The Scent of a Violet
It's Healthy Habit Hump Day once again! At first, I thought to write about another way to nourish ourselves with the "right" foods, but I kept getting a message from the Universe to explore forgiveness. I wasn't sure how that related to taking care of ourselves and then, it got really personal and I knew this was the "right" topic for this week.
To forgive: to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake; to cancel a debt
Usually we refer to forgiveness in the context of wanting or needing to pardon another person, yet how many of us have done something we regret (at the very least) and we cannot find it in our hearts to forgive ourselves? And, when that happens, how does it affect us, our relationships, our choices, our health? It's like the saying I once saw, "Exercise (or do any healthy behavior) because you love your body, not because you hate it.". If that's your reason to work out or pay attention to nutrition, you won't stick with it and you won't be happy with the results.
If I get caught up in a loop of shame and I can't forgive myself, I am only stuck back in that action or time of my life and I am not moving ahead in a healthy way. As much as it's important to say I'm sorry, it's also crucial to move beyond and resolve not to make those mistakes again. I used to say (and I probably even wrote a blogette about it!) that I had no regrets. That's not true and I now think it's important to regret something if it means learning how to do or be better and move forward. When I look back on regret, I'm (mostly) grateful that there was a lesson that helped me change some area of my life.
The American theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr said,
"Forgiveness is the final form of love."
If we don't forgive ourselves, we can't love ourselves either and this holds us back in our relationships with others, too.
Another quote from Paul Boose, in Chicken Soup for the Soul, states, "Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future."
If I am dwelling on something I wish I hadn't said or done in the past, I'm missing out on the present and closing myself off from an expanded, improved future.
My last and most favorite quote is from Mark Twain: "Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it."
What a charming and poignant image. When I blunder and demonstrate flawed thinking or action, if I am willing, I will find sweetness in the awareness of my error that allows me to make amends, grow and upgrade. Part of being healthy includes forgiveness, especially toward yourself. Be care-full.
Happy Healthy Hump Day,