This morning I have been contemplating the meaning of forgiveness and today I want to explore this from a slightly different angle. I believe in the power of forgiveness, as in the words of Jesus on the cross: ‘forgive them Father they know not what they do’. I feel forgiveness is a key to not becoming bitter. And it is extremely hard to forgive people who have wronged us. But I also feel it is a choice, so I make the choice even though I may not want to.
However sometimes the hardest person to forgive is ourselves. This can be for many reasons; failure, making stupid choices, regrets, the list is endless. But it is very necessary.
We all make mistakes, we all screw up and that is part of being human. And we can all start again, no matter how many mistakes we have made. But holding ourselves to ransom for bad choices we made twenty years ago does not bear good fruit. Instead I think it simply makes us feel stuck and we go around and around the same mountain.
There is something freeing about forgiving ourselves. It is facing up to consequences, accepting them, but also moving forward and making fresh and better choices. And if embroiled in the hamster wheel that is addiction, it can mean making a phone call to AA or attending a meeting.
The thing is not to write ourselves off. Hope lies in the first breath of the morning; this can be a day for new choices, fresh plans, good decisions. Hope of change. Hope of a better future. We cannot go back to yesterday, but we can step into today and build a better today than the previous one. And that can involve forgiving ourselves, forgiving others and saying sorry where we have hurt them.
So today’s recipe of hope is to forgive yourself and allow yourself to move forward. If you are a Christian reading this, you may want to look at the Lord’s prayer while you are doing it. And if you have been deeply hurt by others, consider forgiving them. And if you are estranged from someone, perhaps this could be the day when you try to reconnect with them.
May you be blessed today with the freedom of a fresh start X