I don’t really get attached to places. Yes, I can admire Oradea for it’s cleanliness, peacefulness and simplicity, but I can also admire Mexico City for the incredible amount of diversity and tacos. Mmmmm… Tacos!

On the other hand, what I do get attached to is people. When I think of the places I have visited, almost instantly I see the faces of the people that I now have the privilege of calling my friends. It’s an amazing feeling to share life’s beautiful moments with others. I think it’s one of the main characteristics of being human.

My friends and (select) family are my most cherished treasure and I’m sure that I’m not the only one that feels like that.

I just recently returned from Romania, where a fairly large part of my time was spent meeting up with amazing people that I haven’t seen for over half a year. Needless to say, the trip back home was an very important breath of fresh air, after many, many months of work, work and a bit more work on the side.

Though I did not need to exercise what I’ll write about today on this specific visit back home, I realize that many of my true friendships are a result of the mutual respect and acceptance we share for each other.

I’ve been hurt in the past and am also guilty for hurting others. I’m almost sure that every human being that has gone through both experiences. If you also have, then read on.

Forgive and ask for forgiveness

Throughout my journeys, I’ve met thousands of people from all corners of the world. Inevitably, I hurt some great people on the way. I still, to this day, remember some things I’ve done or said that might have not been most appropriate.

I don’t regret the acts themselves, because they have thought me some very important lessons that I now use to be less of a pain in the butt. What I do regret, is the people I’ve hurt and, ultimately, the relationships that we had.

I’m very sorry for the negative emotions that I created in other people’s lives and promise to do better next time. I really hope to meet the few people to which I owe an honest apology and maybe rekindle the great relationships that we once had.

If someone ever hurt you, please, for the sake of being human, learn to forgive them. Anyone can hold grudges against others, but it takes heart to forgive someone for what they said or did. I’m a strong believer in second chances and, with that mentality, forgiving others was relatively easy, but I know that it seems hard sometimes.

At the same time, please don’t make a big deal out of it. You’re not sacrificing anything. Forgiveness does not hurt, feeling sorry for yourself does. Forgiveness is empowering. Yes, someone might have made you feel horrible, but you learn from it and move forward.

I don’t agree with the phrase “Forgive and Forget”. I believe that, yes, you should forgive, but, no, don’t forget. Remembering what someone did is very different from keeping grudges against him/her. You remember that someone lost all your money in a stupid investment so (a) you now know that they might not be as good as they think and (b) you learn to be a bit more careful with your money.

Most people don’t intentionally hurt you. They are just operating from a set of principles that does not serve them. For example, someone might consider themselves insignificant (on the inside), so they think that by being rude or maybe even aggressive, they get the “respect they deserve”. That couldn’t be more off track, but try telling them that…

People that are or have been mean to you are not really looking to harm you, what they really want is acceptance and love. Unconditional love. Yes, sometimes it’s hard to see through, especially when they’re really good at hurting others, but ask yourself the following question: Is if worth it?

Is it worth poisoning your soul with negative emotions? Life might be unfair at times, but the happiest of people are those who learn to accept life as it is and use their energy not to whine about it, but rather to make it better, in any way they can.

I know you’ve heard it a million times, but the phrase “Be the change you want to see in the world.” is more relevant in relationships than maybe in any other area of life. How could I expect to be forgiven for all of the dumb things I’ve done (to say the least) if I cannot find it within me to forgive others for what they’ve done?

Are you mad at anyone? Is there someone you haven’t talked to in a while because of something they said or done in the past? If there is, why not call them or send them an email or a message and ask what they’ve been up to?

Or maybe there is someone you hurt. Why did you do it? Was it really worth it? If you don’t want to be friends with that person, it’s okay, but try not to leave things unsaid. You don’t need to pour your soul out. Just say or do what you feel you should to make things better, that’s all.

Smart people can sometimes do very dumb things. That’s just how we work. It’s part of being human, but so is forgiveness… remember that.

Creating a better tomorrow,

Robert

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