Forgiveness (Especially of the Self), Easter, and Faith
Before I get into today’s blog, I’d like to first wish you a happy Easter weekend. I have many friends who will be celebrating Easter, and I hope their celebration will help them find a renewal of their faith and give them a sense of peace regardless of the struggles going on in their lives.
I have a great reverence for Easter as a holiday. It’s about forgiveness, or at least it should be**, as much as it’s about Jesus rising from the dead and giving hope to the rest of humanity.
Granted, hope is a very valuable thing, and can’t be underrated. But I’d rather talk about forgiveness, most especially self-forgiveness, as most of us aren’t too good at either thing.
Why? Because it’s easy to beat ourselves up, that’s why.
Someone who’s creative spends a lot of time thinking. Those of us who create have to do this; it’s part of the job description. Most of the time, thinking brings up all sorts of interesting ideas…but sometimes, thinking brings up stuff we’d rather not admit to, including our faults and how we can’t seem to get past them for all our trying. And that leads to guilt, fear, and self-abnegation, among other not-so-nice things…if you’re anything like me, sometimes you get into a spiral that you can’t seem to get out of, and it can be very hard to remember that you’re human and are going to make mistakes.
What is it about mistakes, anyway? Why can’t we forgive ourselves for making them, but we’ll forgive our friends, our family, or even our world leaders for their mistakes?
Yet if we believe in something beyond ourselves, we should try to remember that we’re here to learn. And you can’t learn without making mistakes.
Why not? It’s impossible; if we always did things right the first time, what would be the impetus to learn a different, potentially better, way?
So, if you believe in any sort of Higher Power, one of the things you need to remember is to forgive yourself once in a while.
It’s very hard to do. (Much harder to do than to say, and it’s not that easy to say, either.) But it’s essential, or you can’t grow as a human being.
So, this Easter weekend, try to remember to give yourself a break now and again as you work on your trespasses…including your trespasses against yourself. (OK?)
**Jesus more or less forgave everyone after he rose from the dead, including those who betrayed him (some unwitting, some not). If he could still love those who hated him, and who’d betrayed him, I think we all can try to do the same. (No, it’s not easy. Yes, it will take time. But yes, you should try, regardless of what actual faith you profess, including atheism. It may make you a less angry person, more forgiving, and more able to see joy…and we all should want that whether we admit to it or not.)