I seem to be writing about forgiveness a lot lately. My latest book SECOND CHANCES is all about the act of forgiveness.
As some of you know, I believe in reincarnation. I’m not quite as ravenous as Shirley MacLaine…don’t worry. But I can’t imagine that this single, solitary life is all the time we have to learn the lessons we need to learn and to get it right. The universe cannot be that shortsighted and single-minded.
Be that as it may, whether you believe in reincarnation or not, most of us would agree that each human being has a lesson to learn during their lifetime. One underlying message or morale that we keep being tested on, challenged with, until we get it right.
Mine is forgiveness…
I’ve had people break my heart, betray my trust, hurt me terribly. We all have. I’m not unique in my experience of being hurt. But where I am unique is that I have a hard time forgiving those who hurt me. I put up walls and shut people out so I won’t be hurt by them. I’d rather walk away than take the risk. Beyond learning how to forgive, I also need to learn how to let things go–how to let people go–when they are not good for me. And–now this is a big epiphany for me–I can forgive someone and let them go at the same time. Just because I forgive them, doesn’t mean they get back into my life…it simply means, I am choosing to let go of the hurt and move on.
Furthermore–and I think this is the bigger lesson for me–is that I am learning to ask for forgiveness. Imagine for a moment, the vulnerability and courage it takes to reach out to someone who is angry with you or hurt by you and risking it all by asking for them to forgive you. To let you make amends. To let you back into their life. The beautiful thing about forgiveness is when you receive it–the hardest part is when you ask for it and you don’t get it. But I believe the act of asking for forgiveness is an incredible task and takes a great amount of strength and bravery. Equally courageous is granting forgiveness to the person that has harmed you.
Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox. But if you take anything from this post it is this: if you have hurt someone, don’t let the sun set today without asking them to forgive you; and if the shoe is on the other foot, search your heart and find a way to forgive someone and if appropriate, let them back into your heart. I will do the same….I promise.