Wouldn’t it have been easier if I had learned how to forgive when I was younger? You betcha it would have. I used to be able to hold a grudge grip on someone like a cat on a pole in a room full of pit bulls and it wore me out and probably aged me more than tanning, drinking, smoking and “circuiting*” combined. The last time I was really angry at someone and really held onto that anger was when I got engaged to a guy that I long-distance-dated for the two years prior to my moving to his hometown of Toronto. Was I foolish to move to different country when we had an “always on vacation” lifestyle whenever we saw each other? Was it silly of me to think that we were actually going to be happy and get married after I originally met him in the party scene (circuit*) and he seemed no closer to slowing down than a jet on take off?
This thought leads me to another “like” subject which might help bring my point to home: People who always say, “But I’m a romantic,” or “But I’m a nice person.” You know those people: They are the one’s who constantly get into bad situations out of a perceived obligation, or they perpetually enter bad love relationships and talk about them over and over trying to figure out why the other person did what they did to them.
After many years of being a nice romantic person, I can now say I don’t have to say it as an excuse for being a dumb person who lets someone else walk all over me. I have forgiven myself for letting other people sway me into situations where my foolish heart wanted to go while my head was screaming at me to steer away. And I forgive those people for taking me there.
I now think the biggest key to not getting into negative situations is forgiveness. For once you have learned how to forgive yourself, and then the people who you felt have wronged you, you realize that everyone thinks they are a nice person too, even when they are hurting you. And forgiveness also leads you to see your own part in your own hurt. Forgiveness is a powerful tool. And forgiveness is hard. It takes practice. But it will save you from getting into negative situations in your future. And once you get it, you will be a stronger person who, magically, will be able to say no or I “quit” whenever you need too. Forgiveness and strength come hand in hand. Being a victim, being angry and holding a grudge are all part of repeating your own bad behavior that you need to release by beginning to forgive yourself–and then others.
When I came back from Canada with my tail between my legs, I was hurting and hating. I was so mad at my ex-fiance’ and myself. For months that dragged on, I relived every negative detail of that then-past relationship and seethed with anger so much so that I made myself physically ill to the extent that I could hardly process my food. Thank God for my friends, good doctors and great holistic healers and my will to be happy again or I don’t know if I’d be who I am today: A serious yet funny guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously funny.
Learn forgiveness. Say “I forgive myself,” or “I forgive_____,” 50 times 50 every day if you have to. And begin to imagine what that forgiveness might feel and look like. You’ll get there. I did.