Something happened this week that hurt. I was celebrating something, and a close friend that I thought would be happy for me was noticeably absent and loudly silent.
It’s natural that we want out of relationships what we think that we put into relationships. If we give support, and encouragement, and selflessly celebrate our friend’s own accomplishments regardless, or even despite our own current state of being, we want the same in return. But that doesn’t always happen. And that’s ok. Because what’s most important in relationships – with others and with ourselves – is that we forgive.
Relationships serve two functions: to fill us with love and to teach us forgive.
Perhaps Bob Marley probably said is best: “The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” To love deeply, we must forgive freely.
Forgiveness is how we heal hurt – the hurt we’ve caused others and the hurt that we’ve inflicted on ourselves. We must learn to forgive our friends and family for not loving us in the way we want or need. And we forgive must ourselves for setting expectations upon others that are outright unreasonable, poorly communicated, or simply unfairly placed.
What I’ve recently been praying for is to forgive with grace.
What does it mean to forgive with grace? I didn’t really know what it meant before I asked for it.
I now think that to forgive with grace means to forgive effortlessly, as if it comes easily. Because grace implies humility, as if the effort itself came from a spiritual place that transcends turmoil and turbulence.
When watching figure skaters like Virtue and Moir and, we don’t see the tolls of their crushing defeats or the bruises and scars from years of falling on ice (ouch!). Instead, we witness the breathtakingly beauty of their dedication – grace that seems innate, abundant and effortless. Like that of slime (which is holding hostage all my Tupperware because my daughter is obsessed with making it), grace oozes from Virtue and Moir.
I pray for forgiveness to flow as freely. Because when it doesn’t, we get stuck in the tacky trap of selfishness. For me, it dissolves into having artificial conversations with myself, defending my thoughts and feelings, all in attempt to prove others wrong, and even more importantly, myself right. This is not helpful. It doesn’t feel good. It’s distracting in the least and it surely doesn’t flow in any direction that I want to head.
Forgiveness with grace doesn’t mean those internal battles never happen, but it means we can to get forgiveness faster because we know how to glide. We quickly remember how to get there. And once we’re there, the internal self-posturing-chatter stops. The worry stops. And the hurt stops. When we know how to get to where we need to be, when we know how to get to forgiveness – and we do it – we soar! We drift to the Divine. We glide towards God. With grace, we maintain our humility and can thank our every experience for reminding us that forgiveness is the foundation of love.