Monday, December 7, 2009

Choose to Forgive

I just want to take a moment to speak to all you anonymous thirty somethings. I want to tell you that this may be "just a stage you are in", and it won't last forever. You've been through stages before, you know. Like when all your friends were in the dating stage; then all of you went through the getting married stage; next was the having babies stage, and then (unfortunately), some of you went through the getting divorced stage.
It seems that the women around me are going through a hurt, disjointed, and disillusioned stage. It doesn't have to be that way, of course, but it seems that by the time we reach this "thirty something", we have collected a lot of hurts. We've hurt others (often unintentionally), and we've lost a lot of relationships. We feel hurt sometimes, and we feel alone! Some of us don't have an extended family to fall back on, and some of us are under stress in our marriages to boot. Many of us have teenagers, or are under financial pressures.
Wow. We are going through some stuff.
But I think what's most important at this phase in life, is to be ruthlessly forgiving. Remember, that those women who have hurt you, or betrayed your friendship- they are hurting too! Your parents are fallible, your church is only full of normal men and women. You will have others fail you, and maybe they already have- terribly.
But this reminds me of my sweet daughter Victoria, and her recent encounter with her slightly older brother Joshua.
Joshua took Victoria's mittens, and was out in the snow drifts having a great time. Victoria was in the house, dejectedly searching for any sort of mitten. To no avail. Assessing the situation, I suggested to Victoria that she put some of Jed's turbo thick woolen socks over her hands, and just go have a good time. But Victoria was intensely focused on the terrible injustice of the situation- "Joshua took my mittens, and he wouldn't give them back!" An injustice, to be sure, but I wanted to point something out to Victoria.
"Are you enjoying yourself by being bitter about it?"
"What if you just forgave him, and moved on with your life? You could spend the whole day being angry, and it would ruin all your fun... or you could let it go, and it would have no power to affect the rest of your day! Just put on the socks, and leave it behind."
(Sage advice for myself these days. "Just put on the socks, and move on with your day.")
She cried. And put on the socks. I don't know the end of the story yet, but I think it's time for me as a thirty something to forgive. To recognize that I can't change what's going on around me, but I could do something about the future. I can get through this stage a lot faster, if I will ruthlessly forgive.

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