Another Reason to Forgive

There are many reasons why it is important to make forgiveness a regular part of your life, but one that occurred to me recently may not be so obvious. Forgiveness affords you the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the wonderful qualities of and positive experiences you shared with those who have wronged you.

Without forgiveness, you remain bound up emotionally. When grudges remain, it is virtually impossible not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. In families this may mean devaluing the unconditional love which ought to be the currency of blood relationships. In friendships grudges taint every memory, not just the negative ones.

Forgiveness allows you to release the emotional full nelson you hold against others who may have dealt with you unjustly. I say full nelson because grudges tie up both of your hands, figuratively speaking, both the positive and the negative. When you forgive, you release your tight grip, and as a consequence, you distance yourself from the source of your angst, while regaining access to the library of positive memories you shared.

Most Important Moments

When you look back on your life, would you say that the most important moments were loud, dramatic or did they occur in the quiet times, in the back corners of your mind or in the subtle shifts of heart?

I would have to say that on the balance, for me, the most significant times were probably the easiest to overlook. More often than not they began with little observations, decisions or actions that gained momentum over time.

“NOBREZA SILENCIOSA. SILENT NOBILITY. It is a mistake to believe that the crucial moments of a life when its habitual direction changes forever must be loud and shrill dramatics, washed away by fierce internal surges. This is a kitschy fairy tale started by boozing journalists, flashbulb-seeking filmmakers and authors whose minds look like tabloids. In truth, the dramatics of a life-determining experience are often unbelievably soft. It has so little akin to the bang, the flash, of the volcanic eruption that, at the moment it is made, the experience is often not even noticed. When it deploys its revolutionary effect and plunges a life into a brand-new light giving it a brand-new melody, it does that silently and in this wonderful silence resides its special nobility.” – Pascal Mercier

Managing Change

Whenever you look to make positive lifestyle changes you must first meet your own internal inertia. Once that is met you must manage the reactions of those around you to that change. Reactions come in many forms, but most reactions boil down to the invisible “pressure wave” that change sends out into the world you center.

This “pressure wave” is initially disruptive to the bonds between people, as intermolecular forces – i.e. attraction and repulsion – does between neighboring atoms, molecules or ions. When these bonds between people are influenced, the natural reflex is to react in some way to the perceived change.

When you change, those around you must adjust to it. Some may react favorably and actually make it easier for you to maintain your momentum, while others may oppose it (typically due to personal discomfort) and seek to derail your progress, either consciously or unconsciously. The point is that they will typically take note at some level of consciousness and begin their own adjustment process. In the process, they will either be attracted or repelled to you, by virtue of the way they choose to handle it.

At this point you need to hold steady and let the sorting out occur. Many a cycle of positive change has been aborted by reaction to these reactions, and managing your reaction to their reactions can require as much specific internal effort as making the change in the first place.