Forgiveness is something that must often be taught to be implemented in life. Forgiveness is something we must teach our children and grandchildren, without a doubt. If you know how to forgive, then you have the ability to soar! Forgiveness enables you to let go of the weight and ill feelings you carry and allows you to be free.
Forgiveness is more than an act for another person, it is also an activity for yourself. Forgiveness can be done without forgetting how you were hurt or wronged, and it can allow you to move forward with your own life and happiness.
Harboring resentment and holding onto negative feelings disrupt your entire life. By forgiving, you allow yourself to open up and move forward in peace, light, and harmony.
What Hawaii Taught Me
I have my faults but holding a grudge is not one of them. I know the burden of carrying anger within is not productive. And truth be told, I usually cannot remember why I was angry!
Our positive and negative experiences under 50 correlate with how we handle our anger after 50. Think back for a moment and reflect on situations that gave you angst. I encourage you to look for a silver lining.
Two words to hold in your hands are forgiveness and compassion.
Forgiveness and Compassion
I was a young Jewish girl in a predominantly Christian community. Unlike my friends, my family celebrated different holidays and customs. I never felt like I belonged. I tried, but I could never rid myself of the feeling of being a bit set apart. I had a few uncomfortable experiences growing up in Kankakee, but on average it was not my community’s fault.
Feeling as I did for 12 years in school in Kankakee by the Sea turned out to be a blessing for many reasons. Forgiveness and compassion became two of my best friends.
I know why I turned my school experiences into compassion for others – because I hurt at times. As I matured, I learned to listen and understand other people’s hurts and found it made me happy to be kind and compassionate. I learned to forgive through the ritual of positive conversation.
I don’t know why so many people nurture anger. If you are angry, please reflect on your past and the positive lesson(s) you took away from the experience and forgive. It is never too late to send a note or make a call and say, I am sorry. You will be giving yourself a gift!
The Hawaiian Islands
The Hawaiian Islands are called by the people, The Land of Aloha, The Land of Love. Aloha means, “I see the divine in you and I see the divine in myself”.
I loved living with my family on the island of Oahu in the beautiful city of Honolulu. The city has a diverse culture with one million people surrounded by the Pacific (peace) Ocean with an aroma of salt air, sandy beaches, palm trees, orchids, and a thriving metropolis for shopping and entertainment.
My family was grateful to live in paradise.
I recall my first trip on Highway 1, the name given to the road because it was the only highway on the island! I smile as I think back on that day. I honked my horn and was immediately reprimanded by a man in the car alongside me. He rolled down his window and in a kindly voice said, “You must have just moved to the Island. We don’t honk our horns here. It is rude. It is not the aloha spirit.” I thanked him and apologized.
That was the lifestyle on the island. People were polite, and not pretentious, and the Sea and nature, with their calming effect, led to a casual and stress-free lifestyle. In other words, living on the island brought out the best in a person because the environment played an important role. I miss Hawaii. My children consider Hawaii home. My first grandchild was born in Honolulu.
On one of our trips to Honolulu, my ultimate concierge and I were remarried by a Kahuna, a high priest and the guardian of wisdom and knowledge. The Kahuna teaches that wisdom comes from doing for others rather than knowing what to do. This was the message of his sermon when we remarried on the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean on the Island of Maui. It remains in my memories as one of the happiest days of my life.
The Four Tenets of Forgiveness
Darlings, I know we are all deeply connected despite our differences, regions, cultures, languages, politics, families, lifestyles, and more. I understand that the key to a happy life is healing the past, mending relationships, and moving forward with a smile.
One of my favorite books, Ho’oponopono, is a revolutionary guide about the Hawaiian ritual of forgiveness. I truly believe it is a book everyone should read! Imagine how much happier the world would be if we all allowed ourselves to find peace in forgiveness – both as the forgiver and the forgiven.
Ho’oponopono describes and elaborates on the Four Tenets of Forgiveness:
- I am sorry
- Please forgive me
- I love you
- Thank you
Even if you are carrying the weight of a heavy burden you aren’t ready to forgive yet (although I encourage you to find a way to), I know that if you implement these Four Tenets in your life you will find yourself lighter, freer, and happier. Then, by default, you will be able to find forgiveness to be an easier aspect of your life.
When a person does something for another person they feel joy. That is the Aloha spirit. That should be all of ours.
With forgiveness comes freedom. Be free, my darlings.
How do you encourage yourself and others to forgive? What is a time you found forgiveness to be difficult? I’d love to hear about it. Let’s chat in the comments below.