The only way we can forgive others is by forgiving yourself first.
I played competitive sports growing up as a child. Whether it was soccer, basketball, golf or football. I was pushed to be the best I could be – better than the kid on the other team. This manifested into hours on the court, course and field working on my skills in order to refine them. I found purpose in it.
One thing I didn’t learn until I got older was how to let that competitiveness go and just “be.” I continued to push and push to make myself better, but was unable to find the balance between striving to be better and peace with where I am.
I bring up sports because it was such a big part of my childhood and galvanized my work ethic, coupled with always striving for more. There’s nothing wrong with these experiences, but I can find myself being a bit too critical with where I am and the results of past experiences. This leads to holding on to a bit of resentment towards myself.
I don’t mean to sound too dramatic, but how can I forgive the lady who cuts me off in traffic if I’m unable to let go of the resentment, anger and bitterness I hold on for myself? The answer is: I can’t.
We must let go. We have to transcend the anger that holds us back and come from a place of Love.
“Love is the most powerful and unknown force in the universe.”
Why does this always happen to me? How come on one else has to deal with issues like these? Who cares, anyway?
Wow! That’s a rough way to start your morning. Just reading the above paragraph puts me in a less than positive space.
And by the way, it doesn’t just happen to you, it happens to everyone. Yes, others have to deal with it too. Who cares? Only you. That’s the important one.
The questions we ask ourselves are as important as the information we are taking in. When we focus on “what’s in it for me?” the series of questions are quite narcissistic, but maybe you can ask it in another way, such as, “How may I serve?”
Taking the focus off ourselves serves everyone including yourself. And asking the right questions can make all the difference. As the question will lead you to the solution. Strong questions lead to strong answers.
Maybe we don’t know enough at the time to ask the right question. That is very often the case. Then, maybe a response such as, “What do I need to know or learn about or someone I can speak to so I can gain the knowledge in this specific area in order to come up with a solution so that it not only benefits me, but I’m able to run by business more efficiently and become more stable in the market as well?”
Let’s work smarter not harder. Ask questions that penetrate the problem and brings out a solution that works in more ways than one.
We can all do that if we’re just a bit more selective with the questions we ask in the face of an obstacle.
Often I feel a false sense of obligation to continue a behavior even though it might not be in my best interest. Ego? Probably. Why can’t I just let it go, realize this is a new moment and not feel beholden to continue down that path to nowhere.
For me, especially as I get older, I think I feel like I must commit to what I’ve always done. I’m not quite sure why I do it. It could be that I feel I may be judged by those closest to me and would question my behavior.
An example would be when I became vegan a year ago after watching a documentary that touted the benefits to an all plant-based diet. People in my circle of influence – including family members – questioned my choices and some even disapproving of my new lifestyle. I will chalk those up as ‘looking out for my best interest,’ but I would find myself having to support my decision with data that may or may not be true depending on the source.
I have since changed my diet after much consideration of several factors, but did have to endure close to a year-long defensive campaign to those questioning my decision. Deep sigh.
Here’s my point: If I want to re-invent myself today, then I’m going to do it. I refuse to let the past equal the future or any of my behavior in those days. As humans we make mistakes. We learn. We grow. We evolve. And yes we say things that get us into a whole lot of trouble. Move forward. Don’t look back. You are not the same person you are today as you were 5 years ago. You can’t be.
Those who truly love and care about you will understand that and stand by your side. After all, there may be a time where you will choose to be there for them when they stumble.
Especially when it comes from a place of Love.
There are times when I find myself saying, “If I only knew then what I know now.” It’s a bit unfair to say this as you don’t know what you don’t know.
Maybe the question we should be asking is: “How do I come to know?” Before we answer that, I can tell you I’m positive of how you don’t find out: Hoping, Wishing, Dreaming and doing the same things you’ve always done in the past (unless of course you’re a dynamo and have been making the strong choices to get uncomfortable and explore the unknown).
If you think about any type of knowledge you have acquired over the years, you will find out that has come from a personal life experience or from being in a place where you have put yourself in a position to have a new experience. Yes, I suppose you can learn a few things by sitting in front of the TV, but that’s not the type of evolvement I’m referring to.
In order to know, we must explore the unknown. Step off the cliff of security and safety. Just as Christopher Columbus set out to do. Or Lewis and Clark. I’m sure they had no idea what they were about to face. But it was more important to them to find out vs. the risk of the obstacles they would face.
Moving forward in the face of fear – that’s courage. That’s what interests me.
How about you?
What does it take in order for you to make a major shift in your life? Not like, “I’m going to stop eating gluten.” I’m referring to a change in the way you see your world so that you change your behavior from the time you get up until your head hits the pillow at the end of the day. And how you process your universe in every moment between.
What is the catalyst? Is it a death in the family or loved one who is close to you? Is it a near death experience? Sickness? A book? A film? A story about someone’s life experience they chose to share with you? A speech? A success story? Or is it a decision you made on your own to follow that still small voice within you beckoning you to an “outlandish and risky” calling you feel deep within you is your destiny?
It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you get there. You answer the call. You stare into the abyss, embrace the fear and say, “Enough is enough.”