Affirmation: I can give grace; I can receive grace. Action Plan: One day, when I was in kindergarten, we all brought our bikes to school to be registered by the police at recess. At one point, I looked around and absolutely everyone was gone. I don’t remember what happened, but I was really scared and I didn’t know what I should do. The principal came out and started yelling at me; “What is wrong with you?! Why aren’t you in your class?! You shouldn’t be here?!” I felt so scared and alone and, most of all, guilty for not knowing where I should go or what I should do. Well, it turns out that my fear of uncertainty and my need to always know what’s coming next just may have stemmed from this little, seemingly insignificant interaction. So, a life coach friend of mine had me do this forgiveness exercise in my journal:
Describe how someone hurt you.
What you learned (good and bad).
Finish these sentences: “I forgive you for …” “Please forgive me for…” “I accept …” “I forgive myself … “ “I now understand…”
In the “I forgive you for…” part I wrote:
“For not being able to control your anger and being so mean to a little child.
For treating me like I had done something wrong when I just didn’t know what to do.
For not saying you were sorry.”
Then it occurred to me that, over the years, I had done those exact things to my son … when I was afraid for him; because I love him; to help him. Nothing makes something so relatable as when you realize you have done that shit yourself! I suddenly understood her …. and forgave her… and me. Needless to say, I shared this with my son and said that I was sorry… I could at least still do that.
Do you have anyone you can do the forgiveness exercise for? Can you give someone grace? Can you give some to yourself?
Spiral level: ALL
Use when feeling: people, ugh!, family shit, regret, sad, uneasy