Compasses and guide dogs, putting your toes on the road to forgiveness
Ok…forgiveness is big in my work! I admit I have become a bit annoying. (Insert my family’s faces with raised eyebrows) I think I might even be “that” person at the coffee shop that will start a conversation with random people that somehow ends up on the subject of forgiveness.
Often people want to know how long it should take them to forgive an offender. Darn good question! How long does forgiveness take? It takes as long as you drag it out or as long as you need it to take. I wish it were like magic, POOF… pain gone, insert forgiveness. Hey, some (very few) can do this, but not many (like almost none). Just the other day a dear friend said, “I want to forgive but I just can’t get past the, I want”. How perfect is that?! How many times have we just wanted to let stuff go and move on but our minds and emotions are holding on to EVERYTHING.
The forgiveness journey is an expedition. Sometimes needing hiking boots, a compass and a guide dog. Depending on what you have to forgive, it could be a short trip or you could be on a wild ride that lasts longer. If someone takes my parking space, I will let that go by the time I get thru produce department in the supermarket but if you hurt my children, that could be a life long forgiveness voyage.
All journeys start at the beginning. But some people never even choose to get to the beginning. We all know people who choose to never forgive and live a life bitter and angry because of what has happened to them. Just getting to the first stage and saying, “ I want to forgive, I want to let this go” is major. Like big deal, over the top major! Why? Because forgiveness does what love cannot. Forgiveness is the link between love and healing. Imagine yourself putting your feet on a path. You can see the end. The end is a calm, safe place and just what you need. Right now you are at the beginning, you have just stepped on to the path by saying “I want to forgive”. Before that step, you did not even know that path existed. Before that you only knew what you already had, unfilled wishes and dreams. How long it takes you to walk the path and how many twist and turns you take, is up to you.
I say HOORAY to putting your toes on the path, even if full forgiveness feels like a highway that will take years to travel. We all know that situations are not easy and they are messy. Life is not fair and can be very sad. Sure you are on the first step, but you are on the path. Many people do not choose to even step on the road. You want to heal, you want to let go of what hurts so much. So grab the boots, map, compass and the guide dog… lets go!
Rev. Misty Tyme