The Journey: Forgiving and moving on

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By SAMANTHA BRAZIE, Special to The Paper

Aloha, Paper readers! Spring is upon us, and isn’t it ah-mazing! Warm weather makes me think of traveling right on out to the beach. Vacations are a great way to get away (if only temporarily) from our problems, our worries and even the mundaneness in life. 

The last vacation I went on, I really got some time to actually sit with my thoughts and work through some issues I’ve carried with me for years and although it doesn’t sound like something one would want to do on vacation, it was actually pretty perfect timing. So this month’s column is going to be all about reflection. 

My friends, there is a huge gap between reflection and rumination. To me, reflection is giving serious thought on behaviors, situations and circumstances of some moment or time in life. Rumination is going over something repeatedly and sitting in that moment or time in your life. Reflection is learning life lessons, rumination is stewing in time. 

The tough part about reflection is to allow yourself to be open enough to be raw in your emotions and continue to feel all the feelings involved with that time of your life. I have honestly learned more from the most painful situations in my life than I ever have from the most happy. Having to run my electric stove to give my kids heat because we could not afford the gas bill 20 years ago is something I will never forget … and something I vowed would never happen again. Allowing myself to feel that and remember why I took the steps I did while my kids were younger to get out of poverty helps me to teach my kids those lessons so that hopefully they will never have to learn them for themselves. 

What I have learned is that healing from something does not mean you’re not vulnerable to reliving it. It just means you’ve forgiven yourself and whoever else was involved in the situation, and you are not beating yourself up anymore. And by the way – if you have not figured out how to forgive the other person, you are only hurting yourself, just in case you don’t realize that. Most of the time the other person has moved on and is not bothered at all by that past memory. 

When you refuse to forgive yourself or the other person, there is a piece of you that you are refusing to move on …  you are stuck in that time, ruminating. The past will always be there for you to reflect on and learn from … that is a fact. Let it go, shake free and move on. 

I can’t tell you how amazing it felt for me that once I realized I had been holding onto something for over ten years of my Journey, I had the ability to let it go. It was hard to feel those feelings again and go back to the vulnerable place I was once in, but once I saw what I had been doing to myself subconsciously and forgave myself and the other person – I felt free. A feeling I wish for every one of you. 

Until next time, friends. 

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