So before I even begin, let me start by getting the obvious out of the way.
I am a huge hypocrite.
I can hold grudges until the end of days.I will remember the time you screwed up. I will throw it back in your face years and years down the road.
But it’s time to let it all go.
I am on a path in life now where I can’t let the past linger any longer. I have been hurt in the past. Deceived, used, mistreated, lied to, put down, the list goes on and on.
And I am a good person, but I will be honest, I have hoped for some bad things to happen to people. Not like psycho bad, just karma bad.
I can be resentful. I can be petty. I can be downright mean. My, usually carefully selected, words can cut through like a dull knife, slow and painful.
But I have these three beautiful children who look up to me as a role model. They watch my every move, they mimic me. They idolize me. And yet I don’t teach them. I instruct them, but I don’t show them. I don’t lead them.
Just to get a couple of things out of the way. I have never done anything truly “bad” in life. Never been in trouble with the law, never done drugs, never physically harmed anything (other than spiders!), never even had a drop of alcohol in my life. In fact, I don’t even cuss. Ever.
But I can be a hypocrite. I can be a liar. I can be mean. And I’m trying to teach these kids not to be these things. How can I expect my children to actually learn these things when all I’m doing is saying words. I am not mean to my children, I am not mean to my wife (although, again, I will be honest and say I have been in the past, whether intentionally or not).
I am probably one of the most respectable and polite people in public, especially around strangers. I am a strong believer that you just don’t know what someone else is going through and to never judge. I even leave full tips for terrible servers. Maybe they are just having a bad day.
But to people I know personally, where I know a little about their lives, their mistakes, their effects on those around them, I am highly critical.
And it makes me a bad person. And my kids can see this. And I have to stop.
So I am going to work on forgiveness.
I need to forgive myself for the things I’ve done. I need to forgive others for the way they have hurt me.
I have mentioned before that I am an introvert. I have, literally, no friends outside of family (which even that is very limited). Anytime I have let people in in the past they have hurt me or my family one way or another. So today I am forgiving you.
The words of my parents echoed softly in the past, but today they are ringing loud in my ears. Mom – “Choose your battles.” Dad – “It’s not worth it.”
So the battles have not been won or lost. They have been forfeited. They are gone.
“Most of us need time to work through pain and loss. We can find all manner of reasons for postponing forgiveness. One of these reasons is waiting for the wrongdoers to repent before we forgive them. Yet such a delay causes us to forfeit the peace and happiness that could be ours.” – James E. Faust
I forgive you.
I forgive you.
Those who have hurt me and my family will likely never, ever read this post.
But I still forgive you.
I am letting go of the disdain, the hatred, the pain, the suffering. The cruelness from my heart is going away. I am a good person. I need to show my children.
And I ask for forgiveness to those who I have hurt with my words and actions.
I apologize for the pain, for the tears, for the hatred, for the cruelness, for the intentional and unintentional consequences that have stemmed from me.
I am truly sorry.
I am more than that man. I am a loving father and husband. I try to give when I can. I try to help when I can. I make regular trips to donate items to the homeless shelter. I work on an employee committee at work that gives back to the employees and the community.
am was a hypocrite. I will be a leader to my children. I will teach them with my actions, not only my words.
I will be a positive role model. I will be a better father. I will be a better husband. I will be a better son. I will be a better brother. I will be a better uncle. I will be a better friend (if I ever have one of those again someday). I will be a better person.
My boss said something to me a few weeks ago that has really resonated with me. She told me that even though I’m not a highly religious person I have an incredibly strong moral compass.
And I agree with her. But in the past I have always seen the world as either white or black. Shades of grey didn’t exist. But they do. The lines aren’t so distinct. They are subtle. They are discretionary. And what I may see as “right” or “wrong” may not be , and is probably not always, right.
There is good and bad in this world, but not everyone falls into being a “good” or a “bad” person. Mistakes happen. Life happens.
“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” – Maya Angelou
Today is a new day. And a beautiful one at that. Today I cleanse my heart. I will wash away the pain. It’s a fresh start.
I will make it count. I will do something good with it.
“It’s not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you.” – Tyler Perry