This Ride Together

“True wisdom listens more, talks less and can get along with all types of people.” Kiana Tom


Well, wouldn’t it be nice to see more of that! Watching the news, reading different social media, conversations with others… ONCE AGAIN everybody is judging, and no one is listening. It is easy to get caught up in the finger-pointing, and apparently way easier than examining ourselves, and a world away from even considering that who we are pointing at might just have a valid experience that should be listened to.

We are quick to belittle someone else’s experience; and how ridiculous that is when we cannot possibly know what it is like in their shoes. It is one thing if it is someone we can relate to, but if they are not then they are discounted and dismissed immediately. The mentality of “If it isn’t happening to me that way, then it’s not happening to you,” is not only absurd, but dangerous.  Then we sit back in bewilderment when someone gets so sick and tired of being marginalized and unheard that they lose it. Is it REALLY any wonder? Is it really so hard or scary to ATTEMPT to understand another’s experiences? It is FOOLISH to think that other people do not have lives we cannot imagine!

We are so scared of losing what we know about ourselves or our foothold that we go into full defense when it is challenged, when it’s the very time we should be LISTENING. It is sad, because what is greater than losing our former selves to humanity? But that point is missed when we’re attacking one another, when we are consumed with proving how right we are and how wrong they are.

It is all FEAR.  Be bold; be fearless today.  Take a step outside of your own box… have a listen.



About Forgiveness

                   

We all know the old saying “Forgive and forget.”  Some believe you can forgive but should never forget.  Jesus tells us in The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:22) that we should forgive “not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”  In other words, we should continue being forgiving, and it should be innumerable, unending.  It is a simple concept, but not so easy to accomplish sometimes.
I personally struggle with forgiveness of those that commit heinous crimes, acts of violence, and most especially against children, elderly, or animals.  Don’t even get me started on hate crimes!  Those are some of my biases.  It is good to know our own biases at any time, but especially helpful regarding forgiveness.  I have another personal statement in my head: Intolerance will not be tolerated!  🙂  Yes, I know it is contradictory… maybe a paradox.  



Personally, I find it easiest to just realize that this is who I have in my life when I have forgiven someone for wrongdoings.  Then I am free to choose whether they should remain in my life, and to what extent.  Sometimes we can forgive, but it is not so wise to keep them around once they have shown us who they are.  ‘Just goes to show you that forgiveness is really for the one doing the forgiving, and not necessarily for the transgressor.  
We all struggle from time to time with that person that continues to abuse the privilege of our forgiveness, or our kind nature.  On the other hand, perhaps we have been the one repeating a hurtful error on someone — a loved one, teacher, workmate, etc.
This quote can mean something different depending on from which perspective you are reading.  It is actually for the one forgiving, as well as the one being forgiven.  It is helpful if you can read it both ways, as there is opportunity in there regardless of how this lands for you personally.

What does it mean for you?  I would love to hear!
About Forgiveness

Forgive and Forget

This subject was heavy on my mind this morning as I listened to Joel Osteen speak about how God forgives always, and how His forgiveness is always greater than any error one could ever commit.  I got to thinking about a couple of people I have chosen not to forgive and whose transgressions I refuse to forget.  What would it mean for me to forgive these people?  I am a forgiving person, and have long understood that “forgive and forget” does not translate into allowing harmful or toxic people to continue in my life.  So why have I chosen, knowingly, to hang onto the pains caused by these people?  They are not still doing anything to me, and this allows them to continue in my life in a toxic way.  This is my self-examination today.
From Dictionary.com
Word Origin & History
FORGIVE
O.E. forgiefan “give, grant, allow,” also “to give up” and “to give in marriage;” from for- “completely” + giefan “give” (see give). The modern sense of “to give up desire or power to punish” is from use of the compound as a Gmc. loan-translation of L. perdonare (cf. Du. vergeven, Ger. vergeben; see pardon).
From Merriam-Webster.com
Full Definition of FORGIVE
transitive verb
1          a :  to give up resentment of or claim to requital for
            b :  to grant relief from payment of
2          :  to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) :  pardon
From Dictionary.com
Word Origin & History
FORGET
O.E. forgytan, from for- “passing by, letting go” (cf. forbear, forgo) + gietan “to grasp” (see get). A common Gmc. construction (cf. O.S. fargetan, Du. vergeten, Ger. vergessen “to forget”). The literal sense would be “to lose (one’s) grip on,” but that is not recorded in any
Germanic language.
  
From Merriam-Webster.com
Full Definition of FORGET
transitive verb
1          a :  to lose the remembrance of :  be unable to think of or recall
            b obsolete :  to cease from doing
2          :  to treat with inattention or disregard
3          a :  to disregard intentionally :  overlook —usually used in the imperative
            b :  to give up hope for or expectation of —usually used in the imperative
intransitive verb
1          :  to cease remembering or noticing
2          :  to fail to become mindful at the proper time
So… to completely give a let-go!  This is why it is a gift to oneself.  
“Forgive and forget” is made a difficult practice by the confusion that it means to release another from his or her transgressions and allow them back – back in one’s life, back home, back in a group, etc.  This is faulty thinking and leads only to heartache and often bitterness of the one preoccupied and determined not to forgive.  That takes effort, but forgiveness actually takes far less effort!  Every action receives a reaction from the universe.  So consider if we forgive, we receive a certain path to take, and if we do not, we receive another.  Which would you have – one chosen for you, or one that you choose freely and with far less effort?
One can find many Bible verses about forgiveness.  Whether you claim a religion or not, they are all good advice, and worthy of much consideration and action.  However, I have yet to find a verse that says we should forgive AND forget.  I think forgetting, as in something being involuntarily or voluntarily wiped from one’s memory is impossible – at least in a force-it-out kind of way. 
As used in the context of forgive and forget, the forgetting is in letting go; it is a ceasing of purposely and purposefully recalling.  Let go of the attachment you have to the error.  Let go of the emotion you have attached to the error.  Most importantly, let go of how right you are about the error.  Whether you are right or not about the error, it is still the error.  Just let it gooooooo…   and let the universe swallow it up for you.  It is just as simple (or difficult, depending on one’s outlook) to practice letting go as it is to practice harboring the judgment and anger.  Yes, it is a practice.  We become better at that which we focus – positive or negative.  Much like forgiveness, there is another choice about direction here.  Which will you choose?
Forgiving and forgetting is not releasing the one (or ones) who hurt you.  To the contrary, it is about releasing yourself from the hurt.  The life path of the person who hurt you does not change whether you choose to forgive and forget, or not.  But yours DOES!  We choose our own paths, even when we are asleep at the wheel, and inaction is still an action. 
Wake up!  Pay attention!  Turn on your conscious GPS!  If you could draw out your choices over your lifetime as a map, how would those twists and turns look?  Where have they taken you, and what journey are you still on?  Are you progressing?  Do you feel good about your direction?  Are you going in circles only to end up in the same spot all the time?  Are you lost – wandering aimlessly?  Each choice takes a particular path.  Each choice rewards us with something.  We each created our own maps, life journeys, and painted ourselves into a particular picture.  Where are you headed?
(It is important to remember that transgressions, whether real or perceived, are always real to the one who owns the experience.)
  
References
Forget. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved January 19, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Forget
Forget. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved January 19, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/forget
Forgive. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved January 19, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Forgive

Forgive. Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Retrieved January 19, 2014. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/forgive