Why is it that I’m better at forgiving other people than I am at forgiving myself? Is that about having greater expectations of myself and my behaviour than I do of others?
When I forgive, I am letting go of something that I’d otherwise hold on to – when holding on is to my own detriment. When I let go of whatever it is, my hands are no longer fists, closed fingers whose job is to clasp. Letting go means opening my hands. To release the hold is to free my hands of a task and there is freedom in release. Freedom to go on and do something different. The closed fist becomes an open hand.
“Forgiving does not erase the past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” – Louis B. Smedes
Forgiveness alters the memory. I like that phrase: forgiveness ‘creates a new way to remember’.
Forgiveness leads to Freedom, and Freedom leads to Hope. Hope carries with it a positive expectation.
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” – Martin Luther King
The next step then is to be mindful of forgiveness, to carry it with me through out the day. To be aware of my ‘infringements’ and to forgive straight away rather than holding on. Holding on is wasting time. Give up, let go, move on. It’s not rocket science!
Forgiveness. Freedom. Hope.