Thursday, January 17, 2013

I choose to forgive

by Louise Jensen

“Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself”.
I have just had a horrible experience.
Going out with my son for the first time in his new car (he has just passed his driving test) we parked in a disabled bay (using my eligibility badge) only to have a complete stranger come and shout at us aggressively that we shouldn’t be there.
I don’t “look” disabled apparently and if I was I would be unable to stand at all.
He then started taking photos of us and of the car and filming us. His idea was to intimidate and to a point, it worked. I wanted to remove my son from the situation as quickly as possible. Naturally he was upset knowing what I have been through health-wise and wanted to stick up for me.
So what can you do when someone intentionally tries to ruin your day.
I had various options. I could have shouted back, tried to justify myself, let my son deal with him, got upset or, as I have in the past, felt ashamed of my disability and let an experience like this put me off going out at all.
Instead I choose to forgive him. Yes he was rude, misinformed, judgemental and ignorant but this will have a greater impact on him throughout his life, far greater than he had on mine today.
Forgiveness ensures that I can let this experience go and not harbour any negative feelings surrounding it. It was unpleasant but no amount of lamenting can change it. By forgiving this man I am also forgiving myself for not reacting in a different way. I know that not dwelling on what I could of or should have done or said is far better for my emotional and physical health.
Holding on to anger and bitterness will, eventually manifest itself physically. By embracing forgiveness I am also embracing love, peace and all things good. Leaving me free to continue travelling along the road to healing unhindered.
It is a shame that people aren’t always as compassionate and open as we would hope them to be. All I can continue to do is to treat people with the same love and respect I would like to be shown.
Be kind. Always.
Louise xx

Louise Jensen is an award winning holistic therapist. A regular writer, Louise has overcome living with a disability and has 12 years of experience helping others to heal. Louise recently co-created The Happy Starfish, an online community dedicated to celebrating health, happiness and peaceful living.

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