Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Forgive/Forget

On Sunday, the theme of the reflection in church was forgiveness. We watched an excerpt from a documentary on an amazing story of forgiveness after a senseless murder, and witnessed the healing power of forgiveness for sure. (You can click on the text and on related clips at the link above.) The reflection and the documentary both made clear that you don't have to forget to forgive.

Also on Sunday, I had the chance to forgive someone and, on Monday, to be forgiven for an obligation I'd forgotten. It's always an opportunity for humility and for courage to forgive or to apologize, and for gratitude either way. I feel lucky in my life to have these opportunities and to learn from them. I hope I keep on learning, no matter what I forget next.

On Saturday I'll be walking in the local Memory Walk for Alzheimer's--it's on my weekly calendar, underlined twice--on the Progressive BiPeds, a church team with Daisy the dog on it! You can donate to the team, a team member, or the local walk here. My purple pinwheel flower from last year's walk is still planted in my garden. Having lost a petal in a big wind, it's a little haphazard in its twirl, but so am I!

Here, for your delight, are some other purple flowers: purple coneflowers, clematis, and aubergine (eggplant blossom). You might remember them from earlier in the blog.

6 comments:

seana graham said...

Forgiveness is such a tricky subject. I always wonder how we know if we've really done it.

Kathleen said...

Good question, Seana. In partial answer, sometimes I know I have forgiven if it feels like laying down a burden (a big backpack) and not having to pick it back up. Other times, it's a letting go or a good kind of detachment.

Forgiving myself is sometimes harder, even for the kind of stuff it is easy to understand and forgive in others.

It's harder to keep forgiving those who keep repeating the bad behavior, so I find I distance myself from those people as part of the forgiveness process.

And I understand that sometimes it is not possible to forgive. There are things that must remain unforgiven, and I hope for a different kind of healing for people who choose not to forgive or who, because of the nature of the harm, are unable to forgive. I have met some of those people and understand they have other coping and healing strategies.

seana graham said...

I am pretty lucky in not having a lot I need to forgive others for, at least as far as anything inflicted on me. I do find that I have some grievances and my level of detachment about them changes on any given day. But it's more philosophical than obsessive.

Myself--a much harder matter. But hopefully that helps me keep other people's lapses and flaws in better perspective.

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

great discussion.

i find that i have had an internal challenge to forgive myself for a variety of things and situations. the steps i've attempted and am still working with is to learn to love myself.

in retrospect, there are not too many individuals that i need to forgive because i have always tried to walk in their shoes but institutions and systemic conditions that promulgate fear, hate, war are the one's that i have a true challenge to forgive. the heads of these institutions are the one's that are the one's i have the most problem with forgiving.

i know i sound abstract in this interjection but this is my conundrum.

gracias

Kathleen said...

Thanks for joining the discussion, Marcoantonio. Forgiveness is a rich topic, keeps us inquiring, trying...

jeronimus said...

Lovely post. Forgiveness is so powerful. There have been some people (luckily not many) in my life who, I know, had I not forgiven them, would have become enemies. Without forgiveness, the enmity could have ruined my life and theirs, or at least soured it badly for a long time. I am so grateful for this power given to us by Lord Jesus.