Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Walk in the Woods - A Story of Forgiveness and Moving On

Forgiveness and moving forward from negative experiences are the only ways to find happiness.

A Walk in the Woods – A Story of Forgiveness and Moving Forward

By Doe Zantamata

Imagine you went for a walk in the woods one day. You had no cell phone, no map, and there were many different paths to follow. After walking for awhile, you decide to start back home, and you see a person and ask them which path you need to take. They tell you, and you follow the path that they told you with certainty. Awhile later, you realize that was not the right path, and it’s getting dark.

What do you do?

Do you:

  1. Blame that person, and stay where you are, cursing them in the darkness?
  2. Try to go back the exact way you came, a mix of many different paths, all of which would take forever to get you to where you need to be?
  3. Calmly move forward, trusting your intuition on which path is the right one. Even if it’s not, you won’t know that until you take some steps forward. The first one that you take may not be the right one…it may take a few tries, but you can always take another path if that one proves to be wrong, too.
Your life is the walk in the woods.

You do not have a map, and at times, people will come into your life who you trust, but who will lead you down wrong paths. Not forgiving them is like standing still in the dark woods. Even if it’s 100% their fault for where you are because you trusted them and they were not trustworthy, it still does you no good to stand there and blame them. You could stand there for the rest of your life, or you could look around, see where you are today, and move forward.

If you were to see another person or people in the woods, it would also not be a good idea to not even bother ask them which is the right path. They may know, or they may not, but just not trusting anyone because of that one who led you down the wrong one would likely hurt you more than help you. Again, the same goes for life. Many people have their trust broken badly with one person, then feel like they cannot trust anyone. In reality they cannot trust that person, but all other people had nothing to do with that person or experience, and should not be punished for things they didn’t do.

Forgiveness just means to let go of resentment toward a person or event. If you still have resentment, it clouds your thinking and does not help you in life or in future relationships. If you focus on today, your life, and the people in it, you are already moving forward. Trusting again and letting go of those thoughts that left you stuck in the woods will allow you to progress in your life. You can find your way “home,” or, “to happiness,” but you must keep moving. The less attention you have on what happened before, the more attention you can give to what’s happening now. It may take a little while, but step by step, you will get there.