My life is a story about overcoming rape, tragedy, abandonment, rejection, murder and then at age 64 given a “death sentence,” after being diagnosed with an incurable lung disease and given six months to live. Today I am the happiest that I have ever been in my life.
So how did I find happiness? I learned that you can choose to have happiness by making up your mind to be happy, instead of choosing to dwell on the past.
The difference between being positive instead of being negative is critical in changing attitudes, and attitude is a major factor affecting happiness. When we dwell on the past, we can’t see any opportunity for finding happiness that might be knocking on our door.
We must learn to forget the past, we can’t change it, and instead choose to forgive it through the act of learning to have total forgiveness in our hearts.
When we dwell on the future to try to correct problems, we fail to have any impact on our life. We need to concentrate on the present, which is the only thing that we can do something about. In learning to be grateful for our many blessings, we began to receive more blessings.
After I was cured of my incurable lung disease, I found that I was so grateful and wanted to pay it forward by helping others to find hope and possibilities of being helped as I had been helped.
I had to understand what forgiveness was, that it requires making a decision about letting go of bitterness, anger, resentment, and revenge and understanding that who or what hurt you may always remain a part of your life but that you can still learn to forgive those people. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you justified what they did, but that you are forgiving that person without excusing the act.
Forgiving may also help you to understand better the person or situation that hurt you and help you to have compassion and possibly learn that in some situations that the person wasn’t even guilty of what you thought. It can change your life by bringing you a kind of peace to be able to go on with your life.
In holding on to our anger against someone, we aren’t affecting that person; we are only hurting ourselves.. Forgiveness has to become a total commitment to change ourselves. We have to make a decision to do what is necessary to forgive others. It is a choice that we must make.
Another benefit of forgiveness is freedom. Freedom is what I feel in my heart after so many years of torment. Forgiveness is a slow process that may require a lifetime of forgiving.
“The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes their way.”
“The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.”