Forgiveness is a healthy activity

We have a happiness engineer at my company.  Yep, Regina Getz-Kikuchi holds this title in our office and everything I’ve seen from her tells me she owns it.  Our company is a better place because of her and because the leadership knows how to value what she offers and invests and supports her in her mission.  Bare with me for a few hundred words and we’ll connect how forgiveness makes us happier and healthier.

Regina makes sure that there is a steady stream of amazing individuals who come in for brown bag talks over lunch in our California office.  Let me just laugh a little out loud at the concept of brown bag lunches in our company where there is a catered food line daily with the healthiest food that will make everyone including vegans, vegetarians, carb watchers and gluten free types satisfied.  I’m not sure brown bagging it would even been green in this case.  Back to the speakers, Regina coordinates these amazing individuals and she video tapes them with nice equipment and microphones so future Inflectionites and those remote employees like me can enjoy the presentations as well.

This month Inflection hosted Dr. Fred Luskin who is a professor at Standford teaching the benefits of being Happy.  I watched his talk and he said some interesting things.  Such as we are predisposed to think of negative things if we don’t train ourselves to find positive things.  We like to complain!  So those people who we find that are always happy, it’s not an accident, they work to maintain that outlook.

So where does forgiveness factor in?  I cut out an article from my Oprah magazine to use in a blog and here is where it fits as it is Oprah’s definition of forgiveness.  Oprah says that forgiveness is letting go of believing the past will change.  I had to read that a few times before thinking and realizing that when I’m angry at someone or something I still in my mind want it to be different.  I’ll play out in my mind how things would play out if the event had been different.  But when I come to grips that it’s not going to change and accept what has happened, then I’m ready to forgive.

Dr. Fred mentions that carrying the burden of un-forgiveness creates a great amount of stress on us.  Imagine that this person who causes you the grief now continues their reign of destruction on us even after the event.  How much damage do we do to ourselves by not forgiving the person who has the most to gain, us?

I’ve on the “let it go” bandwagon.  I’ve forgiven a lot.  I won’t forget entirely but I certainly no longer dwell on things any longer.  When folks came to visit my mom in hospice, some couldn’t accept all the forgiveness she had given them.  This reminds me that we don’t have to be asked for forgiveness to give it and we don’t have to accept it when it is offered.  We are truly in control of our own emotions if we accept that responsibility.

This means that our health is ours to own, stress is ours to carry if we lug it around.  Consider the anger that you may hold.  Is it worth is.  What virtual weight could you lose if you allowed yourself to accept what happened and not wish it would change.  Can you let the other person own that error and just move on with your life.  It may be that simple.

Let it go.  Keep calm and carry on.

Cheers – Michelle