On Forgiveness

Daily Automagical posting by Ted
Halfnotes will reply to all the comments when she comes back on March 5th. Thank you!

Forgiveness isn’t giving someone permission to make mistakes again or treat you wrongly. It’s not ignoring the pain that’s been inflicted on us.

I don’t even think forgiveness is really a noun. It’s more like a verb, because you have to move forward in order for it to work.

Forgiveness is the choice we make not to continuing dwelling in places of anger, resentment, and dishonesty. No one forces us to feel one way or another; we choose to do it ourselves in reaction to something someone said or did.

So, too, forgiveness isn’t something you can force anyone to do, and you can’t force yourself to do it, either. But, unlike what most people might think, forgiveness only needs one person to make it work.

If I choose to forgive, it’s really between me, myself and I. I don’t have to discuss it with the person I’m forgiving. But I’m the only one who can decide to put down the load of emotional crap I’m carrying and leave it behind.

Once I make this choice, I have others that will naturally follow it. Do I change the boundaries I keep with regards to the person or situation that needed forgiving? Do I want to continue in the relationship that was the root of the forgiving cycle? If so, how do I choose to share (or not) my decision to forgive with the other person? If not, what have I learned from that relationship that I can carry into the next one?

Another thing: Forgiveness is never a one-and-done deal. It often needs to be revisited over a long period of time. Some days, I might want to take it back! I’m human, after all. It’s like anything else in life, constantly changing and evolving.

One of the best and simplest places to learn about forgiveness is by watching animals. I, for one, see it every time I trim my dogs’ toenails too close. They hate it. I’ve made them bleed a few more times than I or they would like to remember. But they keep loving me even while I’m doing it, and a minute after I’m finished, it’s as if nothing happened. They’re just happy to be near me, getting petted or going for a walk.

Our own lives are a lot more complicated, and our struggles go far beyond bleeding toenails. But the way they leave the past behind, even though they remember it each time I pull out the clippers, is an important lesson.

So forgive, but don’t forget. What we learn will come in handy soon enough.

Explore posts in the same categories: Dogs, Family and Friends, metaphysics, spirituality

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