“…forgiveness is not forgetting or walking away from accountability or condoning a hurtful act; it’s the process of taking back and healing our lives so we can truly live.” – – Brené Brown
I had an experience today that I wanted to share. In fact, I feel I had this experience because of the “rumbling” I’m doing in my own life. Let me explain.
I have been listening to this fantastic podcast, “Big Strong Yes.” In this podcast, Lani Diane Rich and Dr. Kelly Jones are reading through three books: Rising Strong by Brené Brown, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, and Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. Each episode tackles a chapter of a book and then they discuss what meaning they derive and how they are utilizing this in their own lives. They assign themselves (and each other) homework to help drive the progress. We are still in the first section tackling Brené Brown’s book.
I am about a week and a half behind but that’s okay! I have gotten stuck on a section about forgiveness. I cannot seem to shake this concept. On a fundamental level, I understand. To forgive is to let go and let God but it’s tough. Today, a different part of this concept clicked for me.
In addition to my piano work, I work as a recreation director for a skilled nursing center. It’s a job I never thought I wanted but I really love the work I do. Over the past few weeks, I have a lady that has been stressed over her situation. Her personality has changed and there was very few things that I could try to encourage that would help. Today, I went to her room and sat down with her. She opened up to me and we were able to exchange ideas and thoughts. I told her about my past issues dealing with stress that impacted my health. We talked about ways to relieve some of the stress that she is feeling. Then, she started talking about how betrayed she feels because of acts and comments from a close friend. This lady is very religious and stated, “I just want to be right with God. I try to do what is right and make right choices. I know I should forgive her but I don’t know what to do.”
My response? I told her that the most important part of forgiveness was forgiving yourself. In order to truly move on when we are struggling or have been knocked down is acknowledging that we can fall and it’s okay to fall. Forgiving yourself, in my opinion, is so much more important than forgiving others. Forgiving yourself is taking back control of the situation and dictating what direction you now trod. You are leading your life rather than letting other forces lead it for you. Forgiveness is not giving the other person a pass, it’s refusing to let that person continue to hurt you.
Now, this is so much easier said than done. I am not suddenly an expert at forgiving myself and I am not this ascended being. I have to truly learn to apply this in my life. I am extremely hard on myself and need to give myself a huge break. This insight I had today helps me know that maybe, just maybe, I have a chance at making this one life count.
I am going to rumble my way through my falls and rise each time stronger and better. This process is hard and there are times when I want to throw Rising Strong out the window. However, I plod along, I learn, I grow. This is life. This is the arena.