Elvie

This year is simply disorienting. The usual summer plans and hectic schedule is replaced by TV binging, novice gardening, home improvement projects and more movie binging.

Spring came and summer is hesitantly showing. Which means, if you choose to, you have more “me” time. The constant through the seasonal changes is you. After you dust the cobwebs and change your curtains to welcome the freshness of summer, take time to meditate on thoughts, things, people and situation that no longer serve you. Do the most important refreshing and cleaning from the inside out.

As you take note of the best times and the not-so-good times with plenty of lessons learned, ask yourself some of these questions:

• What ways did you push yourself outside of your comfort zone?

• What ways did life push you outside of your comfort zone?

• What experiences did you have that helped you become a better person?

• What books did you read that helped you become a better person?

• What meaningful ways did you contribute to others?

• What people did you meet or deepened your relationship with that are significantly meaningful?

• In what ways were you supported by others?

• In what ways were you blessed?

• What are some of the important lessons I learned or re-learned?

• What emotional baggage weighs you down?

You may come up with other questions you want to ask yourself. Write down your candid answers without thinking too much. The exercise can be both enlightening and uncomfortable but definitely purifying. Work on letting go of thoughts, situations, people and things that no longer support you to their highest good and you to yours. Let go of grievances that weigh you down. You can tackle the journey of any sort if you travel lighter. Intently learn to forgive and let go of any bitterness or grudges and move forward leaving behind the hurt and the anger that you have been holding on to in the past years. The hurt and the anger may not completely go away, but forgiveness will lessen its grip on you and free you to focus more on what is good in your life. Letting go of the bitterness, hurt, and anger will make room in your heart for the more nurturing feelings of love and compassion. The experts suggest that forgiveness can lead to:

• Lesser anxiety and stress.

• Less hostility.

• Greater physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

• Lower blood pressure.

• Fewer symptoms of depression.

• Lower risk of alcohol and other substance abuse.

• Healthier and supportive relationships.

Forgiveness is more for you than the one who offended you. Forgiveness does not mean ignoring your true feelings and pretending to be all good when you are not. It’s about acknowledging your feelings and letting it go instead of internalizing thoughts of revenge and relieving the hurt and the anger over and over again. If you allow your mind to be crowded with all the ill feelings, vengeance and hostility, there will be no room for all the good that comes your way. You may not even recognize the good and may lose valuable enriching connections with others. You may find yourself swallowed in nothingness by your own bitterness or sense of injustice.

Forgiveness can be challenging when you see no remorse from the person who may have hurt you. Realize that you cannot make the other person say or do things he or she may not be ready to say or do. You can only change the way you respond to what one say or do. Forgiveness may not guarantee reconciliation. But if you value the relationship, you at least leave the door open for the possibility. At times, you may realize that you too contributed to the unpleasant situation. Looking at the situation with a more forgiving lens may give you a different interpretation. We have trillions of cells in our body that are constantly eavesdropping on our thoughts, send them messages that heal.

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