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Forgiveness That Forgets: Seeing Our Mistakes Through Our Eyes

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com - Throughout the course of our lives, we are subject to fail -- sometimes with notice, sometimes without. More times than not, as human beings we inherently seek to do the right thing. But occasionally, because of some unforeseen turn in this superhighway called life, we fail to recognize and adhere to the signs warning us of dangerous curves ahead and plow headlong through the straw bales, catapulting off the cliff like the racer in the recent Geico pig commercial.



Regardless, the damage is done. Some of us walk away unscathed, some with scrapes and bruises, while others of us wind up in an emotional intensive care unit for months or even years trying to heal the carnage left in our wake. Those in our inner circle are just as devastated and emotionally broken and bruised, for we have failed to live up to their lofty expectations. They tend to hurt more because of what we've done to them, all the while hurting less because of the damage we've done to ourselves and others.



Family and friends are for the most part understanding, but if we screw up royally a few, I've found, are extremely quick to judge, very slow to listen and slower still to forgive. We have breached the sacred wall of trust and proceeded to taint the very essence of our being in their eyes. I've got it -- we screwed up and no one knows that anymore than we do. We will carry the scars indefinitely, as reminders, I hope, to not repeat the same mistakes again.



Life happens. My question is: How can we find true and lasting forgiveness? Can you look past the sometimes rapidly-imposed judgments and attempt to see through our eyes why things happened as they did? Can you weigh the good in us and through empathy attempt to see more clearly just what drove us off the cliff? Can you reflect on the good in us and envision through our eyes the "just what were you thinking?" mentality that created our momentary lapse in judgment?

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