Counting down to Thanksgiving, and our special Thanksgiving class. Each day I will share a reason why I am thankful this year. See what I shared yesterday right here.
I am thankful for forgiveness.
This simple act has proven itself to be the glue that holds together the relationships I value the most. It’s the foundation of my faith, a critical ingredient in my marriage, what keeps me sane as a parent, and nurtures appreciation in my friendships.
This may come as a shocker, but I’m not perfect. Really. It’s true. It is simply a reality that I’m sure you can relate to. It’s abundantly clear when we don’t do the things we know we should. And when we do the things we know we shouldn’t. This means that we keep falling short of our expectations. This disappointment was, and still is, tough for me.
…we do the things we know we shouldn’t. This means that we keep falling short of our expectations.
For a long time, this meant I was rather hard on myself. I lacked forgiveness in this critical relationship with my self. When I thought I fell short in anything, as penance, I would let myself carry the frustration, guilt, and embarrassment for far longer than what was warranted. This lack of forgiveness in my life was a huge burden and robbed me of a lot of time and joys I will never get back.
It took awhile for me to open my eyes to this self-imposed block in my heart and weight on my shoulders.
For so long, I looked at forgiveness as unfair when it was offered to me. It was something the other person did to move on but the damage had already been done. The other person was somehow permanently marked by my failure. When it came to forgiving myself it just felt like I was letting myself off the hook.
Forgiveness was simply an acknowledgment and setting in stone that an expectation hadn’t been met.
This slowly changed as I committed to growing in my faith and in my yoga practice. These parts of my life re-orient my understanding of what forgiveness really is, my personal worth and what I truly am capable of.
My faith taught me that although I am not perfect, I am wonderfully loved. I honestly still can’t fathom the depth and breath of this love. All I know is that if someone who knows me so intimately can love me that much, I have no leg to stand on when it comes to holding onto guilt and shame. It also makes no sense for me to hold onto a grudge since the other person is loved just as much.
My yoga practice helped this sink in. It gave me a handle on the greatness that I now know is in me. Something that my old way of looking at things kept hidden from sight. My yoga practice continues to surprise me with what I can do, especially for others, that I never thought I would be capable of. It has helped unblock my heart and lightened my mind so that I can better chase after life and live the life I know is available to me. Not a care-free existence, but a life with peace of mind. Not a work-free existence, but a life with work that I am passionate about and which has an impact on other people’s lives.
In combination, my faith and yoga practice showed me that there is a treasure inside of making mistakes and in each failure. These seemingly negative experiences actually are the keys to real growth, maturity, and being equipped to help others.
…my faith and yoga practice showed me that there is a treasure inside of making mistakes and in each failure…
All of this isn’t to say that I always forgive myself easily or quickly. Nor do I always feel that I deserve the forgiveness I graciously receive from others. But, I am working on it. I am consciously working on it.
Being able to forgive myself has helped me appreciate even the negative experiences in my life. It helps me let go of the bad thoughts and feelings I would normally associate with these experiences and see the opportunities to grow in my life, be closer to those I love, and see the true worth I have regardless of the circumstance or situation.
I am thankful for forgiveness.
I would love to know what has forgiveness has meant to you in your life.