A while back, I had the excellent fortune of meeting with forgiveness authors Jerry Jampolsky and Diane Cirincione (they are married.) Jampolsky is famous for the book "Love is Letting Go of Fear" and he and Diane have now authored quite a few books together--as well as serving as mentors to various centers, based on forgiveness and related ideas, around the world.
They gave me their full, sunlit attention. I felt bathed in love and interest. And when I left they plied my hands full of their books, each of which they had signed especially for me.
It got me thinking about forgiveness, of course. First, there's that word, to Fore-give. To me that means that I give my gift to you before you give anything to me. Perhaps I feel that you have damaged me in some way in the past ... you have abused, or are now merely irritating me.
Rather than wait for you to help me feel better, I give you the gift of helping myself to feel better. I could wait forever for you to help me feel better, actually. And on the day I die, the jury might still be out.
But if I give you the gift of:
Hey, you are just a human being.
We all make mistakes.
Maybe I have not seen this correctly.
Maybe there is something good inside of you after all.
We are all in the same boat.
What can I enjoy about you now?
Then I have given myself my peace of mind back ... and I have given you the freedom (at least in my presence) to do the same.
We are afraid to fore-give, because the implication is that if we give something, we end up with less of something. How about less misery and suffering?
I think that's the idea the good old Bible was trying to turn around with: "To give is to receive." When we give up our grievance, when we give our forgiveness, my goodness, do we ever feel a whole lot better! Let the receiving begin!
When my grandmother was getting ready to pass away, I read her some short passages out of the Jampolsky/Cirincione books. She said,
"The hardest person to forgive is yourself."
Oh yes. Isn't that they key?
So here is my Fore-gift to you:
You are just a human being, my friend.
We all make mistakes.
Isn't it wonderful that we are all in this same damn leaky and imperfect boat,
Where's the luau?
From your Mystical Mama