What is Forgiveness Friday? A day to choose to forgive.
I have to let you know I picked Friday because it started with the letter “F”, the same as forgiveness. I could have picked any other day of the week, but the more I thought about it, Friday WAS the perfect day, and not just because it started with the same letter. It IS the perfect day, because it’s the end of the week, and the day before the weekend arrives. So – what better day to unload your anger, your poison, your hurts, your frustrations, than Friday. Forgiveness Friday! Those of you know me well, know that I am all about forgiveness. I eat, breathe, and sleep forgiveness. It is one of the most important things you will ever do in life, and learn in life. Forgiveness helps us grow. Forgiveness helps us love. Forgiveness helps us move on. Forgiveness allows us to feel joy again. Forgiveness heals. And guess what. It is the ONLY thing that will heal your pain and hurts. Nothing else will. Apologies can help, but it is YOU choosing to forgive, and sometimes even CHOOSING to forgive without an apology that will heal you completely.
FORGIVE EVERY FRIDAY
This post is to encourage you to get rid of your junk, your poison bottles that have been filling up all week. I wrote in another post that every time someone hurts you, a bottle of poison is filled up. The jar might still have room, but by the third day of the week, that poison bottle caused by your boss is now brimming to overflowing. It’s time to drain out the poison, and throw away the bottle. Every Friday, get into a habit of sitting down, and reflecting on your week. Think of the good times. Think of the memorable times. And then bring to mind those who offended you. If needed, write down a list of names. And then one by one – choose to forgive that person. Why? Because it’s better to get that anger and resentment OUT of your body, so that you don’t let hurt fester. Once you have forgiven each person on your list – rip up that piece of paper and throw it out.
TO FORGIVE OR NOT
Everyone has a choice, to forgive, or not forgive. There are many angry, hurt people out there who will remain stubborn and refuse to forgive, but what they don’t realize is that they are only harming themselves. Forgiveness is for you, so you can move on with your life. Forgiveness is for you, so you can move on and heal. Forgiveness cleans out your heart of hatred, and lets you love. Forgive for your own sake. I hope those of you who are still mad will be willing this year to let go of that pain. Don’t keep carrying it around year after year, because it gets heavier the more time goes on.
FORGIVE AND FORGET
I have seen so many quotes that say “I’ll forgive you, but I’ll never forget”. Well, there is some truth in that. We don’t just magically “forget” things that happened to us that caused us deep pain. The point of forgiving and forgetting means you don’t keep bringing up the past. You don’t NEED to visit the pain. Once you’ve dropped it off, it should be gone. Your pain and anger shouldn’t be stored in your closet in a box, to be pulled out once a week, or once a month to re-live all over again. Yes, the past is the past, but it is not a place where we need to go visit and unpack for a week or two. Sometimes people unpack for years, and it’s so incredibly sad. Everyone can forgive, it’s all in your mind. Boss your mind around, and choose to forgive. It really is that easy. You can decide to do something even if you feel it’s too hard. Make the decision, and do it.
FORGIVE YOUR FRIENDS
It doesn’t matter how old we get, we can still hurt one another’s feelings. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes without realizing it. What we also need to do is develop some thicker skin, and not always take things personally. However, if we DO hurt someone else, then we need to apologize, and ask forgiveness. And more importantly – if a friend has hurt us, we need to tell them, so they can respond. It may not always be an apology, but at least they know what they did or said to hurt you. Don’t just start ignoring that person, or give them the cold shoulder, and then complain bitterly about them to all your friends. Take responsibility, and talk with them yourself. Sort it out. Be honest. Don’t let your pride get in the way. Keep your friends, and apologize and forgive when needed.
FORGIVE THOSE WHO INSULT YOU
You may work with someone who insults you. You may work in retail where there are many many many many many (did I say MANY?) rude people who seem to think it’s okay to be insulting. No matter who it was, or where it happened, make a conscious decision to forgive them. It’s better to say it out loud, and get it off your chest than to keep your hurt bottled up. Don’t talk about the rude people, or what they said to you to everyone you meet, or friends you visit next week. There isn’t any need to keep rehashing painful experience. Just release it – and forgive them. Give them the benefit of the doubt that they aren’t usually rude, but were having a bad day and so they took it out on you. Remember, hurting people hurt others, that’s the truth.
FORGIVE DRIVING JERKS
Yup, there are a lot of inconsiderate drivers out there. You are going to encounter this almost every time you are out on the road. You might have a great week where the drive is fantastic, but one day, on some road (or highway) WHAM! The jerk or a$$hole will appear. Choose to forgive them. Don’t let their stupid actions affect your day. Choose not to get mad. Choose ahead of time how to react. I know I’ve honked sometimes when I’ve been really annoyed, and sometimes the ‘ole hand slips up with the bird. But does it make you feel better? No. It’s confrontational to yell and swear, and finger people, even if they can’t hear you. It’s better for YOUR health, if you choose ahead of time how to react to road jerks. Decide they were in a hurry because they were going to be fired if they were late one more time, and then you will be able to have empathy for them, instead of disdain. Seriously. Have you ever been in a hurry, and driven improperly? I’m guilty. I’ve been a jerk driver. So switch the script and allow that jerk to be a jerk driver. If he/she does it every day – eventually they will pay the price. But for those who are genuinely late, and don’t usually drive that way, cut them some slack. And on Fridays? Forgive those drivers that cut you off all week, or didn’t merge properly, or drove too slow. Forgive them!
