I’ll be spending my very first Christmas away from home, it’s sad, yes… but it also gave me the time to think about what happened to me before I decided to go far away from home… Did I go here because I wanted to or am I escaping from something else? I was unsure of what my answer to this question is at first… but after all the thinking and reflecting and some couple of sleepless nights wondering why… I came up with an answer… I came here because I wanted to, even before the failed relationships, the disappointment for not passing the exam, I saw myself here, where I am right now… It’s silly of me to even think that way… sometimes I think too much! haha
And since it’s Christmas season, unfortunately I missed my first simbang gabi because I was sick… and I am sick til now… and it sucks that I can’t go out because it’s to cold. but then again, I had the chance to attend the Friday evening mass, and I love the way how the priest say his homily… and in his homily he asked this question: “Can you really forgive and forget?, or is there such thing as forgive and forget?”… Well, God says forgive and love your enemies… easy to say, hard to do… The first thing that popped in my mind was it was easy for him to say because he’s perfect… and I am not… so it’s sooo hard for me to do… He even mentioned 8 ways on how to do it… well it’s easier said than done, even he admits that he is having a hard time doing it… but IT CAN BE DONE.
1. Say a Prayer
This is the main thing or should I say the most important thing to be done… Whenever angry feelings about a person who’s harmed you enter your mind, tell yourself: “We are all good, loving souls who occasionally get lost.” Pray for this person to find their way back to a happier place…
2. Focus on Gratitude
Resist seeking happiness from the outside in. Instead, focus on gratitude exercises to bring happiness from the inside out. If you allow your self-image to be at the mercy of unpredictable events and unreliable people, your happiness will be forever on a chaotic roller coaster ride! Happiness must always be an inside joy! When you are tempted to focus on all the ways the world has done you wrong, instead count your blessings by making a list of the five aspects of your life that you appreciate. It is good practice to purposefully end your day this way to keep focused.
3. Look for the Lesson
Like many Buddhists consider huge difficulties to be a sign you’re an old soul—the bigger your misfortunes, the closer you are to enlightenment. Whether you believe this or not, it’s certainly cheery to re-frame all your life’s bad events as tests of your character. If you feel particularly tested right now, ask yourself what the heck you’re being tested for! Patience? Compassion? Resilience? Forgiveness? Open-mindedness? What strengths must you develop further? Now consciously go out there and develop them!
4. Maintain Perspective
If you’re going through a challenging time, remind yourself that this specific event is merely a part of your life—not your “whole” life. Consciously keep this “slice of life” perspective, and don’t let the event overwhelm you. ALWAYS say, “The best is yet to come!”
5. Learn the Lesson
Develop a “student not victim” mentality. Vow not only to disentangle yourself from emotionally harmful situations, but also to consciously avoid similar situations in the future.
6. Let Go of Resentment
Keep in mind: “Resentment is the poison you swallow hoping the other person will die.” Recognize that when you resent someone, you are not only hurting yourself, you’re also giving this person control of your emotions—and you don’t want to give this person buboes!
7. Stay Centered
Recognize that when you respond with hate to hate, anger to anger, bitterness to bitterness, you are ironically becoming part of the problem. Choose to resist becoming like them and instead put in the conscious effort to remain a loving, soulful, happy person.
8. Get Revenge Positively
Contemplating revenge? The best kind of revenge is living a successful, happy life. If you train yourself to consistently be more loving in thoughts and actions, your energy will attract more positive people and positive results. As Albert Einstein said, “You can’t solve a problem by staying in the same energy in which it was created.” To stay focused on highly positive thoughts, repeat this meditation ritual throughout the day: “Love, forgiveness, letting go, peace.”
Like what I said, easy to say… hard to do! But I remember this certain person, I thought he was the one until he betrayed and really hurt me… at first I was really mad at him, I didn’t wanna see him, I didn’t even wanna hear his name and all… but I didn’t want it to end that way, so with a heavy heart, I let him go… not because I wanted to, but because I have to… before he went away, we decided to be friends, we forgave and ask each other for forgiveness and up until now we are still friends… as time goes by, I thought, if I see him with someone else I would feel sad and jealous and think “that should have been me…”, but surprisingly, when that day came, I felt nothing… I was even glad to see him with someone else and happy… I don’t know why I acted that way, but I really am happy for him, despite of what happened to us, I couldn’t even remember those moments… well maybe because I finally accepted that we are really not for each other… Does that count in the category of forgive and forget? 🙂