You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it. ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Every year when my mother’s …
Forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world – Marianne Williamson There was a time not long ago when my father and I hadn’t spoken in years. Ok, we talked on the phone occasionally, …
True forgiveness is when you can say, ‘Thank you for that experience.’ ― Oprah Winfrey I grew up as the “Daddy’s girl”. The bond my dad and I formed is something I held dear to my heart even …
“Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha It took me a long time to recognize that every day is a gift. I spent my …
It’s a good thing that time heals all wounds, because if it didn’t I wouldn’t be able to talk about writing a forgiveness letter at all. Like the pain of giving birth, you can eventually recall that something hurt, but you don’t relive every nuance of the experience. Unfortunately, our hearts don’t heal nearly as quickly as our physical selves.
We have a tendency to hold our hurts close and cherish them for some reason. I suppose there is the childlike (or childish?) fascination with wanting to pick at the emotional scab to see if it still hurts after a time. If you don’t do that, how will you know whether you are healing or not. Unfortunately, every time you revisit the event that hurt you, it brings up the pain like it was yesterday – at least it did for me.
Have you ever seen a Chinese Finger Puzzle? They’re those little tubes of interwoven paper that look harmless enough. Usually, the gig goes like this:
Your friend hands you the Chinese Finger Puzzle and instructs you to insert your index fingers into each end. So you do. Next, with a mischievous grin, your friend tells you to take your fingers out of the tube. Puzzled (pun intended) as to why this might be so hard, you try to pull your fingers out.
But you can’t. The tube has tightened around your fingers.
No, it isn’t some trick and no it isn’t some life changing product. Its something that we all are capable of doing but often choose not to do or choose to hold on to until it begins to consume us.
What is it?
It sounds so plain. So plain and overstated that you may want to stop reading, but I urge you to read on.
I am a critic. To some degree, we all are. We criticize our co-workers when they do a bad job. We get upset when our friends don’t come to our aid. We lament that our family doesn’t understand who we have become. It can be particularly hard to forgive someone else if they have done a terrible wrong against you. Relationships suffer, loneliness ensues, and it takes a lot of time to heal these wounds.
But even harder than forgiving someone else, we struggle to forgive ourselves.
“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness” – Seneca
A couple of days ago someone said to me: “Be kind to yourself!” Ever since hearing these words they have been stuck in my head. I have always understood the importance of kindness, but I have always focused on kindness to others. I had never thought about kindness towards myself. It really got me thinking.
I started with how it feels to have someone be kind to you. I know that feeling. It’s warm and cozy and bonding. But I am not the one to evoke that type of feeling in myself. I thought about how it feels to be kind – the type of emotions that surge within you when you are considering another person; care and gentleness. I do not often feel these types of emotions when dealing with myself. This leads me to question whether I am ever pointedly kind to myself and how my life would be different if I specifically paid myself some kind attention.