Revisit: Thank you Mr. Mandela, for Teaching the Cycle of Forgiveness

I originally wrote this blog post following Nelson Mandela’s death in December 2013 and I needed a refresher on the subject of forgiveness and resentment. This post deals with forgiveness in love relationships, but it really speaks to all situations that is calling for  forgiveness and letting go of resentment. My 2015 self made some edits to my 2013 post :-).

Image courtesy of "Lonely Tree" by Evgeni Dinev, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of “Lonely Tree” by Evgeni Dinev, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

“As I walked out the door toward my freedom I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind, that I would still be in prison.”

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

-Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela passed away today, at the age of 95. Nelson Mandela’s life – long, fruitful, inspirational, fraught with pain and struggle, triumph and victory – is something we all should aspire to be. I thank him for all the teaching moments his life brought to my life and his spirit and legacy lives on forever.

Below is a question posed to me on the subject of forgiveness and my response:

Q. Can you share your thoughts about forgiveness? I’ve always heard how people chose to forgive someone who hurt them deeply in one way or another in order to help them move on. What does that mean and how do you accomplish it?

Letting go. Time truly heals many wounds but in the meantime, how can one work on letting go of a situation? Is it best to force yourself to not think about it, i.e. whenever the thought crosses your mind, change the subject so to speak? Or do you try to keep busy and occupy yourself so as to distract you?

How does one remain hopeful of love and marriage? Is there really truly somebody for everybody?

A. Forgiveness. Such a heavy proposition, isn’t it? Why should we have to forgive those who trespass us?

It’s just as much about you as it is the person whose being forgiven, if not more about you. Not forgiving holds us back, dims and dulls our life’s experiences, and drags us down.

Nelson Mandela’s first quote above is not talking about the brick and mortar prison he sat in for 27 years for anti-Apartheid activities. He’s talking about the prison of our minds – the bondage of holding in resentment. His quote can help us better understand the notion of forgiveness in relationships and how it is necessary for moving on to bigger and better love. If we cannot let go of the pain, bitterness, anger, and resentment, then we will never fully move into the present of the here and now. The here and now is freedom to love.

Resentment comes from a misunderstanding many of us have about a situation or person. We believe they have wronged us and we come to hate a person. Remember that you called this person into your life, or at the very least allowed that person to enter your sphere. Think about the reasons why they were in your life. Acknowledge and appreciate their good qualities you loved about them. And, thank God for showing you the qualities in them that you could very much live without. It is especially the parts of a person that hurt you that has the most to offer you – the relationship is gone and over, but you now learned a little more about yourself in terms of what you want and don’t want in a relationship.

Nelson Mandela had several loves in his life, including three wives. Each of those wives, he loved deeply and considered them partners and soul mates. Two of the three marriages ended in divorce. Winnie Mandela allegedly cheated on Mr. Mandela and was emotionally neglectful to him– yet, he found love again at the age of 77, and died a happily married man at the age of 95. I read that in divorce court, Nelson Mandela smiled at his soon to be former wife, Winnie, but she turned away. He was sorrowful and humbled during the divorce proceedings and he spoke of his love and appreciation for his wife. He knew there was no hope for their relationship, but he chose to not be mired in pain and resentment towards his ex-wife.

Mr. Mandela’s story tells us that soul mates can come in many different forms and times in our lives. There are some loves in your life greater than others because of the chemistry or attachment you have to a person. As many times as you believe your soul mate is out there, is as many times your soul mate is forming and finding their way to you. Many people have great loves in their lives, not just one.

Allow yourself a little time to mourn the demise of a relationship, but write a reminder somewhere you can refer to that says when you’re ready and open, love is available to you. Dwelling in sadness only delays the recovery and the rediscovery of yourself in this life and of future loves to come. Don’t let unforgiveness of the person you once was in a relationship with slow down your momentum to a loving state of being with yourself, someone new, and old connections.

If you’ve ever tried to not think about something, then you likely know that it is almost impossible not to think about that very thing you’re trying to avoid thinking about. Deal with the feelings early and head on. Wallow, watch bad romantic comedies, cry, talk it out with friends and write in a journal. When you spend a little time mourning, remember there is a season for sadness and there is a season for moving. Take a trip, pick up a new hobby, or set up a regular volunteer activity to help move you into your new season of life and love. Don’t ignore your feelings, but don’t let them rule you or your life. Give yourself a break and have fun! Dating and making new friends is an adventure – the hunt for the love(s) of your life should be a good time, with a little contrast here and there. Isn’t that why we signed up for this thing called love and life anyway?

