Forgiveness – Part Six

How many times in your life have you apologized for something?  Of those times, how many did you really mean?

How many times in your life has someone told you they’re sorry or asked you to forgive them?  Of those times, how often did you honestly forgive versus just saying you did?

It’s hard, or at the very least uncomfortable, having these conversations that involve the need to ask for or grant forgiveness.  Humans are full of pride and self-righteousness, and being in the wrong on any given situation can cause denial, indignation and a handful of excuses or blame to cast on another.  Rarely does it result in humility in approaching the person we have hurt, intentionally or otherwise, and saying ‘I’m sorry’.  It’s also much easier and convenient for us humans to withhold the freedom of forgiveness.  To many, ‘Let that be a lesson to you’ is a preferred response over ‘Thank you for saying so; I forgive you’. 

I propose it does not have to be uncomfortable and we can learn to make it sincere and mean something beautiful.  In this learning, perhaps we can make the act of seeking and granting forgiveness not just sincere, but much less hard to perform too. 

I remember reading an article one time that pointed out when we make the excuse of ‘Oh, I didn’t mean it when I said that hurtful thing or committed this hurtful act’, well then, who did?  Because it was YOU after all who said it or did it.  So if you didn’t mean it, who did mean it?  Who was it exactly that was invading your body and speaking for you or acting on your behalf?  Because it sure seemed like it was you. 

There’s in-your-face reasoning.    

But you know I didn’t mean it!

The article also pointed out that saying things like ‘I didn’t mean it’ is no apology at all.  Neither is ‘I’m sorry, but just so you know I didn’t mean it’.  Those words remove the speaker’s responsibility from whatever he/she is referring to and in turn puts it back on the listener to resolve their own dilemma or hang-up about it. 

Which is totally out of line.  First you say or do something hurtful, then you say you didn’t mean it, then you basically leave it to the person who has been wronged to deal with the fallout all on their own.    

If this is sounding familiar to you in any way as something you have done or continue to do, I’m pleading with you to please stop.  No one deserves to be hurt and then forced to listen to a half-hearted non-apology and then further burdened with fixing it all alone and with no assistance from you.

It is also important to point out that we have these defense mechanisms in ourselves for a reason.  There may actually be real-life situations where you have said something that you did not mean, and it just flew out of your mouth for no other reason than your own need for immediate protection against fear or some other form of vulnerability.  That’s a different subject to be sure, but it still proves a similar point:  what kind of conversation do you really need to be having with the person you’re saying these defensive things to?  And somewhere along the way, will a sincere granting of or seeking of forgiveness be in order?

I’m asking a lot of questions in here, and the intention is for you to spend time reflecting on how YOU ask for or respond to a request of forgiveness.   Do you mean it?  Do you really mean it?  Whether you’re on the asking side or the granting side, do you really mean it?

I hope you do.  Words (non-hyperbolic words) and actions are important.  Events define our lives and make us who we are.  How we respond to those events can make us happy or miserable, content or full or regrets, feeling good about things or totally out of sorts. 

Without sounding all Pollyanna here, l will offer once more as I have in other posts that I intentionally choose to be a happy person instead of wallowing in misery over the events of my childhood.  I intentionally choose to be content with my life rather than regret what could-have-been had someone else been my father (but then, I wouldn’t be me, would I?).  I intentionally choose to feel good about who I am because I am both forgiven and forgiving. 

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to ask someone to forgive you or someone asks you for your forgiveness, I urge you to pause for just a moment and consider how you will choose your words and your actions. 

Will you be sincere about it all?  Will you really mean it when you say you are sorry or say that you forgive? 

No Molly-tie-in for this post.  This is all about us humans, though I still believe we can look at our canine and other animal companions and learn a thing or two about living right. 

Stay safe everyone, enjoy and God Bless!

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When The Future Is So Bright, You Have To Wear Shades

Please remember how hot and bright the days are right now. Protect your furbabies with shade, water and fresh air.

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Mutt Shots

Lately I’ve really been enjoying all of the great pics from Unsplash. Shout out to them and to Pexels both, but Unsplash seems my go-to for the timebeing.

If you’re like me, sometimes a picture will just make you stop for a second. You see the shot, you know it for what it is right away, a dog, but there’s something about it that gives pause (paws, hee-hee) in your perusal. Your eyes don’t just see and your brain doesn’t just recognize ‘dog’. But rather you are drawn in to the photo and you instantly connect with the dog.

That’s how I am with some of these photos. I find myself connecting with the dog. What is the dog thinking and feeling and how is it that I have this sensation of knowing I can relate to it? It’s so amazing that a picture can do that.

