This week's Remembe(RED) writing prompt was to write about forgiveness;
forgiving someone else, yourself...forgiveness.
I thought I was good at forgiveness. When my sweet husband annoys me or inadvertently hurts my feelings, I am able to let it go quickly. I had a great childhood, but my parents were not very demonstrative or encouraging. Instead of being angry or blaming, I taught myself to look for the love in their actions, focus on that and accept it as a token of love. I certainly didn't stay mad at my children when they made childish mistakes. I even found it in my heart to forgive a brother who had really let the family down in our hour of need. I thought I was good at forgiveness.
Then one day, when I was nearly forty and looking down the barrel of Mother Nature's aging gun, I realized I suck at forgiveness. I hadn't forgiven myself for putting my dreams on hold. I still lambasted me when I looked at myself in the mirror. I hadn't made peace with my flaws or my spirituality and I didn't feel like I had progressed as a human being to the degree I should have. Should have. Could have. Would have. But didn't.
I decided I better learn more about forgiveness and acceptance and I started with me.
I looked in the mirror. I really looked. It wasn't easy, but I looked. OK, I do have oily skin and a bumpy nose. My hair is very fine and a mousy dark blonde. But I looked beyond that and decided I have nice, large, gray eyes. My lashes are fair but they are quite long and thick. The oily skin has protected me from wrinkles, so I don't think I look as old as I am. The occasional zits contributes to that illusion of youth. I'm not skinny anymore, but neither am I overweight. Just curvy. I'm short, but at least I'm taller than I am wide. All in all, I'm no beauty but I'm pretty damn cute.
Next I examined my faith. After long introspection, I decided that I had come to a closer approximation of true faith than many avid churchgoers will ever see. The heck with them, my faith is between me and God, and we are just fine.
My dreams. Oh, my many dreams. I wanted to be an anthropologist or an archaeologist and a journalist and a Pulitzer-prize winning novelist. I wanted a home and a family. I wanted to have a ranch.
Forgiveness and reality make good bedfellows, so I revisited those dreams. I don't want to be an anthropologist. I'd chip a nail. I don't want to be a journalist because I'd have to be unbiased. I worked hard for all these opinions; I'm keeping them. I'm allergic to animals and hay, so no ranches. I already have a home and a family I cherish. The last thing was the Pulitzer-prize winning novelist. So I sat down to write the story that had been percolating in my brain. I finished it. I had it e-published. Maybe it will become a best-selling ebook. I'm still chasing that dream.
I am still working on being a better version of myself. I want to be more patient, more creative, more tactful and more energetic. I want to learn how to make chili that won't wound anyone. I want to be better at embracing my talents, instead of feeling different and disapproved of. I want to stop ending my sentences with prepositions.
At least, I've learned how to forgive myself for not having those attributes now, and learned how to work toward them without scolding me.
Always, feel free to comment! Trish in AZ