Finally, BE forgiveness. One of the qualities we want in our mates is the ability to forgive and humility. If those are qualities you want in others, make sure it’s something you have inside yourself as well. As a matter of fact, any trait you’d like to see in your partner, bring that energy into your own being right here, right now. BE the forgiveness. Appreciate – even if all you can think of is the negative in a person or situation. The negativity or adversity is only clarifying what it is you really want in your life, so have compassion for yourself and that person. Bless yourself and the other person by praying for you and them to be love and peace.

In relationships, there will be transgressions, arguments, and disagreements. A person who can quickly regroup and forgive is one that will succeed in life and love.

The cycle of forgiveness is necessary to keep mankind in love and in check. The moment you truly forgive, is the moment you are free from the prison of resentment. Forgiveness sets us all free, both the forgiven and the forgiving. The moment each of us wholeheartedly takes part in this beautiful cycle, the moment love blooms and dwells freely inside all of us.

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Spiritual Buoyancy in Turbulent Waters

Image courtesy of seaskylab, published on 06 October 2013 Stock Photo - image ID: 100206201, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of seaskylab, published on 06 October 2013
Stock Photo – image ID: 100206201, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

What does it take to be spiritually buoyant when the waves of life are choppy and turbulent? An influx of gratitude and an output of forgiveness. A knowing that all is truly well and suspending judgment of all situations and people.

These elements: gratitude, forgiveness, knowing, and suspending judgment are critical to maintaining a buoyancy or bounce back when the waves of life dunk you under for just a bit.

When you are going through something that is less desirable, remember to infuse gratitude for whatever is showing itself to you. Then, forgive yourself and others surrounding that situation. Know that all is well and that you were divinely guided to this moment. Finally, suspending or refraining from judgment, prevents labeling a situation or person as “bad” before seeing the good or even just looking at it/them from a different perspective.

Blessings come in many different forms and shapes. Oftentimes the “difficult” experience reveals the diamond in the rough that it was, as you glance at it in the rearview of life, while you are moving full steam ahead. In hindsight, you should be able to look back at a person or situation with loving gratitude and appreciation. Anything and everything that got you to this point in time IS A BLESSING.

We get in our own way when we block the flow of life, by not being grateful, being unable to forgive, forgetting the power of God and our own creative ability, and judging everything and everyone.  Being buoyant in turbulent waters is what keeps you afloat enough to move into alignment with the flow of life, with ease and grace. Even seemingly outside situations can feel stormy, but in time, you will be naturally buoyant, while others flounder and even drown in the stormy sea.

God designed us to be spiritually buoyant, but sometimes we forget how to be. Here’s how to remember: Gratitude, forgiveness, knowing and suspended judgment.

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

 

Applied Happiness 101

Image courtesy of gubgib, published on 29 December 2012 Stock Photo - image ID: 100129566, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Image courtesy of gubgib, published on 29 December 2012 Stock Photo – image ID: 100129566, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, published on 17 August 2012 Stock Photo - image ID: 10097414, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, published on 17 August 2012 Stock Photo – image ID: 10097414, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

I recently applied some techniques on how to be and stay happy, even through stressful times. I overheard my boss having a lengthy argument with an auditor on one of my arbitration files. After she got off the line, she came to my cubicle to tell me a newly hired auditor didn’t understand my arbitration arguments and gave me a poor audit.

In the past, this is something that would have instantly sent me into a tailspin. I’d have to first complain to coworkers over how wrong and unfair it was. I would then internalize it and question all my decisions after hearing that kind of news. Then, I’d slip into a funk for a few days. Meanwhile, the negative funk I’d find myself in would color my present and future experiences with negativity and doubt.

Yesterday, I chose not to go down the path of negativity and refrained from telling a woeful story to friends and co-workers. I remembered that one audit doesn’t define me as a person or an employee. I found solace in how my manager really went to bat for me, and I realized she knew the truth of who I am, so of course I needed to remember the truth of who I am. I prayed for God to reveal to me the jewels in the rough of this experience. I began to say affirmations, affirming the truth of who I am and why I’m here. I did allow myself a few moments to feel upset at the news. But, here’s where it got magical – I began to envision me being on the other side of the situation, smiling and at peace. I went home for the day and focused on other things.

Today, I went to my manager’s desk to thank her again for her support. She told me she met up with management and the head of auditing department yesterday. The head of the auditing department reviewed my manager’s concerns and they all agreed that my handling in the case was solid, but there were issues with the overall handling of the claim that didn’t involve me that had to be noted in the audit. As it turns out, it was a holistic review and not specific to just my handling. My manager said she knows how I take pride in my work product and that she had to fight for what’s right. She was able to get the auditors to see I creatively argued the case, considering what little evidence I had to work with. The auditors eventually raised the scoring up on the review. The auditors and management even have a bet on the outcome of the arbitration – loser buys the other lunch!

