It’s Thursday — and a beautiful Thursday at that — so it’s time for…
This week, our lovely leader and new mom Carmen asked each of us to respond to this prompt: “Describe the importance of forgiveness as being an important ingredient when it comes to love. How have you learned to forgive and love?”
As Carmen is currently taking some time to bond with her brand=new and totally adorable baby boy, Camden, some of us are guest-posting on her site. Fatima from Motherhood Through My Eyes provided the post for this week. You can read it here.
For me, forgiveness is a huge part of what makes a good relationship work. We’re all human, and humans are bound to screw up in some way or another, and to make lots of mistakes. Sometimes we learn from those errors after the first stumble, and other times we have to commit the same blunder ad nauseum before we realize what must be done to avoid falling into the same trap again. These errors, in terms of love, spread across the spectrum from the silliness of miscommunication to the utter seriousness of cheating (or worse). It’s hard being human, isn’t it?!
That’s where forgiveness comes in. Depending on the situation and the seriousness of the transgression committed, it can be easy to forgive someone you love or it can be incredibly difficult despite the depth of your feelings for them. For example, I could easily forgive The Hubby for picking up the wrong kind of milk at the store, but if I found out he was going to be the father of someone else’s child we’d have a very big problem! Similarly, if your best friend spilled your deepest, darkest secret (despite swearing on a stack of bibles to carry the secret forever), you might want to give some thought to your friendship. On another level, you might need to forgive yourself: what if you’re trying really hard to lose weight or save your money for an awesome vacation, only to trip up and eat not one, but two cupcakes (oh, the horror!) or to drop hundreds of dollars on a Coach bag or those cute Louboutins? (Not that I have any clue what I’m talking about when it comes to designer handbags or shoes; the most expensive bag I own is a Vera Bradley and my costliest shoes are Skechers. Pffffft!) How quick would you be to forgive yourself for doing those things? They might sound silly in writing, but if they actually happened the humor of the situation would be hard to find, right?
For me personally, forgiveness comes after going through a few steps. Once I’ve forgiven someone, love quickly (and easily) follows.
1. Take a deep breath. Allow the anger or annoyance to subside a bit before giving the situation any further thought or taking action.
2. Think hard. Let’s be real here: how serious is the transgression? If you ate a cupcake on a no-cheating day, is it really worth getting hung up about? Sure, you might want to skip your regular cheat day to make up for it and work a little harder in the gym to help burn it off, but it’s not worth beating yourself up over. (Unless you follow a specific diet that requires you to avoid high-sugar food, like one for diabetics; in that case, give yourself a mental slap on the wrist and then move on.) If you’re dealing with something much more serious — say, any kind of betrayal — you have to decide whether it’s a deal-breaker and, if it is, it’s probably time to cut your losses. Better to feel the sting a little longer than to rip off the newly-formed scab, right?
3. Make the decision. It’s go time. What are you going to do?
4. Find it in your heart to forgive, and move on. Forgive and forget (or at least try to forget), regardless of how bad it was. You don’t want gray clouds hanging over your head long after the incident has passed. Forgive, forget, and love again.
So, how have you learned to forgive and love again?