In order for forgiveness to happen, something has to die. If you make a choice to forgive, you have to face into the pain. You simply have to hurt. – Brene Brown
Thirty Days of Forgiveness, as explained by my post on Oct. 27th, is no longer a practice in identifying people to forgive (including myself). It is now a practice in asking and answering these questions:
- What must die in order for me to forgive Them + Me? Expectations? Victimhood? Dreams/demands? Blame? The way it is supposed to be? The need to be right? Awesome stories of how I was wronged? Awesome stories of how I screwed up?
- If to forgive is to love, am I ready to love Them + Me? I mean really, there are some people/things we have no interest in loving—ever! Am I right? You know I’m right. I know I’m right.
- What pain must I face in order for me to forgive Them + Me? I’m sure the first question will fill in that blank easily enough.
- Am I willing to write publicly about it?
What must die?
The notion that anything about me needs to be proven. If there is something about me I think is important for other people to know, it’s either already obvious or it isn’t really who I am, but rather who I want to be (or who I want people to believe I am, which doesn’t feel completely honest).
Am I ready to love?
A friend of mine likes to say, “Whatever people think of me is none of my business.” Can I love a life that embraces that reality? Oof. In theory, yes, but it’s going to take some practice. It’s not that I don’t care what people think. I do. The point isn’t to change what people think but to change what they witness.
What pain must I face?
I have to be what I what I think is important, not project an image of what I think is important. If I can’t live it, honestly and authentically, I have no business advertising. I’ve wasted scads of energy trying to prove things which people would have naturally discovered if those things were so damn true about me. All that time and energy could have been better invested being that person as opposed to projecting that person. People will believe I’m smart or creative or compassionate when they recognize those qualities, not necessarily after listening to me convince them that I possess them.
Can I own this publicly?