“For many people, there is only one way. It is either black or white, left or right, right or wrong. Our path is the path of the middle. And that means the path of forgiveness…” These words during a church service caught my attention.

What if you forgave other people and yourself much more often? Sure, others make “mistakes.” We ourselves make learning experiences. And in the process, we are often our own harshest critic. But by learning to forgive ourselves and others, we get back on the path of joy more quickly. Forgiveness is the key to more inner peace and tranquility. The more you forgive, the lighter your heart feels and the more joy you allow into your life.

“As long as you get upset about others, you swallow the poison and hope that the other person will die from it.” It’s just not going to happen. Neither today, nor tomorrow, nor ever. The only thing that happens is that you suffer yourself and let your negative feelings guide you. Thus, you ruin both your present and everything that follows. Be a little more lenient with yourself. Look at the situations that annoy you with a smile. Imagine that every conflict, every challenge, is just a scene in your personal movie that is meant for you to learn and grow from (matching my impulse from last week).

My tip: Observe yourself thinking much more often. Whenever the moderator in your head has an opinion about something, watch him from the outside and say “That’s interesting.” If someone verbally attacks you, say the same. Vera F. Birkenbihl gave the advice many years ago: “When someone says something stupid to you, just reply ‘That’s interesting. Can you tell me more about it?’ The other person will do it a maximum of three times and then look for a new victim. Because you no longer respond to the attack.”

You know, it’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to make learning experiences. It’s also okay to get upset. What matters is how you deal with it. Forgive yourself and others, and you will see how much lighter and happier your life will become and how much more joy you will have.

In this spirit, I wish you a beautiful and forgiving week.