“Holding a grudge does not make you strong; it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn’t make you weak; it sets you free.” ~ Anonymous
Healing is a long painful process. Don’t believe those who will tell you that it is a beautiful journey of discovering oneself through traveling and yoga (which I do practice happily), as that is utter bullsh*t! Healing is an agonizing journey that includes crying, crying, crying and more crying. But, you have to go through at one point in your life in order to set yourself free.
Although I was grateful to everything that I have encountered so far, and all the experiences I have gone through and was trying to live my life as happily as I could be by embracing each day as it was, deep down there was something that kept holding me back. No matter how hard I tried to find those Happiness Moments frequently, I was failing to enjoy them as my mind, heart and soul were not in peace.
Peacefulness was a hard state of being to find. The more I dug deeper I realized that I have not fully forgiven those who have hurt me, let me down, disappointed me, haven’t loved me in return, manipulated me, and have not accepted me for who I am. I could not find peace while deep down I knew the truth that I was still bitter in a way or another. I had a meltdown moment… No, moments… Actually, I had meltdown days this April!
Everything from the surface seemed good, I was doing great at work; that is, I closed our quarterly deals successfully, achieved my goals and objectives, a bonus was on the horizon. On the family and personal side, my boys, family, and myself were healthy, spring was coming, and there were no major issues to make me feel hopeless, angry or bitter from inside, yet that’s what I was feeling exactly! I was bitter and hopeless and kept praying to God to guide me and show me a sign. I am a true believer that God is everywhere and in everything, and He keeps sending us signs in different ways. All we have to do is open our hearts fully to receive those blessings. Therefore, I decided to travel to Bali to open my heart, do my own version of “Eat, Pray and Love”, and maybe find the love of my life.
Instead, I found something more precious in Bali; I found Myself.
I spent four days in Bali, three out of which I spent crying. Something inside me needed a detox, a deep cleanse. I couldn’t point it out at the beginning, but I do remember one incident when I was walking the streets of Seminyak, and then later up to the rice fields in Ubud asking God to show me a sign and guide me to understand my feelings and make peace with my demons, but mostly to show me that He is with me and He loves me unconditionally even when I am lost.
I was directionless, but I was determined to find God’s sign. I needed only one.
And so, a day before my deprature from Bali, I was walking by the sea; a ritual I have, and while embracing the sound of the waves, the color of the sea, and the beautiful painting of the grey clouds embedded in the orange rays of the sun, I saw it! It was right there in front of my eyes! I saw my sign! I saw the heart shaped cloud in the middle of the sky at the edge of and in between the grayness and light. It is the very same picture that headlines this post. It was God’s sign that I was looking for to reaffirm to me that His love to me is unconditional and that only Love towards myself and others will heal me. That to find my inner peace, I need to forgive myself first, and then others, truly forgive them that even when I look deep within I will find no trace whatsoever of any bitterness towards anyone or anything, and I will only find love, peace, empathy and kindness residing within. I returned home as a new human being, knowing that forgiveness healed me. Forgiveness set me free and helped me in finding my inner peace.
It is very hard to find inner peace while you still hold grudges, while you keep feeling bitter towards every situation or anyone that do not serve your expectations. You need to learn to let go, even if you get hurt and disappointed, demotivated, or frustrated because I am sure that this will happen during this Life. Nevertheless, you need to train yourself to forgive easily, quickly, and not let bitterness consume you. I found that inner peace for me means surrendering completely to God’s will after working hard and doing my very best every single day, because deep down I know He is always there. His plan is always perfect. He always wants the best for me and His Love is unconditional.
Tell me, what does inner peace mean to you? And what is holding you back from fully forgiving?
My mom always keeps praying for me to find my peace of mind, as she used to tell me: “If you have peace of mind, you have Everything.” But I used to tell her that peace of mind is not enough, I want More. Now I understand that the only thing I want More of is for her to keep praying for me the same prayer over and over again.
I am praying for each one of you to find inner peace, as they say prayer for someone is the highest gesture of Love.