Yesterday’s reflection was about forgiveness.
Today’s homily was about what is most important and Jesus says: Above all else, love G-d with all your heart, mind & soul and second take that love and love one another.
My devotional asked: How do I make decisions about what is right and what is wrong?
I worry about this all the time.
How do I put things or actions in the right column or the wrong column, and not everything is so cut and dried, is it?
I’ve mentioned before in one of these that I do hold grudges. I still get a twinge when I think of certain people, and I’m not feeling particularly charitable, and that makes me feel bad. I try to let things go, but sometimes it’s not easy.
I’ve confided in people and then had them betray me with that information. I had a woman yell at my infant son when he was learning to walk and would fall down on the carpet in our second floor apartment above hers. This is no exaggeration. I have finally let it go, mainly because it’s not worth holding onto.
A few years ago, I met someone with this generous philosophy, and it was foreign to me. I mean, no, of course, don’t have a grudge, but if someone wrongs you why is it wrong to be angry and to hold onto it for a little while? In the last few years, I’ve seen my way and this more compassionate way side by side, and I will tell you that I’ve been the one to change. I have changed, and definitely for the better.
That doesn’t mean perfect; it does mean better.
I can see more clearly the rationale of not holding the grudge, of not having anger be the default, of letting things go when you can, and of compassion and forgiveness, which I’m finding seem to be running themes during this Lenten season.
I’ve always been able to see the other side, but putting myself on the other side to see what’s happening and why things are happening – well, it’s much harder, but it is better in the long run for my friendships, my personality and my blood pressure.
I will still get angry. I will still feel entitled, and want to argue or lash out or say it’s not fair when it’s not. But I have also learned to take a deep breath.
I have learned to look through other people’s eyes.
I have learned to listen.
I have not learned patience – that is one of the three things I pray for every day.
I have learned to be selective in what I do get upset about: choose your battles wisely we are told.
Yesterday, I talked about signs of hope. I’ve seen at least three this week. That doesn’t make what’s going on with me easier, but it pushes me out to the next day, and lets me calmly assess and calmly question, and every day is a new day.
A clean slate.
At least I try to wipe away yesterday’s hurt, or yesterday’s wrong, and move forward.
I will ask for answers. I will hope that I can continue to speak my mind. I’ve always been allowed to, and I will hope that hasn’t changed.
At the end of the week, I will ask for forgiveness on things that I have done and more than just apologize for them, a deeper apology will be offered and forgiveness will be sought.
This is more than just getting ready for my first confession. There are real people who I owe things to. I’ve reached out to some already. There are still one or two more.
First, I need to look at myself, and see what I’ve done that’s right and wrong and then I can seek out, and hope that it will all be okay.
Love G-d and love your neighbor. I’ve seen it done by people I’m close to. It’s not impossible. I can do it too.