Love and forgiveness reign
Is it just me or are there more people asking to be forgiven and offering up apologies more than ever before? We are seeing it in the news, from the politicians, to athletes and we see it and hear it amongst friends and families. I have even found myself both asking for forgiveness more and more and certainly offering forgiveness more and more.
What is it that is causing such a surge of activity that calls for an apology? What is driving our behaviors, poor choices and our use of an unsavory and certainly an unhealthy vocabulary? Is it stress? Is it frustration? Could it be our environment or the people we are hanging around with? Maybe it’s a combination of all of it at some time or another.
For many of us, asking for forgiveness comes very easily, as we know when we are in the wrong. Our foundational belief system about seeking reconciliation moves us to take action and make amends for our mistakes. And yet for others, asking for forgiveness is one of the toughest things that they will ever do. They are so resistant to apologies and can’t seem to get the words “I’m sorry” to come from their lips. And even though they know that they are wrong, they would rather have a situation or relationship deteriorate before bringing themselves to a point where they could ever admit fault.
Some people believe that love means that you never have to say you are sorry. Or they use that saying as something to hide behind and as an avoidance mechanism. We are all humans and all have the potential to make mistakes, falter and make bad choices. Our mistakes have happened in the past and we will certainly make more going forward. And even though when we are in a relationship based on true love, I can promise you that offering a sincere and well-deserved apology will strengthen that relationship and bring deeper love than making the decision to remain silent.
When appropriate, asking for forgiveness and offering apologies are absolutely the right things to do. And just as important is to find the strength and love in our own hearts to offer forgiveness. Each and every one of us has already been forgiven. And yet, many of us who have received forgiveness still hold back and deny that same forgives to others. Some of us hold on to anger and grudges, believing that we are hurting the person who is trying to apologize, when in reality, the only person that continues to remain hurt is the person who is withholding the forgiveness.
You may try to come up with many different scenarios where forgiveness could just not be possible. The sin or mistake was too terrible to be forgiven. And I will share with you that in each and every scenario you can think of, the support and rationale for forgiveness will always outweigh the perception to deny or withhold forgiveness.
Maybe you can get close to agreeing with me, and you may say something like, “I can forgive them, but I will not forget.” If you can get to that point of forgiveness, you may as well go all the way to forgetting, too. Holding on to a bad memory or situation or harboring any sort of anger will only lead to re-living the event or situation over and over again. So learn from the mistake, set good boundaries so you can’t be hurt again, but learn to love, forgive and forget.
How about you? Are you living with a spirit of love and forgiveness? Is there someone that would love to hear an apology from you? Is there someone that would love to be forgiven by you? Either way, I would love to hear all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. And when love and forgiveness are a part of our guiding values, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach, and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.