The work of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is something most people know they should practice – but essentially ignore.

Why we do not heed the warnings around the power of forgiveness?

I have read countless articles and books all covering the topic of forgiveness.

Examples of how dis-ease and unhappiness can follow when we do not forgive are common.

However what I have found lacking in most of the material is any sense of realism.

For me, forgiveness is not a switch I can just flick on or off. Forgiveness takes work – sometimes allot of work. Sometimes it will be instant, sometimes it will take years.

Last year was a big year of transformation for me and many around me.

Discovering the words “till death do us part” actually means “till someone new comes along”  is never easy for anyone to go through. Add to the mix girlfriends/boyfriends/children/families and you have a great concoction of emotion, resentment, blame and anger.

Some days, at any random moment, it would hit me like a boulder crushing my chest. So much anger. Resentment. Pain.

Each day I would contemplate or visualise in my mind a way to pass those emotions on to the other parties. Each day I had to work at  stopping this train of thought. Bitterness serves no one.

Sometimes acts of forgiveness are fairly easy. Perhaps enough time has past that you can forgive and move on never to think of it again. Sometimes the act was minor and you are happy to move forward.

Sometimes forgiveness requires daily effort to mentally stop, focus and think or say the words “I forgive you” to yourself or to those involved. Sometimes it may be someone you have never even met who may not be aware of what is playing out for you but you know you need to forgive.

Sometimes forgiveness never comes.

I do believe we are victims of situations of our own making.

I created what unfolded for me last year. I did not heed my instincts nor the warning signs. Once the cracks started to show, I unconsciously pried them wide open – that was the beginning of the end. Curiosity can kill the cat.

I have had to work at not only forgiving others but forgiving myself. 

Forgiving myself is something I find much much harder.

Logically I know I did what was right for me at the time. I did what my heart and soul called me to do. I do not regret my actions nor wish for a different outcome. But I have remorse for the pain caused to family and I still have anger and bitterness towards the other party.

This week I learnt that someone, who like me is in their 30s,  is beginning a battle against breast and lymphoma cancer.

We spoke of diet and lifestyle however the person was a vegan and also fairly active. I was baffled. To me, they were doing everything we are ‘told’ is the right thing to do.

This is not the first time cancer has crossed into my life in a way that defies all reasoning. When I was 28 I watched a person I knew who at the age of 30, did battle with a rare form of cancer which grew from nothing to life threatening in months. He was also fit and healthy and a new father at the time.

As cancer becomes more and more prevalent in younger members of society I cannot help but ask why?

What is it we are doing so wrong?

I once read that cancer has been attributed to emotions. It has been suggested cancer can be trigger by unexpressed anger and or resentment.

We may never know what is the key to unlocking the cure, but as I watch people around me falling ill to a life threatening disease I know we are missing something bigger, more important, and more crucial then just good diet and exercise.

So I suggest we no longer disregard the power of forgiveness – forgiveness of others and of ourselves.

I suggest that forgiveness may in fact save our lives and therefore I think it is certainly worth trying for a few minutes each day.

Life: Ctrl+Alt+Delete

Sometimes we need to stop and assess where we are spending all our energy and make sure that our time is spent moving towards our goals. I like to think of this as a “Ctrl+Alt+Delete” on life. An opportunity to step back. Look at all the things happening in our lives and decide which ones we can shut-down and which ones need a little adjustment.

I am week two into my own personal life “Ctrl+Alt+Delete.

Sparked by a transition back into singledom, I was excited about the opportunity to just focus on me for awhile. I took a step back and had a look at all the things I do each day and assessed whether it could stay, or if I could let it go and add something new.

I have been doing yoga once a week for about 3 months now. I love it. It is very quietening for the mind AND this is the first time I have kept at Yoga for longer then a few weeks. Yoga was to stay.

I am a Taurus and by nature I believe exercise/workouts need to be hard and gruelling so the movement aspect of my life needed some fine tuning as this need was not being met.

I do Pilates once a week in addition to yoga. A little more in alignment with my need for hard exericse. I at least raise the heart beat and sweet a little but was still not physically satisfied.

I wanted to get back in touch with what my body could do physically – to know what I was capable of and what my limits were, if any. I opted to go back to my tried and true method of bootcamp.

I have done bootcamp with 5 different companies in the past (if you want to know who, leave comments below). Each of them slightly different but all challenging in their own way. So more challenging then others, one of which was ridiculous and cost me 3 days off work with a back injury.

Bootcamp is a great way to blast into fitness at a rapid pace. Rep’s are high. Sessions are intense. Pain level on recovery is pretty hefty but results start to occur after only a couple of weeks.

The first week is the hardest and I am in that period now. At 6am this morning I was at my second session. The entire group felt equally sore after Monday’s gruelling leg workout. We meet again tomorrow morning. Mixed feelings about that at the moment.

I would highly recommend bootcamp to anyone looking for a serious reboot on their fitness levels. I do suggest a moderate level of fitness before you commence as the level is pretty advanced – the rewards after the first 4 weeks are well worth it. And as I try to remind myself,  “Pain is only temporary.”

To accommodate more workouts in my life I get up a little earlier each day. I was already a morning person but I now hear the alarm at 5.30am as opposed to 6am.

I have eliminated staring at the television for hours in the evening using this time for my next new task – which was to create a new vision board.

I had not created a vision board in many years and felt now was a good time to create an inspiring collage for my wall.  The thought was it would help me get out of bed on cold miserable mornings for training. I wanted to visual my end goal.

Vision boards, if you have not come across the term before, are essentially a big collage of images and words (usually taken from magazines) to help visualise your goals and how you would like your life to be. My board included images of travel,  toned and fit females, key words and inspiring phrases.

My vision board didn’t require any expensive materials. I used some wrapping paper for the base by simply flipping it over so it was white side up.  I already had scissors and glue. Took about 2 hours and was a lovely way to unwind from work.

My mental reboot is my commitment to continue with yoga but to also read more and stop wasting my time in front of the box (tv). There is nothing much on anyway. Currently I am reading “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks which is very suitable for my current point in life. Gay talks about how we often reach our upper limit thresholds and self sabotage.

Last week I undertook a food allergy test as I felt my body was not too happy with my food intake.

I already eliminated Cow’s Milk and most Wheat products from my diet. I do not eat fast food (KFC, MacDonalds, etc) and had started a personal “Dry July” challenge – no alcohol.

A food intolerance test is so fascinating to me. My results showed Cows Milk was a no-no, so was Rye and surprisingly Rice. I also had a mild intolerance to Strawberries, Apples, Oranges and Lemons. These are only intolerances (as opposed to allergies) so I can continue to eat them, however it is recommended to keep them to a minimum where possible or remove entirely.

I have also spent time refocusing on what my passions are and how I would like to invest my time long term.

I have a great project in development which I will launch into the world very soon. It aligns all of my beliefs and interests beautifully and I cannot wait till it is up and running. For now, patience is the key… in which yoga helps.

I was also accepted into MGSM for their MBA program which is very exciting. This particular graduate school is ranked #1 in NSW and #3 in Australia. I did lots of ground work before finalising my decision, then did lots of paperwork to apply. I was very happy to be accepted and start in September.

So those are the areas that my personal “Ctrl+Alt+Delete” identified as needing some work.

What areas in your life do you think could use a restart or shut-down?