Posted by: Shara | June 13, 2011

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is not a simple word.  Forgiveness for others.  Forgiveness for self.  Forgiveness helps heal.  Forgiveness means that our psyche is clear.  We believe we forgive.  We have a hard time forgiving.  We never forgive.  Is “forgiving” really definable?

Let me start the discussion with two separate scenarios.  In each of these, I learned something, at least consciously.  Now, acting on it might be a whole new ballgame.

Today, my youngest son’s thumb was smashed in a door by his older brother.  According to both of them, there was no anger involved in the accident.  It was total lack of attention.  My older son feels badly about what happened, as we had to make a doctor’s visit.  My younger son kept mentioning what happened and telling everyone at the doctor’s office.

As a three-year old, his way of dealing with the pain was to talk about it.  Was he purposefully trying to make his brother feel badly about it by crying constantly and telling people what happened?  Of course not.  He needed to talk about it because it scared him, it hurt, was still hurting, and he was afraid of the doctor.  This was his way of processing what had happened so that his mind and body could deal with it.  Was it a minor incident?  Of course it was.  But to a three-year old, their moments go fast, and they mostly live in the now.  (This is also part of why they forgive so easily.)  He had forgiven his brother.  He even came home and started playing with him.  All the while that my little one was hurting, though, his older brother was feeling more and more guilt.  He talked to my mother about it, and kept saying that he didn’t mean to.  They have made up now, the issue is over, and the older two are just helping their youngest brother to do things without the use of a thumb for a few days.

When things like this happen to me, and I am in this much pain, I still curse myself, keep saying all sorts of things in my head about my intelligence level, and have a hard time letting it go while it hurts.  This sounds a lot like the three-year old, right?  So, if it hurts for a long time, bruises, or the like, my annoyance is likely to continue longer.  And others are more likely to hear about it while I am whining.  It’s like a cold.  We are miserable while we have it, most people know we are sick, but once it goes away we forget about it because we are well.

So, why do children forgive more easily than adults do?  (Or do they?)  Well, this brings me to my second part of the discussion.  The me before my husband was never open to reasoning out situations or believing that people could change.  I had some experiences that hardened me, put my heart in lockdown, and made me a difficult person to be around.  There were so many walls when I met my husband, that I have no idea how he managed to stick around to see if he could get in.  But he did.  And he has been the strongest example to me that I have ever seen.  (Yes, part of that is because I love him, but I am not nice enough to say that he is my mentor, example, partner, friend, and lover if it wasn’t true.)  In all of the lessons that he has taught me, I believe that the biggest two are forgiveness and loyalty.

The start of our relationship, and then our marriage, was not easy.  We were put through many “trials by fire” to see if we could make it together.  Years later, my father took me aside and made an interesting observation.  “Your husband doesn’t talk about you,” he told me.

“Um, what does that mean, Dad?”  I stared at him.  “You mean like he doesn’t say anything about me, or what we do, or… what?”

“He doesn’t talk about you,” he said simply.  “He doesn’t bad mouth you behind your back.  Ever.  No matter what you might say, he has never said a single bad word about you… to anyone.  I thought you might want to know that.”

Ever?  After all of the things we had had issues over?  After things I had done?  After having to put up with me for all that time?  Ever?  And then I pause.  What does forgiveness mean to me?  Bringing up the time he decided we were going to do something that went badly?  Mentioning how much I was unhappy because of something he chose for our family?  Being petty and throwing old stuff in his face?  (Here’s the more interesting part.  It’s hard to judge one’s own actions sometimes.  I asked him to open up and tell me how he felt, what he thought, and how he viewed me.  He told me that he loved me, will always love me, and holding on to any bad feelings just got in the way of our growing together.  The only way to truly love someone is to understand, be who you are, let them be who they are, and be willing to work things out.  He said that we had talked during the times that it was necessary, and so he had been satisfied and moved on.)

He doesn’t bring up things I have done, either.  When I bring up something that I have done, he looks at me and says, “Why do you do that?”  If you ever want to learn a lesson in humility, talk to this man.  When I am upset with someone else, sometimes he will say, “Aren’t you being a bit harsh?  If you look at it from her perspective, she has this or this going on.  Or, what would it be like to be or do this?  I would reevaluate before going and talking to that person again.”  He is loyal to those he loves, and he has taught me so much about forgiveness.  I hear things from him that I couldn’t take from anyone else, and part of that is due to the fact that he says things matter-of-factly, sometimes even gently, but in a way that leads me to think for myself without an “I told you so” or “You are wrong.”

In worse moments, in times of stress, we (as humans) tend to digress a bit.  And sometimes we become lesser versions of ourselves.  But we deserve forgiveness, just like anyone else.  If we hope that others will forgive us, and allow us the room to experience and change, and remain changed, then we need to allow them that same growth and forgiveness.  We define forgiveness with our actions.  We redefine forgiveness every time we make a new choice.  Free your heart, and if you have it within you, forgive.  It will bring you new strength.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. I think this is one with the most vital information for me. And I’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on a few general things, The site style is great, the articles are really nice : D. Good job, cheers

  2. I believe that when we forgive we release ourselves and the other person. You have written a really good article on this. Touched. 🙂

    • You are absolutely right, I agree with your statement totally. Thank you for the kind words, and for stopping by!

  3. Enjoyed examining this, very good stuff, appreciate it.

    • Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this info. Today bloggers publish only about gossips and web and this is actually irritating. A good blog with interesting content, that is what I need. Thanks for keeping this web site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.

    • I appreciate your heartfelt sentiments! I try to write about the same things that I would read, and gossip can be a dangerous foray! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! I hope you continue to find items of interest here!

      • As an aside, if I find the time, I am exploring doing newsletters soon. Thanks for asking!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: