There’s a fact about ourselves that is inevitable, yet grossly disturbing and even down right impossible for some people to face: we are all in need of forgiveness. Now, I could choose to take a spiritual left turn with this post and rock the very foundation on which you stand… but instead, I am going a different direction and keeping this “worldly”. Regardless of which way we go here, the fact remains that no matter your age, gender, race or the fact that you sit on a church pew every Sunday… You, my friend, are in need of forgiveness.
Put your torches and pitchforks away… I am not insinuating that you are in any way, big or small, a bad person. What I am saying here is that we have all, although most likely unintentionally, hurt someone. Listen… I would be the most ignorant type of liar to share the air you breathe if I ever tried to claim that I have not made some bad decisions in my life. These circumstances range from minor atrocities to massive ground shattering choices that changed my life, as well as the life of others. When we reflect on these details of our life, so begins the Journey of Forgiveness and this is ultimately a quick and simple 3 step process in which we can find resolve to misfortune, understanding, compassion and most importantly, peace within ourselves that will help pave the way for a better future.
Although I believe the concept of a completely “guilt free” life is just wishful thinking, I believe that somewhere within these 3 simple steps we will be a little closer to the “good person” within us. Try these steps:
- STEP ONE: Forgive Yourself! – Nobody in this world knows you better than you know yourself. Take time to reflect on your entire life from the beginning of your earliest memories to this very moment, where the clock stands today. Sift through the details with a fine tooth comb and before you know it, you’ll be neck deep in bad decisions, angry words, sour moods and a ton of things you wish you “could have” changed. The bad news is you obviously cannot change these things… the good news is, you can absolutely render them irrelevant to the rest of your life. At this time you have got to truly and wholeheartedly forgive yourself for your own transgressions before you can move on to Step two.
- STEP TWO: Seek Forgiveness! – A funny fact about us humans is that, we tend to focus on the wrong that has been done to us and we expect apologies from those who hurt us, yet, we cannot as easily accept our own wrongdoings and seek forgiveness for them. I get it; its hard to admit when you’re wrong. Take comfort in knowing that you have been wrong at certain point right along side of each individual here on Earth. When you have forgiven yourself, my suggestion is to seek forgiveness from others that you may have hurt. Type up an email, text, Facebook message or send a signal up in smoke relaying your sincere apologies. Before you begin this process you should be fully aware of one thing… seeking forgiveness and receiving it are two different things; therefor, please guard your heart and go into this phase with zero expectations. Understand that when you have reached out to others and offered your apologies, your job is done.
- STEP THREE: Be Forgivable! – This is the final step to a touch of inner freedom for you, however, it is also a step that never ends. Being forgivable is a commitment to yourself to live a lifestyle of love and positive behavior. Please note that this does not mean perfection; perfection is completely off the table due to our human nature and free will. We will most certainly make mistakes, but if we can learn how to face these mistakes with understanding and humble ourselves to seek forgiveness in spite of our human nature… we can live as a totally forgivable individual.
“Sometimes, when you’re in a dark place, you think you’ve been buried when you have actually been planted” -Christine Caine
From the beginning of our lives, we view the entire world through our own “lens” of reality and each experience is a grain of understanding that we grind into our lens. Over time, as our experience and perspective becomes more broad, our lens becomes foggy and distorted. My advice does come from the perspective of my own lens; however, my prayer is to help at least one person polish up that view of themselves and/or the world around them.