We forgive to return ourselves to wholeness.
How is forgiveness showing up in my life right now?
- A friend of mine was describing a situation with her stepdaughter. The younger woman had arrived from out of town for a visit with a companion she was specifically asked not to bring at an hour much later than she was expected. She was sent to a hotel, rather than being invited home. Hearing the story, I (silently) had many judgments about my friend’s actions which I broadened to her character in general.
- A man working for me did not do what I asked him to do. He made an effort, but the results were not what I had in mind. I told my husband how dissatisfied I was and what an idiot the worker was not to have understood how to do it right. Then I realized that the man was not (as I thought) out of the house and may have overheard my harsh words.
- After both of these situations, I felt terrible for my own tendencies to judge. In fact, the idea that you are continuing to read words written by such a flawed character is astounding.
- Expectations: I have ideas about How Things are Supposed to Go. My friend should have responded to the situation as I would. My employee should have understood what I had in mind immediately.
- Judgments of others: if they don't do it my way, they're wrong. Not only that, but their wrongness reflects defects in character.
- Judgments of myself: to take offense means I am A Bad Person, as does having judgments about the situation or the other person. Saying anything about the offense and/or at the judgments compounds my Badness.
How could it work differently?
- Would it be possible to meet life without expectations? I'm not sure…
- Having judgments seems like a human activity. I don't think I will stop having judgments. I can become more aware of the judgments as they arise.
- Once I notice a judgment, I can decide what to do about it, including whether or not to say something. In the first example above, it doesn't matter that I would've handled things differently. In the second example, perhaps I needed to better explain the results I wanted.
- I'm open to this moment. The next moment also will be a surprise.
- Whoa, look at all those judgments I'm having! I'm good at being human.
- She did it differently; that doesn't mean she did it wrong.