Mistakes and Forgiveness; Forgiveness of Mistakes
I’m not an expert in the business of movie making but I do know some basics. In rehearsals, the actors do “table reads” where they read through each scene in the script. Next, they often “block through” the scene to make sure they’re in the right place with the right equipment (lights, cameras, etc.), at the right time. Then, when the movie is being shot, and they’re in front of the camera, there are often many “takes”. Sometimes the actors get everything right the first time. Often, however, they hear “take 3, take 7, or maybe even “take 122”.
I think “real” life is a lot that movie being shot. First, we do a “read”, (maybe not at a table and probably alone), where we think about what we want to do or say or be. Next, we might “block through” the experience or conversation. Maybe we’ll do that while we’re walking around or driving to work or discussing with a trusted friend; running through the scene; imagining how it might play out. We want to make sure that (just like in that movie) we’re in the right place at the right time. Finally, we’re ready for our “take”. We’re ready for “lights, camera, action”. Unfortunately, UNLIKE a movie, we don’t usually get 122 opportunities to get it right; we don’t usually get to delete that footage and reshoot.
Why is it that we totally understand why there are so many “takes” in a movie before it’s “right”, but we can’t wrap our arms around the idea that we, and the people we spend life with, get it wrong sometimes? Why aren’t WE allowed some Miss Takes….some “takes” where we simply missed the mark?
If we can get to a place where we’re okay with mistakes, maybe we can get to a place where we’re able to let go of our anger or pain or mistrust or even hate.
It’s often tough, but the healthy thing is to do the WORK of forgiving.
Forgiving is not the same as forgetting. Forgiving doesn’t minimize or mitigate the harm that’s been done to you. You’re not saying, “it’s okay that you hurt me”; “how you treated me was acceptable”; “the pain you’ve caused doesn’t matter”. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you have to even be in relationship with that person. Sometimes you have to liberate yourself from the holds of a relationship so that you can find PEACE.
You can CHOOSE to forgive someone so that YOUR heart is free to open up. Forgiving allows YOU the ability to move on with your life and not give another person the power to impact YOUR joy and happiness. Living with anger or pain ends up making YOUR life less joyful. Often, your suffering doesn’t even impact the people who have hurt you. Chances are good that they’ve already “moved on”.
We may not be able to eradicate evil, negativity or just plain nastiness from our world but we CAN free ourselves from allowing it to destroy OUR peace.
Stop being so hard on yourself for the things YOU have messed up; for the wrong choices you’ve made; for what you wish you would have done differently. Your mistakes do not define you. They may have taught you an incredibly painful lesson or they may have simply pointed you in a better direction. How you live now defines you. CHOOSE to create your own destiny. CHOOSE the life YOU want to live.
Finally, don’t walk through life being afraid to make a mistake (or a hundred mistakes). If your intentions are good, it’s a heck of a lot better to try something and mess up than to not try at all. Don’t end up regretting what you didn’t do because you were too afraid to take the chance. Move forward; don’t stand still.
During the summer I offered up this prayer, at the end of a service Sue held on forgiveness:
God, give us the strength and courage to look at ourselves honestly,
to acknowledge any darkness,
to dismiss our fears of REALLY seeing ourselves.
Help us to talk to YOU God,
then to RISK sharing our failings and fears with another human being.
We are not perfect.
You don’t expect perfect or want perfect.
You love us through all our weaknesses and mistakes- big or small.
Help us to remember always that we are not simply empty vessels,
and that we are NEVER alone.
Help us to love ourselves enough to forgive ourselves
in our guilt,
in our brokenness,
in our fear,
and in our humanness.
Acknowledging that we’re all human and that we all make mistakes; then forgiving ourselves, and forgiving those we love, is a good start to a more peaceful world, a more peaceful community and, of course, a more Peace Full Home.
©2014 Peace Full Home