“The things two people do to each other they remember. If they stay together, it’s not because they forget; it’s because they forgive.” Demi Moore
It takes a strong person to say sorry, and an ever stronger person to forgive.” Unknown
“Apologizing does not always mean that you are wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.” Unknown
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Gandhi
You can’t go back
How many times have we heard the phrase, “You can’t go back.” That is the saddest group of words to hear because many times we need and want to return to a person place or thing. It is like something that suddenly springs out at us like gotcha, and you’re finished. The sadness can be overwhelming. Most of us think back to the choices we made and the actions we committed. Contemplating a more innocent time in our lives will always bring longing.
As we grow, most of us learn from the mistakes we made. We can’t admonish ourselves too much because we can’t always recall every second of our reasoning at that time in our lives. I am not giving any of us excuses, but life is not about counting the wrongs as much as it is about acquiring knowledge. There are such tough lessons that perhaps we might have absorbed sooner, but we must be content that we made the finding at all.
Full speed ahead
Life sends us forward full speed ahead. We plan to accomplish so much. We strive to keep up with others if not surpass them. We are out to conquer the world, make our mark, and show others what we are capable of. We yearn for respect, love, attainment, and contentment. The funny thing is that most of this can be found at any age and within any area of society as well as any socioeconomic group. That is the discovery that sometimes takes years to ascertain.
Regret is useless and pointless. If some of our picks were poor, we need to come to terms with it and continue onward. We can’t change the past. Perhaps some situations may have turned out the same even if we had moved in another direction. We can’t know the truth. It is questionable if we should have married another person, who is to say things would be better. If we changed our minds on a job choice, maybe it still would not be any more glorious or satisfying.
We can switch it around
Believing everything in the past was a mistake is a mistake. Most likely, it was an experience that brought enlightenment to our lives. If we treated our spouse shabbily, I have faith in the notion that we can switch it around. Unless we have given up on our marriage, it is time to fess up to our misgivings and ask for forgiveness. Of course, those of us in the position to forgive have two choices. We can continue the animosity or offer the absolution. If we can just look at life in terms of gaining knowledge, and accept the fact that most of us are slow learners, then we may be more than ready to exhibit mercy. Can any of us admit we have never needed exoneration from anyone?
You would be my hero if that were the case. We just don’t always think enough or think far enough ahead to appreciate the gravity of our errors. We plunge forward with half a story, and a tenth of an idea, along with a fifth of truth and then create our reality from that point of view. No wonder we find ourselves making errors. Some mistakes are not so easy to mend. I bet on any given day, each of us has said or done something stupid or hurtful. We are late for work, so we insult and blame the spouse when we can’t find something. Of course, it is their fault. Later, when we discover it was us who put the laundry away, we simply forget the incident and don’t bring it up.
Begin again without strings
If we can perceive our faults, perhaps the faults of others won’t look so bad. I know there are degrees of wrongdoing, but there are also degrees of wisdom before one makes the errors. Our deductions are dissimilar and incorporate feelings, attitudes and burdens at that present time. Forgiveness has to be one quality we acquire at the youngest age possible. Life would be so much easier to deal with if we were free to begin again without strings attached. Perhaps that is why we give up on our marriages. We believe we can’t go back to that clean slate and innocent thinking. If we showered each other in mercy, by tolerating mistakes, the likelihood of guilty baggage would be eliminated.
There again is the crux of our problem. We are told over and over again; we can’t go back. But suppose we could. We may not be able to choose a different spouse, but we might be able to handle our chosen one alternately. By bringing happiness to another individual, brings it to us. The person is full of joy, and it spills over us. It seems like a good idea to keep a better mind frame.
Bring forgiveness to the table
Some choices we can’t change, but we can alter the way we perceive them and the person we blame. If we can even accept our interference in the occurrence, we have some grounds to pardon. I think that forgiveness is the key to our being able to go back. We can all return if we bring forgiveness to the table. Those we love or once loved don’t need expensive gifts or food, they need the nourishment of love and clemency. That washes away a lot of the pain but not the knowledge. We do live and learn. The cost of learning can be tremendous. Our participation in the price can be devastating. We must ask ourselves if we are going to make it about pride, revenge, anger, or if we can encompass empathy, love and forgiveness. I know in the result from the later brings serenity, while the former cements stress, worry, and rage.
Perhaps our attempts to grade the level of our injuries is a wearisome task which serves no purpose. It only succeeds in calling to mind more hurts and pain. We all experience pain and heartache. Did we enjoy the feeling? If not, then let’s not keep it going. Release it and go back to a kinder period in your life. Recall the disagreements, accept the person’s mistakes, and empower them with compassion and exoneration. It might be a daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, parent, brother sister, child, friend, or even a neighbor. If you have ever needed forgiveness yourself, endow it to another. Perhaps the person we forgive will not necessarily be the person that we want forgiveness from. We bring the gift of going back. We all like to go back to the simpler version. We have the power to do it for one another; all we need is the courage.
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”C.S. Lewis
“Keep in mind, hurting people often hurt other people as a result of their own pain. If somebody is rude and inconsiderate, you can almost be certain that they have some unresolved issues inside. They have some major problems, anger, resentment, or some heartache they are trying to cope with or overcome. The last thing they need is for you to make matters worse by responding angrily.” Joel Osteen
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” Martin Luther King Jr.
“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.” Steve Maraboli
“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” C.S. Lewis
“The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Imagine a world filled with individuals willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that could not be solved among people who possessed the humility and largeness of spirit and soul to do either — or both — when needed?” Gordon B. Hinckley
“When we think we have been hurt by someone in the past, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. So the fearful past causes a fearful future and the past and future become one. We cannot love when we feel fear…. When we release the fearful past and forgive everyone, we will experience total love and oneness with all.” Gerald G. Jampolsky