Forgiving need not be outwardly focused. We may also need to give ourselves this precious gift. Let’s face it, there are times when we are our own worst Persecutors!
I had the opportunity to experience this first-hand a while back. After 2 days of wonderful TED* workshops, I was at the airport working on my laptop and actually looking forward to the long flight home and the time to answer emails. I looked at my watch, decided that I had plenty of time to get something to drink, put my laptop down on a small table next to my chair, got up….. and promptly tripped on the power cord and pulled the laptop off the table onto the hard floor.
Long story short–that was the end of my hard drive!
There was no one to blame but myself. I replayed the scene of the “crime” and my clumsiness over and over again. Lying awake in the middle of the night I replayed trying to resuscitate the hard drive and then leaving the laptop at the repair shop where I learned that the sound I heard from the bowels of my computer was what the technician called “the click of death.” I was both Victim and Persecutor and I wanted someone, somewhere to be my Rescuer.
I then I remembered this quote from The Power of TED*: “forgiveness is giving up all hope of having a better past.”
As many times as I replayed the scene there was never going to be a different ending. The deed had been done. So, slowly and over a few days, I came to forgive myself and to learn from the experience. I limped through a week with an old desktop, doing my best to stay in communication. Over time, I came to cultivate some gratitude for the desktop and webmail, and most important, for the web-based back-up service that allowed me to eventually recover everything except for a few days of email. I also learned the value of practicing “presence” any time I am using this now-revived laptop.
Forgiving ourselves and offering the gift of forgiveness to other people, conditions or life circumstances, is a supreme act of generosity and cultivates the Creator role in all of us.