THE YEAR OF FORGIVENESS
The year of forgiveness.
I have a birthday coming up. Sigh.
Sometimes I think this getting older stuff is for the birds. And then sometimes I think this getting older stuff, is exactly what God ordered. Duh. But, it’s causing me to reflect in a way that I don’t normally do often because sometimes I’m just swallowed up by life, by children, by challenges, by fears, by triumphs, by life.
But today, I’ve decided this year is the year of forgiveness.
I’ve been watching my children learn to forgive one another right in front of my own eyes (and even though it’s just silly because it’s the infant age), somehow it’s given me the direct green light to forgive myself. And others. (Insert heavy tears)
Why is it so hard to forgive?
Why does it take so long? Years. Decades.
Why is forgiveness so hard? Why today?
Because it's your heart. It's real stuff. It's going where you don't want to go to get to the best stuff there is. And it takes bravery. Real bravery.
I don’t think we as adults even think of it like we were taught decades ago as young children. You do something wrong, you say sorry. I think we don’t even think of it. We are so busy in our crazy over-filled lives that we don’t step back and ask ourselves, are we ok?
I’ve been to therapy. I need to go back. But beyond therapy, if you step back from life and see clearly as to why some things hurt the way they do, you might be surprised to see that you’re not actually hurt in that moment, you’re just not set free from something or someone that hurt you, or who you hurt.
I had a perfect childhood from as far as I can remember but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t go through periods of pain, or sadness or torment. We all have. We’re human. Nobody gets out unscathed. Nobody.
So here's what I've learned and I'll be damned if I don't stick to my guns and preach it to myself, my children, my husband, my family, and the world.
Forgiveness isn’t really just about saying I forgive you, it’s about forgiving yourself.
Forgiveness is about letting go. It’s about moving on.
Forgiveness is about acceptance.
Forgiveness is about love.
See that. Love. There's that word again. It really comes down to love. If we forgive ourselves for any of it, all of it, whatever it may be, we're set free.
Maybe it's about forgiving myself for not spending more time with my Grandparents while they were alive because I thought living 45 miles away was far.
Maybe it's about forgiving that girl in middle school that tormented my heart about friendship and loyalty.
Maybe it's about forgiving yourself for yelling at your kids so damn loud they all started crying and thought you were psychotic and crazy.
Maybe it's about forgiving yourself about breaking someone's heart hard and having no regrets about it.
Maybe it's about forgiving your friend for finding new friends and not spending as much time with you as you'd like.
Maybe it's about forgiving my Mother for not telling me the truth about my Grandfather until I was much older, because she didn't want me to hurt for her or for Grandma.
Maybe it's about letting go. Of it all. And being ok with letting go.
That's forgiveness. That sets my heart free. That makes me feel like I'm human and I'm a good person and I'm doing the best I can do because I'm recognizing that it takes courage to find out who you are. And when you find out who you are, if there's something itching away, burning in your heart to move on, or move past, it's ok to visit that place and say I forgive you. It's ok, I forgive you.
And I forgive me for not forgiving for so long.
This is the year of forgiveness and so far it feels pretty darn good. Pretty heavy, but pretty good.
And now, my sitter just got here and I'm going to wipe my tears and practice the art of love. And forgiveness. Because if you're not practicing that, then you aren't living.