Forgiveness: It is something that is taught in spiritual writings, spoken of in churches worldwide, and considered the rarest of gifts. A simple three syllable word composed of consonants and vowels – but we all know it’s so much more than that. From the get-go, we teach our kids about it and we try our hardest to act as their example of how to obtain it but it’s not always possible.
What we can’t teach them how difficult it can be to forgive someone who has caused you pain. Of all the words, ‘forgiveness’ may be one of the most difficult words to spit up when the appropriate time calls for it. There’s no question about it: the more we love somebody, the harder it is once certain lines have been crossed and hurtful words said; once they’ve seemingly thrown away our trust and stomped on our heart.
Forgiveness. Love, fear and grief are opened up as wide as a canyon when these people stand before us asking for another chance. They’re vulnerable, scared, and what they are asking from us is sometimes not possible for us to give to them. Occasionally, our hurt keeps us from seeing what is actually important in the grand scheme of things – and I am the blindest of us all.
My wife, Kate, and I are polar opposites. She is organized in every way possible. She is highly educated and humble in the same breath. She is a minimalist and yet she’s fashionable classy. She thrives on exercise and prides herself on being punctual and dependable. I rarely take notice of the clothes I put on – in fact, I’m just thrilled if all the buttons are present. I don’t wear a watch and am almost always sure that I will never be on time.
I know there have been many instances where we have hurt each other’s feelings and I am know we occasionally make each other want to pull our hair out but we’ve learned the importance of taking a timeout and looking at what’s really upsetting us. You know what her greatest attribute is? As mad as she gets, I always know she will, at some point, forgive me. That is a gift I hope I never take for granted. For me to be the best person I can be, I need to take her lead and try, even for just a second, to forgive those who have hurt me. It can’t promise it will happen but I will try my hardest to achieve this level of kindness until the day I die. I took these vows and I plan on keeping them.
After all we’ve done with our lives – whether or not we were successful, rich, or have failed miserably – when we leave this earth and join the ones who’ve gone before us, I choose to believe that we will be rewarded for showing forgiveness. It will be our welcome home! That, my friends, is heaven. That is forgiveness.
Let’s talk soon, I’ll bring the coffee. -R