FORGIVE THOSE WHO IGNORE YOU
One of the best things I can say about that is – don’t make assumptions about why people don’t call you back right away, or text. Most people are very busy, and EXTREMELY busy if they have families. If you feel ignored, it might be that they haven’t read your email yet, or seen your text. You can’t just jump to the conclusion you are being ignored. Phones die. Chargers go missing. Not everyone is connected 24/7. Okay, some of you are, (definitely not me) but really, give people time. For those who really ARE being ignored and you know you aren’t imaging things, then you need to go talk with that person. If you can’t, send an email. If you can’t? Let it go. And choose to forgive that person. They might have a reason why they are not ready to respond to you. But on Friday – choose to forgive that person, and let it go.
FORGIVE THOSE WHO CALL YOU NAMES
It is never okay to call someone names, even if they deserve it. Now, I have to hang my head a little here. I have resorted to name calling myself when my buttons were pushed. It’s not an excuse, it’s an explanation. I haven’t always remained calm in an argument. When I’ve been pushed to the brink, I have lost it, and uttered some pretty nasty swear words that I’m not going to repeat here. This is again a reminder that we need to decide what to do when we lose our cool. I obviously need to stop, walk away, and think about it, before I have instant regret. You cannot take back your words. It doesn’t matter if you were justified in your anger, what comes out of your mouth, you are responsible for. Some of us fail at this all the time. Well, then maybe some anger management courses would help. Some people call others names and they are not even angry. Well, that kind of person is just – MEAN! Oh dear. If you are in a habit of calling people names behind their back, or even to their face, please stop. It does so much emotional damage. We all want to be liked and loved. Calling someone a name HURTS to the core. Never forget. Remember – treat others how you would like to be treated. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to be called names, so please extend that courtesy as well. Fridays – forgive that person who might have called you a name this week.
FORGIVE YOUR PARENTS
Any kids reading this post – or even any adults, we also need to forgive our parents. Just because they are our parents doesn’t make them automatically right. Parents are not perfect. They make mistakes. Some make terrible mistakes. Some are abusive. Some are wonderful. Some are mean. But whatever kind of parent you have, and no matter what age you are, you can learn to forgive. Until kids grow up and have more life experience, they will have no idea of what parents go through, or what it’s like to be in a marriage relationship. So – no judgements on your parents. Just learn to love them, and forgive them. When you are an adult and your parent still hurts you, or insults you, or tries to control you, learn to set boundaries, and forgive them. There is nothing worse than harboring anger in your heart towards family. Family is difficult, oh yes it is. But we can learn to love, if we learn to forgive. Love shouldn’t depend on behaviour. Love is a choice, remember that!
FORGIVE YOUR SPOUSE/PARTNER
Sadly, sometimes it’s our spouse who we need to forgive the most. Not all relationships are perfect or wonderful, some have some pretty rough times with their significant other. We need to learn to talk with one another. If you can’t talk, then it’s time for counselling. Don’t let your marriage disintegrate because of buried hurt and pain. Your marriage will never survive years of suppressed anger or frustration. I would suggest regularly having a chat about things every week. Tell your hubby what bothered you during the week. Tell your wife why you are feeling frustrated. Tell your hubby that you need him to help you more. Tell your wife that you really do need affection. Whatever it is, whomever it is, you both need to talk. And listen. And talk. And listen. And forgive. If you get used to talking about what is really bothering you, you will be able to resolve it. Remember, you are together for a reason. Love. You chose to love one another. So – do the best thing you can do – and choose to forgive your spouse on Fridays! Don’t let a week filled with frustration endure any longer.
Yup, you need to forgive yourself. You will know what you did. Your conscience will prick you. And even if your conscience didn’t prick you, you will know what you did wrong during the week. You may have lost your temper at your kids. You might have snapped at your spouse. You may have given a co-worker a dirty look. It’s in your best interests to apologize to those people, and then forgive yourself too. Remember, you’re not perfect, you will never be perfect, but you can strive to be a better person! And what do better people have in common? They are trying! Don’t become your own worst enemy by beating yourself up with the should haves, the could haves, and the would haves. Let it all go. The past is gone, you can’t change it. So, let your week go, and practice forgiving yourself for your own failings.
FORGIVE WITHOUT AN APOLOGY
Some people struggle with apologizing. Of course, it is usually just pride, but some have more pride than others, making it next to impossible to admit they were wrong, or <gasp> apologize. We need to realize that everyone is so different, we all have our own personalities. Some find it easy to forgive, some find it hard. It’s okay if you are one of the ones who finds it hard. You can learn to forgive, it just might take more time, but you can do it. We have to be careful that we don’t paint everyone with the same brush. Everyone has choices, but not everyone is capable of making the same important choices. Some of us are introverts. Some of us are extroverts. Does this influence our ability to forgive and apologize? Yes it does. But the bottom line is: if we want peace and harmony in our life, and if we want to be able to love ourselves and others, then we need to learn to forgive those who never apologize to us.
CHOOSE TODAY TO FORGIVE ON FRIDAYS
Make it a goal to set time aside every Friday to forgive those who hurt you, or made you mad. Dump out those poison bottles you’ve been carrying around. Get rid of the bottle, so you can’t fill it up again. Choose ahead of time how you will react when someone hurts you. Choose your thoughts. Choose to show love, and show kindness even when someone is behaving like a jerk. Choose to show love and self restraint. Choose to never swear or finger anyone. Reality says that we can’t do this all the time, we will have meltdowns, or lose it, but you know what? If you choose your thoughts, you will most likely act on them. So – focus on forgiving. Learn how to forgive, learn why you should forgive, and choose to get rid of your anger and hurt every Friday. It will change your life!
FORGIVENESS IS A CHOICE WITH YOUR MIND, NOT YOUR HEART
Choose today to FORGIVE EVERY FRIDAY!