Forgiveness. Forgiveness is something I’ve given a lot of thought to over the years. At different times different thoughts about forgiveness have been helpful to me. When I realized that I should actually THANK people for gifting me with the challenges that helped me grow – that was a huge step forward. When I realized that to NOT forgive was hurting me more than anyone else – that was another step. And this week I had another epiphany about forgiveness – and, for me, this one was HUGE.
There were a couple books I read recently that helped lead me to my most recent revelation:
I’ve been reading Baroness Orczy’s “Scarlet Pimpernel” books (The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of my all-time favorite books – I re-read it a few weeks ago and then started reading some of the other books in the series). In one of the books – I Will Repay – one of the characters says: “To understand is to forgive.” Whoahhhh. That got my thoughts going all kinds of interesting places. If we can understand other people – feel empathy for them – we can forgive them because we recognize in them our OWN human-ness, right?
After I’d read a couple of the baroness’s books, I felt the need for a change in genre – I needed to exchange the blood and muck of the French Revolution for something a little lighter. Something with some humor. So I brought Christina Lauren’s latest romance, In a Holidaze, to my Kindle. It was the perfect book for me right now! Funny and light and with a happy ending – just the escape I needed at the end of 2020. And it was in this book that I came upon another quote that I found helpful in my pursuit of forgiveness: “All this time I’ve been upset with him for simply being exactly the person I always knew he was.” Sheesh. It makes no sense to be angry at someone just because he/she/they is a human being – with the same human flaws and foibles we ALL share. I mean – none of us is perfect. There isn’t a single person on this planet who hasn’t done something stupid/thoughtless/unkind at some point. Let’s forgive others their faults, and let’s forgive ourselves, too, while we’re at it.
“How embarrassing to be human.”
– Kurt Vonnegut
“To punish ourselves for others’ faults, is superlative folly. The mental arrow shot from another’s bow is practically harmless, unless our own thought barbs it. It is our pride that makes another’s criticism rankle, our self-will that makes another’s deed offensive, our egotism that feels hurt by another’s self-assertion. Well may we feel wounded by our own faults; but we can hardly afford to be miserable for the faults of others.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings