If we want to be happy, we need to forgive

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I am often asked why I am not angry and bitter about what has happened in my life. This is the way I look at it, writes Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton in Aurora.

We will be betrayed in life and it is not always intentional or personal. Sometimes it is because our expectations are unreasonable. It isn’t easy to remain calm when everything goes wrong. We need to know when we are knocked down that it is important not to stay down.

When someone does something nasty to us or makes a mistake, we need to rub it out, put it behind us and carry on, not rub it in until it is a permanent stain on everything we do, think and are.

Mother Teresa is reported to have had these words on her wall: “People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centred: forgive them anyway.” If we have faith in God and in ourselves, nothing can permanently affect us.

Resentment, hatred, anger and emotional hurt can all be justified at times. However, the cost of not forgiving is far too high. Bemoaning what we don’t have, or what we want to change, means we can’t enjoy fully what we do have. 

No matter how much we read or are told that we need to forgive, it is simply academic, and is of little use unless we know how to go about it, and are ready to do so. We hold on to the past unless we can see something better in the future.

When we are still hurt and angry over what has happened to us, we tend to use anger as a suit of armour to shield ourselves from the possibility of any further real or imagined hurt. Eleanor Roosevelt wrote, “Anger is only one letter short of Danger.”   

We want rectification, which is often impossible, so we channel our frustration into anger. Until we see another way to move ahead, we at least feel like we have some control while we make angry plans for revenge or restitution. We are not really in control. It is the anger that controls us. We cannot move forward in this state, but can make everything worse.

FULL STORY If we want to be happy, we need to forgive (Aurora)

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