Is it the skill of the photographer in finding the exact and right lighting for the shot or in capturing the perfect moment the dog tilts his head just right or raises an eyebrow or looks directly into the camera? I don’t know. But I do know these pictures are a selection of ones that made me say to myself, ‘hey, download that one’.

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Sharing Saturday ~ The Dog That Transformed My Life — NJ Animal Observer

Once I heard a story where an old man remembered his life through each dog he had. At the time, I thought the story was interesting. Now, I know it makes perfect sense. Over the years, I’ve had several dogs. My first dog, Trixie, will forever be the dog I associate with being a child […]

The Dog That Transformed My Life — NJ Animal Observer
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Next-in-Series Teaser

The next post in the series on Forgiveness is coming soon! It will be the second-to-last installment and I want to be sure everyone knows about it. Of all the installments, I have a suspicion it will be the one most people can relate to on a personal level. The focus will be on whether or not you mean it when you tell someone you’re sorry, and likewise whether or not you mean it when you tell someone ‘it’s okay’ in way of forgiving them.

It is hard to relate to the personal, soul-saving type of forgiveness that I refer to in the second and fourth installments. I get it. This is a tough subject all on its own and when you tie it to traumatic childhood experiences, it’s even tougher.

Photo by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash

I’m not searching for hoopla from anyone on how great it is of me to have forgiven my abuser. Actually, I expect many will think how odd of me, not how great of me. Regardless, forgiven him I have, and sharing the journey is something I finally am able to do.

If sharing the story of overcoming myself in holding on to bitterness and anger is a help to anyone in any way, then I shall share away.

Be sure to look for the next post on Forgiveness.

Enjoy and God Bless!

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One-Word Wednesday

Chill

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Sharing Saturday: Our Continued Support for DOTS (Dogs on the Streets) — Whippet Wisdom – a Highland Journey

We are delighted we were able to make another donation of dog bowls, dog food (wet, dry and senior) and dental chews to DOTS (Dogs on the Streets) last week with funds raised from the sale of Sharing Our Horizon during the 2020-2021 tax year. DOTS is a Multi Award Winning Charity dedicated to the […]

Our Continued Support for DOTS (Dogs on the Streets) — Whippet Wisdom – a Highland Journey
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Thoughtful Thursday

“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.” Orhan Pamuk (author, My Name Is Red)

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One-Word Wednesday

Profile

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What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

So imagine being the parent of a six-year old who tells her first-grade teacher and the entire first-grade class that she wants to be an alcoholic when she grows up.  Yep, that was me, I did that!

Future animal lovers and caregivers of the Earth

Thinking about what I am doing with my life today (I’m not an alcoholic, but I do enjoy a glass of wine now and then or a nice, cold beer on a really hot day) versus what I predicted I’d be doing are two separate things I wanted to be a nurse, but I’m an auditor, or as I like to say a cheerio-counter.  And that got me thinking about the whole predictive text thing. 

Here’s what my predictive text says when I tap out “When I grow up, I want to be” – able to do it again for the next week or so.

At least it didn’t come up with anything about buying alcohol.  And yeah, I do want to be around for at least the next week or so, so the predictive text is absolutely correct. 

Here’s what my predictive text says when I tap out “My dog wants to be” – there for me to come home. 

Finally! You’re home!

I love this!  Isn’t this what all dogs want with their humans?  Always to be there greeting their humans and giving them their full attention as soon as they come through the door.  It’s the best thing ever for a dog. 

So why do we humans struggle so much figuring out what we want, or what we should want?  I used to be bummed that I never got to be a nurse.  But in the grand scheme of things, so what?  I’m happy, I’m healthy, I have my husband and we have our family, we have a nice home, and we’re not hungry or on the verge of bankruptcy (which would be a really bad thing for an auditor of a financial institution, just saying).  Have bad things happened and will there still be more struggles in my life?  Sure.  But it won’t ever keep me from being happy, which is what I really want to be when I grow up.

Here’s the challenge I’m throwing out to you in this post.  Use predictive text in your phone to see the answer to “When I grow up, I want to be…”  Then also find out about your dog or cat or other pet, “My dog wants to be…”

Please feel free to share the predictive text results or just share a story or comment about your life journey or about your special bond with your pet.  I’d love to hear them. 

One of the things I miss most about Molly is seeing her at the door anxious to greet me.  I think tonight when I get home I’m going to pretend she’s there and pretend to pick her up and give her kisses.  Yeah, I’m kind of silly that way, and yeah, I think I’d like to do it again for the next week or so. 

Enjoy and God Bless!

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