We all laugh because both are true and typically both are relevant. While this may be light-hearted, underneath those statements are layers of emotion that include frustration, hurt, pain and thankfully a little humor.
In writing down my dreams for the future, I found I looked to the past A LOT. There were several things from my childhood and even later on that made me who I am - and those good things, the positive memories and lessons - I wanted to keep. Then in some cases, I wanted to learn from my past and do things completely differently going forward. I had a few serious regrets that I want(ed) to gloss over, preferably forget and move forward. For help with this I rely on some of my favorite spiritual verses:
- Psalms 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."
- Hebrews 10:17, "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."
- Colossians 3:13, "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
- Qur'an (39:53), "O My servants who have transgressed against your own souls: do not despair of God's mercy, for God forgives all sins. It is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.'
- Rabbi Pinchas Lipner references: Deut 29:9 - 31:30, Isaiah 61:10 - 63:9, "The theme is that of tshuvah, repentance. The ability to wipe the slate clean of previous wrongdoing is one of the greatest gifts that the Almighty has given us. Although a person who has sinned logically deserves punishment, our Heavenly Father encourages him only to acknowledge his error, confess it (to G-d) and sincerely resolve to improve himself to the extent that he will not repeat his offense in the future. This will lead to complete forgiveness."
- Buddha: “To understand everything is to forgive everything” (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)
- “Marriage is three parts love and seven parts forgiveness of sins.” (ref: unknown)
It's funny how we all get spiritual when things go wrong and even moreso when WE do something wrong... I think this is because somewhere inside, we're all seeking. Most of us are taught the basics of right and wrong from Mom and Dad early on. Aside from the proverbial, "because I said so," there was usually a logic or reasoning behind these lessons. So when we mess up (and yes we all do), we want some kind of absolution. We want to be forgiven. We want to be understood.
We want to be loved anyway.
Thing is, with everything, there's a price, right? Consequences for our actions... of course! That's how we learn. Generally speaking, most of us have to learn things the hard way. Literally.
So, forgiveness usually involves some sort of Repentance. There is a period where we each must endure the consequences or impact of our actions and subsequently work to rectify the havoc we unleashed. This too is part of our human experience and I've found that it is a critically important step in achieving our dreams or realizing the vision for our lives.
The past is the past - but as you move forward day by day, take the time to do a few things that will help you obtain your vision:
- Allow for Real Forgiveness - this doesn't mean being a doormat or blindly falling for any "I'm sorry" but when a person has truly embraced their mistakes and changed, let them be who they've become.
- Don't confuse Accountability with Judgment - consider how you would want to be treated if ever you made an egregious mistake. Most of us beat ourselves up far worse than anyone else ever could so consider your actions and your words.
- Reconciliation brings Peace - when you forgive someone who has wronged you, you free yourself from the pain they inflicted on you allowing both of you to move forward in freedom.
SO - Thanks Mom & Dad / Gram & Pap for installing all those buttons! for teaching me how to be resilient in the face of adversity, how to respect myself and learn every day, and how to love.
And thanks to the Love of My Life for 3 parts Love and 7 parts forgiveness - I'm everything I am (now) because you loved me.
THINK. WRITE. BELIEVE. ACT.