Monday, April 13, 2015

"Let It Go!"

I'm later writing this blog post than normal. I usually strive to compose these items in the morning when I'm freshest and tend to do my best writing. However, today has been a busy one and this is the first chance I've had to grab my laptop. =)

That being said, I'm actually grateful for some insights I've gained today. It's a theory I've pondered before, but today I saw a few more examples of what keeps seeping inside my little grey cells.

Have you ever thought about how often we're told about the importance of forgiving and letting go of hurtful things? It's an item mentioned repeatedly in the scriptures, and by mental health experts, doctors, scientists, etc. and so forth. We're told that forgiving others benefits us the most--that very often, those who have hurt us in whatever manner either don't care about what they've done or said, or they have already forgotten about what has taken place. They have moved on--leaving us behind to stew and agonize over whatever it was that happened.

Here's my theory: I suspect that part of why we're told to let go of things--to forgive others and move on, is so that we don't become miserable, bitter, and consumed by the past. Today I had a birds' eye view of people who are still so angry over past wounds that they can't see the beauty of the day. They are melancholy, disconsolate, and at times, angry. Their focus becomes centered on themselves, their pain, and they lash out at those around them, unaware of how unbalanced they've become.

It was frightening, today, especially in the case of one individual who followed me through a care center, sharing items from their past that I really didn't enjoy hearing. I had come to provide entertainment, and left feeling slightly shaken by what I had observed.

Bottom line, no one is perfect. We are all hurt in some way by others, either intentionally, or unintentionally. I'm just grateful that we don't have to judge--though we often do. ;) Someday, all things will be sorted out. Those who weren't in their right minds when trespasses occurred will be made whole. Those who were wounded as a result will be healed. But I suspect that our frame of mind will determine how happy we'll be both on this side, or the other side of the veil.

The happiest people I have ever known are those who constantly look for the good, and who try to keep things positive. Despite heartaches and hardships, they push on to help other people, and in serving others, they find the peace of heart they are seeking.

My maternal grandfather was a wonderful example of this. He suffered through numerous trials that included the death of his father while he was in the 8th grade, the tragic death of his own, 7-year-old son years later in a freak accident, not to mention a horrible car accident where he and my grandmother were seriously hurt by a drunk driver. Despite all of that, my grandfather loved life. He loved to laugh and he looked for the good in people, instead of dwelling on the bad. He reached out to others and he was always willing to lend a hand when there was a need.

He loved spending time with children, and some of my fondest memories are of the adventures we enjoyed  while fishing with our grandfather, or "helping" him with varied chores on his dairy farm. He was never too busy to spend time teaching us fun card games and always made us feel like we were important.

Though we were saddened when he passed from this mortal realm, I'll never forget the feeling of joy that was present during his funeral--it was more like a graduation ceremony. My grandfather left us quite a legacy to maintain. It has become one of my goals to emulate his example. I don't always succeed, but it's something I continuously strive to accomplish.

So here's my challenge today--stop dwelling on past wounds. Find a way to work through whatever has happened, and begin looking for the good things that still exist. On days when you're hurting, do something for someone else. Don't fall into the trap of focusing only on your pain--it will come back to haunt you. I suspect that if we don't take of things before our declining years, those negative emotions will eventually tear us apart.

To borrow from one of my favorite scriptures: " . . . all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things . . . and men are that they might have joy." (2 Nephi 2:24-25)

And to once again utilize a favorite quote: "Keep your face toward the sunshine and all shadows fall behind."
(Helen Keller)

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