Friday, March 23, 2007


Forgiving and asking for forgiveness embrace a great part of my emotional and spiritual growth. It is the act that fertilizes friendships and close relationships. Without it, I assure you the level of intimacy becomes stagnant. True growth is always built on mistakes and the process of their resolution.

I’ll begin with my acts of asking for forgiveness. It is the one I truly have some control over. I find at least three categories of forgiveness:

When I am wrong I promptly admit it. I mean during the conversation or as soon afterwards as I can accept my part of a blunder or transgression. You’d be surprised how often this puts your partner off balance----“I was wrong, forgive me” keeps any relationship on track and sets precedence for the other. Even the smallest infraction left to fester can scar a relationship.

Next, there are my delayed and procrastinated amends sometimes for years, decades! These are the wrongs I’ve been unable to face. Unfortunately, I’m the one who spends years with searing shame or pain, ruminating over disagreements and delusions. If at all possible, I try to meet face-to-face. If not, phone or letter play second best. Once I have admitted my wrong, it frees me up to forgive others, it encourages mending old relationships, and it alleviates my shame and pain.

If I hang onto the grudge long enough, asking for forgiveness face-to-face becomes impossible and I am faced with asking someone who has past on. My favorite way to do this is to write a letter and attach it to a helium balloon; then let it loose over the ocean. Another way is to burn the letter at a special place and watch the smoke rise to the sky.

Do I forgive easily? Since not forgiving keeps me uncomfortable and avoiding situations where that person may be, of course I forgive (it’s really the easier, softer way). When I find myself pulling back, saying “No! This one I can’t forgive!” I’ve been given instructions by a mentor to pray for that person for 30 days, asking that they receive all that is valued and coveted by me. Try it. You’ll be amazed.

Finally, I’ve learned that those who make me the angriest are the greatest contributors to my growth. Success with my companions and amours is always in the process of problem solving and forgiving. -Contributed by Dr. Belle

Your journal assignment ... Who do you need to forgive? Why? When?

1 comment:

Adeline said...

Forgiveness, it sounds so easy the way you write about it.
I promptly admit my wrong doings today. It is so much easier to admit the transgressions as close to the occurrence as possible. This may not always be easy but I agree it keeps relationships open, fresh, and honest.
Then there are those transgressions that happened many years ago. Several months ago I wrote a letter to someone asking for forgiveness in my part of a failed marriage. In many ways I feel better, but maybe I was looking for something more. I wanted to be released from this person’s grip and this did not happen. Legally I’m still tied to this person and they are the only one (I believe) that can release me from this bondage. So do I feel better after writing my letter? I do. I have done my part, I still have resentments. I am waiting for something from the other person. That was not my main purpose of the letter but I was looking for a bonus. That bonus may never come. I do fell better about myself for what I did.