Worrying About Forgiveness

Forgiveness (“a wonderful gift to give yourself”) and worry (“learning to trust God is the answer to any problem”) were the chapters I read today. I, of course, found those two little gems mixed in with the other messages. What good messages they are! The Worn Out Woman (Stephens & Gray) has so many wonderful reminders and suggestions for just feeling better about all areas of our lives. It’s a pretty incredible little book.

I have had a tough time with both my entire life. It took years to learn how to forgive others and I still have difficulty forgiving myself. Worry? Well, that’s a whole other story. I didn’t worry as much as I have since I got sick. Now, it seems like worry is my favorite companion, especially at night, when the day is winding down and my mind isn’t busy with a hundred other things. I generally have to take a quick acting anti-anxiety tablet just so I can quiet my mind and get to sleep. I wish this weren’t so, but I have a vivid imagination and there are a million things to worry about (past, present, and future!). During the day, I can choose to not think about them – I can distract myself and intellectualize them away, but not at night. I’m sure I’m not the only one either.

Forgiveness was a hard one and, I think, starts to come as we emotionally mature. I was a “kitchen sinker” for much of my young married life. My husband would actually say that to me, “you are kitchen sinking.” It was a simple reminder to stay on topic during our disagreements. It helps now. If I can focus on just the one thing that someone has done, then forgiveness seems to happen easier. If I throw in everything they have ever done, well, that’s a whole big mess that I don’t even want to think about, let alone, deal with and try to forgive. We are all human and we all make mistakes, hurt people, and don’t get things done the ways others think we should (even ourselves!). What do we have to lose by giving a little forgiveness? Maybe even some of that worry might melt away too.

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