A friend asked today what forgiveness means.
After all, how many times have you heard it? “Forgive me, but I forgot to turn the lights off.” or “Forgive me for stepping in your way.”
Yet rarely will you hear the honest apology to what hurts you the most. So how do you forgive? And what really is forgiveness?
There is a song by country music artist LeAnn Times “What I Cannot Change” that supports my theory in forgiveness. Forgiveness is fluid. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget. Forgiveness is part of love. She sings “I will learn to let go what I cannot change and I will change whatever I can.”
The past stick us in a crack in the sidewalk unable to move on. I can’t change what I’ve done. I certainly cannot change what others have done. But I can change myself.
I recently painted some wall decor for my girls. Simply put they say “You are Brave. You are Kind. You are Loved. You are Blessed.” I am quick in pointing out the beauty in others. I can list off a million and one characteristics of others I admire. When I get to myself. I stop. I freeze and try to think of the good in me. And it is really hard to pull that out some days. But I don’t want that to happen to my children. I want them to know how loved they are. How wonderful and perfect they are even when they make mistakes. I want them to feel that hug around them. After all, they give that to me.
Thanks to the love of my family, my friends, even my blog readers. Your replies on my blog mean the world to me. I feel my heart tug each time something I write touches you or helps you. Thanks to all of you I can see the good in myself as well. I can see that I am able, beautiful, creative, dream-filled, engaging, feisty, grateful, happy, intelligent, joyful, kind, loving, mindful, nostalgic, open, persistant, quick, real, sassy, touched, unpredictable, vulnerable, weathered, (e)xtraordinary, yellowed, zany.
We cannot change others. I do not think we can forget, but we can change ourselves. It’s okay to distance yourself from pain. It’s okay to feel the hurt, the anger, the love, the jealousy, all of that is okay. To live is to feel. But we need to build our own strength.
Surround yourself with people that love you. People that build you up. And help build up others. It’s my job as a mother to let my children know they are loved. That they might make mistakes. And might be hurt by others mistakes. But in order for them to love themselves I not only have to model that I love myself. But believe it.
So forgive me if I drift in and out in life, but I’m learning to love a really important person. That’s me. And she’s just as important as you are.