it is to forgive others.  In fact, learning to forgive yourself will increase your sense of compassion towards others and make the act of forgiveness easier whenever the need arises.

 

When it comes to self-forgiveness, ask yourself what good do you do yourself, or anybody else, by beating yourself up?  It will not help you to move forward.  In fact, it will stunt your ability to grow from whatever "mistake" you made.

 

Growth is about accepting what happened, identifying what you can learn from it and how you can do better in the future, then letting it go.  and in order to be happy in the present, you need to stop focussing on the past.  It's over and done with, you cannot change that.  If there's a way you can make things somewhat better, then do so.  Then decide to do better in future and move on.

Treat yourself with the same compassion you need to treat others in order to forgive them.  Understand that you acted from a place of fear, and set the intention to go forwards living, as much as possible, from a place of love.

 

Letting go of Fear

Easier said than done, I know, but fear is a giant stumbling block to your personal happiness.  Strictly the domain of the ego (your Spirit knows only Love), fear is an emotion that arises to protect us, but in doing so it often limits us.

Fear is the opposite of love, and in the coaching world it's used as an acronym for False Events Appearing Real.  When you feel fear rise up inside you, ask yourself if that could possibly be the case.  Because sometimes fear is associated with a very real threat and serves us well.  But most of the time, our fear is around the anticipation of some uncomfortable outcome that may or may not actually arise.

And what's more, fear – like love – is a powerful energy, and we attract into our lives those things we love and fear the most, because those are the areas where we focus most of our attention.

To live your very best life, you need to learn to let go of fear.  Otherwise you will not push yourself to do that which scares you.  And it's fine not to do something because you don't want to.  But to not do something because you're scared is a shame.

I know it's not easy.  For most of my life I was a coward and would avoid anything that meant overcoming a fear, be that for my physical, pyschological or emotional safety.  Eventhough I longed to do more, I would sit on the sidelines and watch rather than take risks.  But over the last decade I've slowly pushed myself, stretching my comfort zone a little at a time.  When I look back now I can hardly believe what I'm willing to do compared to how I used to be. 

It starts with the decision: I'm not going to let fear hold me back.  To borrow Susan Jeffer's term, to live your very best life, you need to feel the fear and do it anyway.  And reading that book would actually be a very good starting point ;-)

Freedom

Freedom is a sense of being, rather than a reflection of your life situation.  You don't have to be footloose and fancy-free to feel free.  It's about choice, or to be more accurate, feeling as though what you do in life is a choice.

And in fact, you always have a choice.  You may not be able to control every situation in your life, but you always have a choice about how you respond to anything that occurs.  And therein lies your freedom.

When you recognise this freedom to choose your response, you will find yourself more accepting of what is.  You won't need to struggle with life, because you know that even if things aren't how you wish they are right now, you can choose how to view it, and how to deal with it.  You can choose to look for lessons instead of feeling sorry for yourself.  You can choose to find a way to use your situation to help others deal with similar circumstances.  You can choose to remember that everything is temporary and this too will pass.

You can choose to feel free (and you can choose to be happy!)

Fun

But of course!  You're allowed to have fun.  In fact, many of the most enlightened souls on the planet are very light-hearted with it.  So lighten up.  Make a list of the things that make your heart sing and do at least one item on the list every day.

 

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Posted in Attitude, Happiness, Positivity, Well Being
7 comments on “The A – Z of Happiness: F is for . . .
  1. Lance says:

    Hilda,
    Oh! I love all these “F” words you’re sharing today! It brings up many thoughts. The first is fear. Something that has held me back too. Getting over that fear isn’t necessarily easy. Reading here reminds me to continue working at that, and believing in myself. And…I’m going to have FUN along the way!! I’m loving this today!!!

  2. Ooh, you know I love the ABC posts! This is a great one! I love that you brought up forgiving yourself. That’s one of the hardest (and most important!) things for us to do.

  3. Hilda says:

    Hi Lance,
    yes, have lots of fun! : ) I find the more I let go of fear, the more fun I have.
    Hi Dani,
    Forgiving yourself is very hard, but it’s absolutely essential we learn to do it. When we can forgive ourselves we don’t judge others quite so harshly, and develop greater compassion for all.

  4. I think freedom is what we attain after we have achieved freedom from fear. As long as we are mentally handcuffed by our fear we cannot grow. Mastering our thoughts is the best way to eliminate fears from our reality. And of course You gosta have fun with fear conquering. ( Smile)
    Great post Hilda!
    Remember to Keep it Gangsta, but only if its positive.

  5. Hilda says:

    Hi Jonathan,
    That’s a very good point! Thanks for your comment, I always aim to keep it positive : )

  6. I like the “F” part of our alphabet, especially the way you’ve highlighted key words that really speak to me right now. Forgiveness is huge – absolutely. It took me awhile to understand just how powerful of an intention it is. I thought, “How could I forgive someone who willingly hurt me?” What I never realized was that they were hurting themselves more than they ever hurt me, and that they mirrored back to me how I felt about myself in the first place. If I could forgive them, I was essentially forgiving me. Now I’m able to look at my father, who left when I was 10 and never returned, and have compassion for him. He’s a man who lives in great fear, and all I can do is send him love and understanding.
    Letting go of fear… Well, that’s a big one, too! I’ve found that fear hides in the sneakiest places in my life, so just as I release fear in one area, I find another nook or cranny of it somewhere else. Like fruit flies… there’s never just one! But that’s okay, because I use FUN to overcome fear a lot of times. Not always, but gosh, FUN just feels good, doesn’t it?! It makes this whole life seem worthwhile. My goal is to free myself from being a full-time adult who’s locked tightly in place and instill some childlike fun more of the time.
    I loved reading this post, Hilda, and think the more we all talk about these things, the better off we’ll all be. Thank you for what you do!

  7. Hilda says:

    Hi Megan,
    That’s so important, what you’ve said about forgiveness. Whenever anybody hurts us in any way, it is an expression of their own pain. If they weren’t in pain, they would only be sending out love into the world. When we bear that in mind, it does make forgiveness easier, and as you said, ulitimately it’s about forgiving ourselves.
    Another F is for Florida!! Where I’m off to in the morning to do a course with Deepak Chopra and David Simon – I’m so excited : ) Fun might be stretching it – it will be intense, but it will also be Fabulous ;-)
    Hope you have a Fabulous week too!

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