Every day we have experiences that teach us new life lessons. We hope that they are not painful lessons – although those can often be the most powerful. One thing we all work on is the act of forgiveness – this is a life time job. We teach our kids to say they are sorry from a very early age. In almost every magazine we see articles on learning to forgive, to move on … to let go. I’m have a bit of trouble with this lately.
I know forgiveness is a learned behavior but it is a difficult behavior to use at times. For example, have you ever had to tell someone that you forgive them and then you had to try to put some painful act behind you? You know how hard that can be? Look, I can do the easy ones any day of the week. The apologizing when I bump into someone or try to get into the elevator before they’ve gotten out. Or, when I spill something or burn the cookies that the kids are patiently waiting for.
But the big things? Seriously difficult.
Someone is treating me badly. I actually like this person as a person, I just don’t like the treatment. I want to forgive this person because I know that the treatment of me is not about me but about a feeling of fear and being threatened. (Me, a threat??!! Sheeze). What I’ve done in the past is let my anger take over rather than forgiveness. But that process is exhausting and unproductive.
I once read that “learning to forgive is difficult and does not come as part of a manual with clear instructions.” This is so true. All I can really be sure of with forgiveness is that it makes me feel better on a daily basis. It makes my life lighter. It gives me power and strength. But it’s the “how” that is complicated.
I’ve got to believe that you all are like me. Struggling to do the right things. To learn from mistakes. To stay positive, even when someone is behaving badly toward us. Sometimes, the only way to right the wrong is to forgive (sometimes you do have to walk away if they just don’t get it). Even if it’s an internal, private forgiveness. Forgiveness is as “simple” as a mindset.
I’m going to stay focused on this notion of forgiveness and see where it gets me on this tough one. I have a feeling this is going to change my life one way or another. I’ll keep you posted (no pun intended).
Have a fantastic day!