§ We came to this world to LIVE OUT LOUD.
Father’s Day Lessons on Forgiveness
For the first time in many years, I spent Father’s Day with my father.
I spent it in a hospital room, taking care of my disoriented, confused father who had a stroke during emergency open heart surgery last week.
My relationship with my dad has been complicated for a long time – great love and also lots of pain – so it felt somewhat uncomfortable to touch him so much, to bathe him with cool water which felt really good to him, to feed him with a spoon like I did with my children.
Strange at first. Too intimate.
And then very gratifying.
As I was meditating this morning before driving to the hospital, I realized what a gift it was to be able to drop everything and be here to take care of my father.
He told the nurse when I arrived how much he loved me. How smart and beautiful I am. I don’t remember him ever saying these things to me before.
The little girl inside me loved hearing them.
And the grown woman that I am knows that being here, taking care of him, making a meditation practice out of doing everything I do for him with great love, reverence and attention is the way to forgiveness and peace.
For him. And for me.
I have been reminded of a few important life-lessons this week:
1. Forgiveness is for ourselves. Forgiveness is not about condoning anything the other person did or forgetting. It’s about transforming anger and hurt into acceptance and peace so we can be free.
2. Living with an open, loving heart feels much better than living with an angry, resentful one.
3. The best way to forgiveness and peace is through acts of loving care and service. Only when the time is right and you’re ready, but when you are, it feels liberating and beautiful.
So what about you? Is there anybody in your life that you need to forgive? What steps can you take to do it?
I would love to hear from you, so feel free to leave a comment below.