In those moments, I could instantly see the jewels.

Here are the jewels:

  • I learned my manager thought highly of me and my work and was ready to defend me – other managers may not do the same.
  • I learned I could choose how to feel in moments of disappointment. I prevented a tailspin that would take me days to recover from.
  • I didn’t overreact, which was critical, because in the past, I would blow up over audit results and it felt wonderful to keep my cool.
  • Had I overreacted, I may not have been in a place to appreciate what unfolded after yesterday’s news.
  • I could have started down the tract of my company doesn’t appreciate me, or that new auditor is a real pill, but today, it feels better to stay in the positive.
  • I remembered I AM a divine creature, and my peace is something to protect.
  • I deliberately created my future by envisioning how I wanted to feel the next day. The Universe obliged.
  • I remembered the truth. I remembered that audits are to show how we’re doing as a company and this reminded me to not take it personal and it really is for the good of our company.
  • Gratitude and appreciation goes a long way. I found what I could be grateful for in the moments following the news, and that helped me to remain in a place of allowing, instead of going into a place of resistance.

We have the power to always reclaim our happiness and peace. I have grown. Yesterday showed me that through prayer, affirmations and shaking the lies and negativity out of the situation, I was able to ride this wave, with ease and grace. I look forward to practicing more of the spiritual principles, because they really work!

~Your Curator of all things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Just Be and Let Others Be

– exploring ways to be present and non-judgmental in every circumstance and situation.

Happy balls

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, published on 04 November 2013, Stock Image – image ID: 100215277, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

When you remove the worry of the future and stop fretting and focusing on the past, you allow yourself and/or the person in your presence to grow up to a higher level of being, just by focusing on the present. Remember, our power lies in the Now. It is what we do and feel in the present that creates the future. Why hold on to past pains and hurts, just to carry it into the future?

When you remain focused on one’s less desirable qualities and the past hurts they’ve afflicted, you are placing your energy to that which you don’t want and living in the past.

Fundamentally, there is a loss of faith when one engages in not letting others be where they are in their journey. Or, not accepting where you are in your own journey.

Allow faith into your heart and trust that all things work out for the Greater Good. That state of being will wash over you and all who come into contact with you.

From a Law of Attraction standpoint, what you focus on is what you receive. If you are focusing on the negative in a person, then more of that will manifest on the physical plane. If you celebrate even the slightest of a positive attribute, more of that positivity will unfold into your experience.

People can change, moment to moment, but it will not be because you’re nagging, begging or fighting them into transition. People change when they are ready to change. That change can happen overnight, or it can take a lifetime or two.

You can always set the space and distance between you and that person, even if you’re married (or divorced and broken up). The space and distance I am referring to is not physical, but instead spiritual and emotional. No longer will you be the instigator of fights over change because you will accept them for who they are and where they are in their journey right now. Or, you will get to a point in your own journey where it’s time to grow on and upward.

If you find you can’t be around a person because their present state is not in alignment with where you want them to be, remember, they have a journey to walk, too. Your focus must ALWAYS be on where YOU want to be. All you can do is hold on to your peace and not lower your vibrational energy to the less desirable, but to maintain the knowing that you and all around you is rising up.

We hear the saying, “live and let live,” but are we doing this with our spouses, children, parents, exes, friends and co-workers? Or, are we sticking our judgmental noses in everyone’s business or up in the air in judgment? Let judgment go – it serves no one and it most certainly will not elevate. It only keeps the energy surrounding that relationship stagnant.

To be in the present means to focus on the very moment that is before you – not the past, not the future.

Infuse love in any and every situation. When you’re having a difficult time with a person or situation, ask yourself, “how can I bring love into this situation?” Love is the cooling salve that heals us all. Self love and Universal love has to be the center of your heart and your experience.

~Your Curator of all things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Thank you Mr. Mandela, for Teaching the Cycle of Forgiveness

Image courtesy of "Lonely Tree" by Evgeni Dinev, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of “Lonely Tree” by Evgeni Dinev, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

“As I walked out the door toward my freedom I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind, that I would still be in prison.”

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

-Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela passed away today, at the age of 95. Nelson Mandela’s life – long, fruitful, inspirational, fraught with pain and struggle, triumph and victory – is something we all should aspire to be. I thank him for all the teaching moments his life brought to my life and his spirit and legacy lives on forever.

Last week, I mentioned I would start having discussions with readers and today marks the first blog in this format. I’m reaching out to you, my readers, for discussions topics or questions to write in this blog and they can be from anonymous source. Email me at KimberlyJoCooley@aol.com.

