I have always been someone who quickly forgives. Early in my life I thought this was because I was a wimp but I just felt better when I had resolved things and forgiven myself and/or the other person. I have never had the tendency to get mad at people. If anything, I would get sad at them. Which, many people have found to be more difficult to deal with. I have never been someone who holds on to anger or has a desire to get back at those who have wronged me and I have a hard time relating to those who do. I think when people have that "eye for an eye" mentality it's because of ignorance or emotional immaturity or there is something within them that they feel they themselves don't deserve forgiveness. When I was younger and my sisters and I would argue I felt, in that moment, I would never forgive them and our relationship would never be the same - but family is family and we always forgave. My mother and father are both people who forgive quickly and give the benefit of the doubt and I think this is something that I learned from them. This isn't to say that people don't lose their tempers (all of us) and say things they regret (me) but in our family there is no shame in an apology. My family definitely believes in turning the other cheek and giving people the benefit of the doubt. Our family does have its differences and disagreements but at the foundation of our family is unconditional love. I remember a time in my life when I made a mistake - what I thought was a BIG ONE - and I thought that my mom was going to be ashamed of me and never forgive me. When I finally told her what I had done she said "I love you no matter what. If you killed a man I would love you and stand by you. My love is unconditional.", now that is some serious love. I have come to recognize that not all people live their lives this way and I know that some people may even see our quickness to forgive as a weakness. They see that opening yourself up for hurt is a sign of vulnerability but I truly believe that it takes strength, integrity and a respect for self and for humanity to forgive. Forgiveness is not forgetting but it is believing that all people can learn and grow and be better then they have been before. I believe that a willingness to forgive and to show compassion is the only way to live a rewarding life. Through my studies in yoga I have learned a lot about myself and what I believe. I strongly align myself with the belief that when you forgive you are able to cultivate love for yourself and for others and to foster love in those around you. Showing forgiveness and compassion for others and yourself is the path to enlightenment. When you forgive, you are forgiven! Forgiveness means that you do not have negative feeling towards others and that you recognize that a person today is not the same person they were yesterday. Everyday we are different; we learn, we experience, we grow, we change. It doesn't mean that you don't take action but it means that you take action free of hatred and with emotional intelligence.
So the message today is practice forgiveness, compassion and love for yourself and your fellow man. We get one chance at this life and the more time we can spend living happily and peacefully the more enlightened our life can be. I will forgive Nick and hold no resentment toward him for opening a new tube of toothpaste before the old one was finished, man that bugs me, but life is too short and if that's the only thing I have to be upset about things are pretty darn good:) Love ya!!!!!!!