Many people are angry and depressed. We blame others for the condition of our lives. If we are stressed, it’s because someone or something has “done us wrong” – one of our friends, someone in our family, or the situation at work or home. We look outward to find a reason for the way we feel instead of looking within.
We may intellectually know that happiness can only be generated from within but we live in a culture where outward appearance and right to expression are highly prized and valued. We “have a right” to say and do as we please and we are proud of that right. Yet when our actions yield less than positive results, we are quick to disown those same actions and displace our internal distress upon outside influences. Rather than admit that we chose to act in a certain way, we rationalize and justify our actions until we can believe that the consequences are not our responsibility.
Over time our sense of self is betrayed by this ongoing game of delusion. We lose sight of our internal voice. We spend an inordinate amount of time ruminating about the negativity in our lives. This deepens feelings of anger, depression, self-doubt and fear, resulting in a sense of helplessness and lack of control.
One of the greatest and most difficult lessons in life is learning to forgive. Forgiveness is an integral part of living a life filled with happiness. First forgive yourself. Each of us makes mistakes. Forgive yourself. And practice the yoga of making mistakes. We learn from our mistakes. They are blessings in disguise, but only if we can see them fully and let them go. Forgive yourself and learn the lesson.
Forgiveness not only acknowledges the fallibility of our own actions, but can then be truly extended to the actions of others. Until we can forgive ourselves and others we will continue to harbor a negative force that destroys our inner peace and creates imbalance in our lives. Forgiveness allows us to move onward – to be in the present and not in the past. In the present a sense of control over the negative influences in life can be gained.
We are responsible for our own actions and reactions to life’s events. No one makes you angry or unhappy. You do that to yourself. In forgiveness comes the realization that all beings suffer and that all beings seek happiness. Forgive yourself. Forgive others.