The issue of forgiveness has come up a lot lately for the people I work with. And in my experience there’s a huge misconception about forgiveness…
We tend to think it’s about letting the other person off the hook.
In fact, it’s the opposite.
It’s about letting ourselves off the hook. Letting go of that burden we’re carrying.
Forgiveness is an act for ourselves, not for the other.
I’ve practised, and been an advocate, for saying “no” for a good few years now.
Not only to bad and mediocre opportunities, but also to some good opportunities.
Saying “no” leaves you open and free for the great opportunities life has to offer.
But don’t we upset people when we say no?
Greg McKeown put it beautifully in his book “Essentialism : The Disciplined Pursuit of Less“…
“Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can earn you respect, but you may also lose popularity.”
What would you prefer to be? Popular or respected?
I can’t answer that for you. But do make sure you understand this trade-off.
Yesterday I spoke about the taboo of free time, and as we move into our own personal sovereignty we realise something else…
The world around us, the world of busyness sees a desire for more ‘space’ to be a backward step.
“Oh, you’re longing for days when life was easier… you’re trying to be a caveman…”
This is just more of the insanity and conditioning showing itself.
A step into mindfulness and relaxation and free time is a step forward.
It’s an intent to step through the process that isn’t working (busyness for the sake of busyness) and move towards that which serves us better – both individually and as a whole.
As the mindfulness movement gathers pace I realise that I’m not mad… I’m not the weird one… I was just ahead of the curve all these years, probably stemming from my ready acceptance of exploration (inner and outer).
Will you be one of the early adopters?
The world is slowly making itself insane, and it wasn’t until I stepped out of the insanity myself that I understood the size of the problem.
We have, somehow, successfully demonised and devalued the concept of ‘free time’.
We’ve been led to believe that our worth is linked to how busy we are… how many things we do, how many people we see, how many full hours we have on our calendar.
This is fine, and sure, it gets a lot of things done.
What it doesn’t do is give us any time to figure out if this is the stuff we should be doing; the stuff we want to do; the stuff that brings value and joy and meaning to our lives.
We’ve been conned into thinking we don’t get the luxury of free time, of time to cogitate, ruminate, relax. The truth is that it has been right in front of us the whole time.
What’s your biggest fear?
Is it worrying what people will think? It is losing the security you believe you have?
Our greatest gift often lies somewhere within that which we fear most.
A few years ago I bought a new watch. I bought it to replace the old one I had that wasn’t so smart.
Then I realised that I didn’t want to get my nice watch scratched or wet when I’m off on adventures so I bought a ‘stunt watch’.
It only dawned on me the other day that I didn’t actually used to wear a watch.
In fact, the only reason I owned a watch is because around 2010 I suddenly found myself being a wedding photographer and thought it would be wise to actually stick to the timings on the plan. I bought my watch on the way to my first wedding!
So what had I done in the following years?
I’d solved the problem of an old, shoddy watch with a new, shiny watch.
And solved the problem of a new shiny watch that I wanted to stay shiny with a ‘stunt’ watch.
At no point did I realise that the actual solution was “don’t have a watch again”.
Let’s be mindful, when we’re solving our problems, at what level we’re solving them. Are we looking at the surface, or going back to basics?
How often do we allow the past or the future to affect our thoughts, our feelings and our actions?
We fail to realise that both the past and the future are an illusion. We can do nothing in the past, nor in the future.
There is only one time we can ever do anything, and that’s now, in this moment.
Let’s not diet tomorrow, let’s not allow yesterday’s problems to hinder us, let’s not allow worry about the future to paralyse us…
Our life situation exists because of all the ‘nows’ up to this point. If we improve the quality of our ‘nows’, we improve our lives.
Let’s do the right thing, right now.