We are all dying. As each day passes we take a step closer to our death. Quite morbid I know, but I'm making a point, how would we change our behaviour if we truly acknowledged how precious our days are?
How often do we see, whether it's in the movies or real life, people waiting until they are on their death bed before they forgive others and also themselves?
Each day is a new day but how many of us take the hurt and the pain from previous days into each new day? Whether it's friends or family letting you down, or something you have done that you are not proud of, or perhaps it's something you should have done but didn't - so many of us continue to give ourselves a hard time and carry on punishing ourselves and others for past mistakes.
We have the opportunity to start over, to continue to work at being the person we want to be but we carry all the baggage of past hurts and keep ourselves stuck. By staying angry at those that have hurt us, we continue to allow them to have a hold over our emotions. How many of us have given others the silent treatment in an attempt to punish them for the hurt we are feeling? Only then to be disappointed that they didn't even notice!
We let pride and vanity get in the way, our egos don't like to admit when we've got things wrong, but every single one of us makes mistakes, we are human after all. We know we are not perfect, yet why is it we expect others to be perfect? You might argue that you don't, but when we don't forgive others for the mistakes they've made it suggests we do. Perhaps the biggest thing that you struggle with is to forgive yourself, maybe you've set such high standards that anyone including you would struggle to meet them.
On October 6th, 2006 I lost my father in a car accident. He was largely absent from my life growing up and whilst we weren't particularly close, the shock of his untimely death still hit me hard. The fragility of our lives became so clear.
I learned about forgiveness the hard way, I was angry at my father for abandoning me, again, and for not getting the chance to really know him. There were so many things I wish I had the chance to ask him or understand more but I knew I'd never get that chance now that he was gone. I had to forgive him for all the things he did do and all the things he didn't. I had to forgive myself too for all the regrets I had, for the actions I hadn't taken but wished I had.
Intrinsically we know how precious our life is but I think we forget from time to time. We allow all the small things to get in the way, our egos start calling the shots again rather than our souls.
Forgiving does not make you weak or a door mat for those that have wronged you. Forgiveness is a gift - a gift of freedom. Freedom to live your life without the shackles of the past holding you down, freedom from others having a hold on your emotions, freedom to live in the present moment and to remember how precious each and every breath you take truly is.
Tomorrow is the start of a new year, and whilst each and every day is an opportunity for a new beginning, take the end of this year as a symbolic marker to start over. Give yourself and others the gift of forgiveness and make peace with all that is around you.
From my heart to yours - wishing for your 2018 to be a year filled with love, laughter and happiness.
Credit for thumbnail image - Thanks to photographer Gerome Viavant.