The Priest started with a riddle: “What does everybody need to do, nobody wants to do, and most people don’t know how to do it?”
I guessed, death. Wrong.
The answer was FORGIVENESS.
Forgiveness is a topic addressed in many counseling sessions, and the message in the homily was pertinent to many.
First, yes, everybody does NEED to forgive. If we hold anger and angst in our chest, it makes our lives miserable. Daily activities lose the joy, and we neglect our future by wasting precious energy on somebody’s past hurtful words or behavior. We NEED to forgive for ourselves. Not forgiving a person for wrongdoing doesn’t affect them much, but it kills the one carrying around the hurt and hate.
Second, no, we don’t WANT to forgive. Pride and winning or losing enters the equation, and we think, “It will be a cold day in the Mohave desert before I forgive that so and so!” Truth: That so and so doesn’t even know what is eating us up inside, or that we are wasting our life with nasty ruminating thoughts of things we can’t change or control.
And, yes, most of us have many skills, but forgiving isn’t one of them. I heard the FIVE STEPS TO FORGIVING. See what you think. They make sense to me.
- Go off by yourself and speak about how you feel about the person who’s offended you. Get it all out. Speak until there is nothing more to say. You don’t need someone to listen – just talk.
- Say, “I forgive _________ for what s/he has done to offend me!”
- Ask God to forgive the person. Remember he tells us we are to love our enemies.
- Ask for your forgiveness for your reactions toward the person who hurt you.
- Fill the space in your mind and heart left vacant from forgiving with fun ideas, plans, inspirational quotes, and friends who help you laugh. Also, bless the person who offended you.
My mother used to say, “Bless them on their way.” Wise woman.
Try it, it might just work, and YOU will be the beneficiary. You might have to do it several times if one time through the five steps doesn’t get rid of all the negativity.
Practice until your free.
Until the next time: Live while you live!