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The Art of Forgiveness - Sunshine Cheng

New year, new me. This is what I told myself as I stumbled groggily out of bed this morning (actually, let’s not kid ourselves. It was more like afternoon. It’s winter break!) This is also what I told myself last year. And the year before that. And the year before that. Year after year, I have vowed to myself to make a change in my life, to better myself in some way, shape, or form. But when I look back at myself over the years, I admit (and not without contrite) that the only real difference in me is that now I’m not rocking a horrific, artificially red pixie cut. I know I’m not the only person guilty of this. A few months ago, a misunderstanding caused a very close friend of mine (of a grand total of nine freakin’ years!) to snowball into a conflict with me. It was not long before we stopped talking completely. This was not a new thing for me. Because of my mortifying talent to hold grudges like no other, and because of my unsavory amount of pride, it is safe to say that I have lost more than a few friends in my lifetime. I blush to remember that my dad had once told me that I could do almost anything.. except for apologize. (But he also asked me if I was a sociopath a few times, so I’m not sure exactly how valid that is.) Much to my surprise, I received a message from her last night. She sought to make amends. At first, I was taken aback, and (justifiably, in my opinion) as cold as ice. That being said, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I missed her as much as she had missed me- after all, how could anybody with a heart throw away a friendship that had been so important to me at a time? For 2015, my New Year’s resolution is this: forgive, in order to allow myself to let live. I implore you all to do the same. (Because let’s not lie to ourselves, we’re not /actually/ going to go to the gym six days a week. And nobody /actually/ wants to sacrifice their guilty pleasures for the Ethiopian diet.) I don’t know when pride and impossibility consumed our lives and made us all forget what is really important, but I have seen far too many people unable to live out their lives in a happy manner because there were loose ends in friendships or relationships (or even families) that they could not salvage. Or, perhaps it wasn’t that they could not save them, but they did not want to get off their high horses in order to be the bigger person. (Believe me, I am the biggest offender of this.) In order to better the world, I have often heard that we must first start with ourselves. So, if there is somebody in your life that you may have an unresolved argument with, or that you perhaps grew distant with, I encourage you to seek to make amends with them, or text them (call them, even!) and ask how they’re doing in life. But why just for one day? Make this an everyday occurrence! Cultivate the art of forgiveness in all that you do, and pay it forward- nurture it in not only your peers but in our youth and in our children (because no child’s heart is ever naturally unforgiving. It is something that is taught with age.) Besides, if there is one lesson I have learned this year, it’s that if you’re missing someone, then chances are, they’re missing you too.

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