Q. Can you share your thoughts about forgiveness? I’ve always heard how people chose to forgive someone who hurt them deeply in one way or another in order to help them move on. What does that mean and how do you accomplish it?

Letting go. Time truly heals many wounds but in the meantime, how can one work on letting go of a situation? Is it best to force yourself to not think about it, i.e. whenever the thought crosses your mind, change the subject so to speak? Or do you try to keep busy and occupy yourself so as to distract you?

How does one remain hopeful of love and marriage? Is there really truly somebody for everybody?

A. Forgiveness. Such a heavy proposition, isn’t it? Why should we have to forgive those who trespass us?

It’s just as much about you as it is the person whose being forgiven, if not more about you. Not forgiving holds us back, dims and dulls our life’s experiences, and drags us down.

Nelson Mandela’s first quote above is not talking about the brick and mortar prison he sat in for 27 years for anti-Apartheid activities. He’s talking about the prison of our minds – the bondage of holding in resentment. His quote can help us better understand the notion of forgiveness in relationships and how it is necessary for moving on to bigger and better love. If we cannot let go of the pain, bitterness, anger, and resentment, then we will never fully move into the present of the here and now. The here and now is freedom to love.

Resentment comes from a misunderstanding many of us have about a situation or person. We believe they have wronged us and we come to hate a person. Remember that you called this person into your life, or at the very least allowed that person to enter your sphere. Think about the reasons why they were in your life. Acknowledge and appreciate their good qualities you loved about them. And, thank God for showing you the qualities in them that you could very much live without. It is especially the parts of a person that hurt you that has the most to offer you – the relationship is gone and over, but you now learned a little more about yourself in terms of what you want and don’t want in a relationship.

Nelson Mandela had several loves in his life, including three wives. Each of those wives, he loved deeply and considered them partners and soul mates. Two of the three marriages ended in divorce. Winnie Mandela allegedly cheated on Mr. Mandela and was emotionally neglectful – yet, he found love again at the age of 77, and died a happily married man at the age of 95. I read that in divorce court, Nelson Mandela smiled at his soon to be former wife, Winnie, but she turned away. He was sorrowful and humbled during the divorce proceedings and he spoke of his love and appreciation for his wife. He knew there was no hope for their relationship, but he chose not to be mired in pain and resentment towards his ex-wife.

Mr. Mandela’s story tells us that soul mates can come in many different forms and times in our lives. There are some loves in your life greater than others because of the chemistry or attachment you have to a person. As many times as you believe your soul mate is out there, is as many times your soul mate is forming and finding their way to you. Many people have great loves in their lives, not just one.

Allow yourself a little time to mourn the demise of a relationship, but write a reminder somewhere you can refer to that says when you’re ready and open, love is available to you. Dwelling in sadness only delays the recovery and the rediscovery of yourself in this life and of future loves to come. Don’t let unforgiveness of the person you once was in a relationship with slow down your momentum to a loving relationship with yourself and someone new.

If you’ve ever tried to not think about something, then you likely know that it is almost impossible not to think about that very thing you’re trying to avoid thinking about. Deal with the feelings early and head on. Wallow, watch bad romantic comedies, cry, talk it out with friends and write in a journal. When you spend a little time mourning, remember there is a season for sadness and there is a season for moving. Take a trip, pick up a new hobby, or set up a regular volunteer activity to help move you into your new season of life and love. Don’t ignore your feelings, but don’t let them rule you or your life. Give yourself a break and have fun! Dating and making new friends is an adventure – the hunt for the love(s) of your life should be a good time, with a little contrast here and there. Isn’t that why we signed up for this thing called love and life anyway?

Finally, BE forgiveness. One of the qualities we want in our mates is the ability to forgive and humility. If those are qualities you want in others, make sure it’s something you have inside yourself as well. As a matter of fact, any trait you’d like to see in your partner, bring that energy into your own being right here, right now. BE the forgiveness. Appreciate – even if all you can think of is the negative in a person or situation. The negativity or adversity is only clarifying what it is you really want in your life, so have compassion for yourself and that person. Bless yourself and the other person by praying for them, too, to find love and peace in this life.

In relationships, there will be little transgressions, arguments, and disagreements. A person who can quickly regroup and forgive is one that will succeed in life and love.

The cycle of forgiveness is necessary to keep mankind in love and in check. The moment you truly forgive, is the moment you are free from the prison of resentment. Forgiveness sets us all free, both the forgiven and the forgiving. The moment each of us wholeheartedly takes part in this beautiful cycle, the moment love blooms and dwells freely inside all of us.

Many Blessings to you,

~ Everyday Spiritual Warrior, Kimberly Jo