Full Circles

Reflections on Living

“Will You Forgive Me?”

“The lesson here is that there is no fix. There is, however, forgiveness. To forgive yourselves and others constantly is necessary. Not only is everyone screwed up, but everyone screws up.”

~Annie Lamott, Almost Everything: Notes on Hope.

 

My spiritual director the late Fr Claude Barreteau, MEP once told me a story about a man who repeatedly climbed a hill every week to arrive a small chapel where he made his confession to a priest. He felt bad that he had been doing so for such a long time, and seemed to  make the same mistake. On the exterior, it looks like this person hasn’t learned.

But I suspect Fr Claude’s story speaks to the business of forgiveness, which is a daily affair.

Today, out of sheer frustration, I yelled at my daughter. She burst into tears. She was inconsolable. Maybe Mom would come and sooth her. I was rendered helpless. I chastised her for being rude in the first place. She cries even louder. Mom’s not coming.

Then, in exasperation and lack of ingenuity, I realised I scared her. I sat down on the floor and I said, “I’m sorry. I messed up. My loud voice must have scared you. I’m gonna try better again the next time…”

She stopped crying. She looked at me. I brought her close. Meanwhile, in my mind, I was resisting even ounce of my being to correct her faults. There’s another time for that.

For now, “will you forgive me” is enough.

We need to climb up that hill and come to our senses that “everyone is screwed up… and everyone screws up,” and come back down again.

See this video by Fred Rogers.

(If you can’t see the video above, click here.)

2 Comments

  1. Daryl, are you familiar with Ho’oponopono? The steps in what they call “cleaning” are … I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you … and recommend that we use that for everything, even when someone does somethin g to somone else.

    I’m also reminded or Werner Erhard’s definition of responsibility from many years ago …

    “Responsibility starts with the willingness to experience yourSelf as cause.

    It starts with the willingness to have the experience of yourSelf as cause in the matter.

    Responsibility is not burden, fault, praise, blame, credit, shame, or guilt. All these include judgements and evaluations of good and bad, right and wrong, or better and worse. They are not responsibility. They are derived from a ground of being in which Self is considered to be a thing or an object rather than context.

    Responsibility starts with the willingness to deal with a situation from and with the point of view, whether at the moment realized or not, that you are the source of what you are, what you do, and what you have. This point of view extends to include even what is done to you and ultimately what another does to another.

    Ultimately, responsibility is a context – a context of Self as source – for the content, i.e., for what is.”

    Tough, illogical, but so freeing.

    Thanks for this important post.

    Rob

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