Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The importance of forgiving ourselves

It's like this: we aren't perfect.
Or, wait a minute: we are perfect, but according to some rules, we are less than we want to be.

Or, we actually do stupid, or mean, or thoughtless, or selfish things now and then. And then we have the present to live in.

Now is all we really have.
If we "blew it" in the past, we cannot undo that, and an attitude of harshness towards ourselves only makes it more likely we will act poorly in the future.

Because when we lash out at ourselves, we feel bad.
And when we feel bad, we treat other people not as well as they deserve. Not as well as we wish to treat them.

These people around us are miracles. They are alive.

We are miracles. We are alive.

In the present we can realize that, can feel our life right now, even reading or hearing these words.
And if there is another person in our life, and we think of them, we can feel in our hearts the glory of this: they are alive.

So what's this go to do with forgiveness?

Holding onto an image of ourselves that's impossible to match in reality causes stress, at the very least.
And the image is: we should have been different in the past.

Now, we can examine the past and imagine that being different would have created different results.
And we can try different actions in the present to create different results.
But we can't erase the past.

And we can look at the imaginary self of us in the past, and pat ourselves on the head and realize we did the best we could within whatever mindset we were in.

And we can decide to try a different mindset, and a different set of actions next time. But thrashing ourselves for whatever we did, this leads, as I mentioned above, only to an internal misery that cries out for hurting others so they will match our pain.

How are you in this present moment?

Are you happy and content, glad to be in this moment and alive?
Excited by the prospects of actions and rests you are going to take today?
Feeling your body in gravity, breath, light and sound?
Enjoying the moment?
Knowing you are alive in the moment?
Grateful for the miracle of being alive, right now.

I hope so.


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