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One Very Important Thing You Want to Do Over and Over Again

“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I heard this great joke the other day that really had me laughing. There was a minister speaking to his congregation about the importance of forgiveness.

He explained that we all should forgive our enemies.

A little old lady raised her hand and asked, “But, what if you don’t have any enemies?” Of course, the minister was impressed and said to the congregation, “Isn’t it great? This woman has no enemies.”

He then called the old lady to the front of the church so everyone could learn from her.

He asked her, “Please tell us all how it is that you have reached the point where you have no enemies.”

And, the little old lady said … “I outlived every single one of the wenches”.

Isn’t that hilarious? Of course that is not really forgiveness and it’s definitely not clearing your anger and prioritizing your peace of mind over what someone has done to you.

However, that reminded me about how really important it is to forgive people as soon as possible and truly be able to move on with a great peace of mind.

I can think back to so many times where my peace of mind was not really my first priority and I would allow myself to get worked up by what people had done.

Even after I cooled off and thought I had finally forgiven someone, I really never cleared my mind completely of what they had done. I would make little mental notes in my mind about what they had done and tell myself that although I forgave them, I couldn’t forget.

I felt it was important to remember what someone had done so I could know what to expect from them in the future.

You know the good old expression, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”.

But, similar to the old lady, that isn’t really forgiveness.

That isn’t freeing your mind of anger, resentment and any other negative emotions.

“Forgiveness means that you do not carry the baggage of an experience.” Gary Zukav

It is not until you drop the “baggage”, that you really free your mind.

And, when you successfully have done this, you have prioritized your peace of mind over holding a grudge, even if it is justified and you have every right to be upset.

That is really how you avoid letting people take up space in your mind that you could and should be devoting to so many other things that are really important to you and deserve your attention (i.e. your family, your goals, your dreams, etc.).

Of course this doesn’t mean that you choose to spend your time with people that treat you badly and continually do things that need to be forgiven. For the most part, we all get to choose who we spend our time with and I believe in choosing wisely.

I am just saying that when someone does something that irritates or upsets you, the best thing you can do for yourself is forgive them as soon as possible.

And, I mean forgive anyone and everyone every chance you get.

Forgive people (even if they don’t apologize) for the completely terrible things they have done that hit you at your core. Forgive people for the “little things” too … the driver that wrongly cuts you off, the co-worker that sends you a rude e-mail, and the boss that is rude to you.

The sooner the better.

No thinking about all the reasons you can’t stand the person.

No need to complain to other people.

No allowing re-runs of what happened to run through your mind that just remind you why you were so mad.

Reclaim your peace of mind as soon as possible by forgiving them and move on.

Easier said than done, of course. Trust me, I definitely get that.

But, once you put your mind to something, you can do whatever you want and when you decide to free yourself of the baggage that comes along with resentment and anger, you are no longer weighed down.

You free yourself up to move forward, focus on what is most important to you, and live in the most amazing way.

how do you do it?

1. Make it a priority to forgive. Realize you have to find a way to forgive people that have wronged you and be willing to move on without any baggage or resentment. This is absolutely one of those very important lessons you are supposed to learn.

2. Do whatever you can to see them in a better light. Is there any benefit of the doubt you can give them? Anything at all will be a good start. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Perhaps they were hurt in the past and have issues that weigh them down and cause them to behave wrongly? Of course nothing is an excuse for bad behavior, but it could be one of the reasons behind their bad behavior. Try to understand people better and where they are coming from. Everyone has a story.

3. Commit to working on it everyday until you are certain you have forgiven them and cleared any baggage.

4. Remind yourself that there really is nothing more important than your own peace of mind. You need and want your mind to be as clear as possible. Don’t let someone else ruin that for you.

Live Today Better than Yesterday.