I was awake in the night, thinking about forgiveness. I don't know if you have the same issues I have, but my mind can really lock on to stuff I don't want to think about - especially when I want to go to sleep! I seem to have very little 'thought control'!
There were my thoughts skipping around the field of my mind, dwelling on negative people and experiences, and there was I desperately seeking snoozland.
Forgiveness is a challenge for all of us, because most of the time it is focused on a real offence or injury against us. It is emotionally charged, too, which makes the event powerfully significant as far as the brain is concerned. Anything with emotions attached is hard to forget.
My own breakthrough in the night was to think about this blog and how it might help.
So, here is an example to make my point. I'm going to ask you 4 questions - simple questions, which I'd like you to answer for me.
What number am I thinking of between 1 and 100?
What colour am I thinking of?
What girl's name?
What boy's name?
Before I reveal the answers, my point is that you are most unlikely to be a mind-reader. If you cannot see through my eyes, you cannot see the world as I see it. Not exactly.
And if you cannot perceive the world in the way I see it, it's not fair for me to expect you to understand me. Not fully. This means that you could easily offend me without even knowing it because you don't relate to me in the way I relate to you! I've got different standards, different interpretations, different rules. No wonder relationships are complex!
I don't see through your eyes, you don't see through mine, so how can I accurately judge you based on my own perception? I can't. In fact...
You don't know what you're doing when it comes to understanding the world as I see it. You haven't got a clue!
Of course, I'm exaggerating to make my point. You have a got a clue. You and I have enough overlapping understanding to get along. It's just that the incompleteness of our perception leaves space for grace, a gap for forgiveness to slip on through. Because you don't know what you're doing when it comes to understanding me or even behaving towards me, I can forgive you... and you can forgive me.
I asked my partner Penelope those four questions this morning and even though she knows me better than anyone, she only got 1 out of the 4 correct.
[My choices were 37, Purple, Samantha, Samuel. How well did you read my mind?]
'Stuff' is going to happen over the coming week, stuff that could keep you awake at night until you master the art of forgiveness. I hope that you'll realise that nobody knows what they're really doing, they haven't got a clue... so let's forgive them, me and you, eh?
A Moodscope member.