Saturday, October 22, 2005

Day 19: Forgiveness

"The art of being yourself at your best is the art of unfolding your personality into the person you want to be. . . . Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others."
Wilfred Peterson

The difference between being sorry and asking for forgiveness.
Sorry: Being sorry for something means that you unintentionally hurt others, it doesn't imply guilt but does imply understanding and compassion. For example "saying I'm sorry you hurt" validates the others feelings without agreeing that I might had a part in their pain. It lets them know I see their pain and have compassion and empathy for their situation.
Asking for forgiveness is a definite acknowledgement that I had to do something with the feelings and pains they experienced. I take responsibility in what I have done and I was aware of what I was doing at that moment.

When I refuse to validate another's feeling it is usually because I am fearful what that would mean to me. Validating another's feeling is a gift we give by supporting them to move beyond their fear.

When I am willing to face the areas where I have been less than my best, forgiveness is in order. Saying 'I'm sorry, please forgive me" takes courage. Today I set myself free through forgiveness. I think I finally get the forgiveness thing, I always felt, forgiving something meant letting others of the hook. But there still will be some it will be hard to forgive and it might take a while longer. But I am working on it. Mostly I have to forgive myself.

Who do I blame for any of my problems or difficulties?
My family, myself, some of the kids from my past

What part of your life is on hold because I have refused to forgive?
intimacy and self acceptance.

If I could hear I'm sorry from anyone, who would it be? Have I forgiven them?
I have not completely forgiven him, but I do understand that it wasn't intentional, it was a necessity for him to do.

Who have I refused to say "I'm sorry" to?
Myself, some of my family members and some friends

I have to learn to forgive, I have to say I'm sorry to anyone I have wronged, hurt or punished. I have to pay attention to the people who I want to punish or hurt, forgiveness is in order there. Forgiving them for something they have done and forgiving myself for keeping a record of the hurt.
No need to beat myself up over the times I didn't forgive or didn't say I am sorry.

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