“He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.”
- George Gerbert
As I read this quote, I think about the fact that every day in my life I need to forgive something said or done to either me, the things I care about, or one of my children. I think of other people in my life who must forgive - perhaps a child must forgive another child - and over and over again I realize what a huge part forgiveness plays in the trials and tribulations of raising six children.
“He spilt his drink all over my place!” Of course it was an accident, but recovery from cleaning the dripping puddle that is inching towards another child’s lap, and returning back to a civilized dinner is not easy for a large family when all is said and done! But true forgiveness is undoubtedly a work in progress. My son won’t let me watch his football games, but I’m still his mom and I don’t stop asking, “what can I do for you to help you today.”
I teach forgiveness as an expression of unconditional love. ‘You, my son, don’t have to let me watch your football games. You’re my son I forgive you for this behaviour because you don’t know that it hurts my feelings not be to part of your football games. I understand your need to have power over some things, and I am still here to help you and love you. And when football gets tough, I hope you come to me so I can help you and love you and give you confidence to get back out there.’
‘You need printer ink. Of course it will be waiting for you so you can do your homework. Because I want to help you even if you don’t want me to watch you play football! I want you to be successful in doing your homework. You are still very young and don’t have the means to take care of everything yourself.’
What can you forgive today?