The Blessings of Forgiveness
The holidays are the best time of year to look at our issues, observe our triggers and take inventory of all that took place over the months leading to its closure.
2018 was a year of enormous impact. I don’t know about you, but for me it seemed I was given a full-year membership to an emotional/spiritual/financial fitness studio where I was challenged to test my strength in those areas. Every. Single. Day. No down time for the muscles to rebuild. I was in the Olympic Village of personal challenges, lifting weights of epic proportions.
It was a year of learning forgiveness.
In The Power of Slow, I talk about how forgiveness can save us so much energy. When you think about it, we spend the majority of our time managing our reaction to things. Imagine if we didn’t have to? Forgiveness can help us let go of the things we are holding on to. In fact, it is the superhighway to joy.
And yet, practicing forgiveness is not an easy road. Our mind clutter prevents us sometimes from thinking clearly. When we are annoyed, we forget we cannot control other people’s behaviors or reactions. We can only control our own. Believe me. I am the first one to admit I wish I could control other people. If we are honest with ourselves, we like things a certain way. But life doesn’t work like that. Shit happens. But we don’t have to be shitty when it does.
Thinking back to that spiritual gym I have been working out in all year, I look around and realize it is the strength of forgiveness I built there. Because the truth is we are all doing the best we can in any given moment. And it is disappointing when someone else’s “best” looks pretty darn “bad”. So we have options. We can complain and do nothing. Or we can take action, whether it is inward or outward, to make a difference.
In times when I feel I want to justify and self-defend, I realize deep down I am facing an incongruence with what is important to me. I want to be seen a certain way and when I am not, I feel backed into a corner, seeking to correct the false image in someone else’s mind. But that is like playing Whack-a-Mole with the world. How utterly exhausting that would be!
And that is where self-forgiveness enters the room. We too are doing the best we can at any given moment in time. Some days that is simply getting out of bed and facing the world despite our fears. The blessings of forgiveness can ease that pain and bring forth a new dimension of inner power. The past is always in the past while today – in fact, each new day – is just the beginning. And that goes for everyone. I find hope in that. And strength too.