I wanted to create a traditional looking digital painting of fuschia, but then let myself get carried away. My intention was to make one stand out in particular. That was supposed to be the end of it. But my mind had other plans. As I look at this fuschia “dancing” in the front, glowing more vibrantly than the others, I wondered why. What sentiment could make this one shine above the rest? What recent reflections have I had that I could apply here…that also starts with the letter “F”?…Forgiveness.
It got me thinking: what makes it so easy to forgive people for hurting or disappointing you? Does it mean you don’t care enough about them to let what they do bother you? Does it mean you love them in the true, unconditional way you hear about only in storybooks?
It’s my experience that genuine forgiveness isn’t easy and being able to offer it takes a lot of preliminary self reflection. And work. It has nothing to do with the kind of person you are dealing with or how you may feel towards that person. That’s where the misconception is. When you’re faced with a situation where you have been wronged, it’s normal and totally acceptable to feel animosity. This is especially true when the grievance is heavy, like infidelity, physical and sexual assault, and yeah, even murder. Indeed, you’re entitled to your natural emotions. How sweet it would be to take matters into our own hands and rain vengeance upon the wrongdoer! But then you have to live with yourself…and you can’t escape that.
See, it starts with you because it will eventually end with you. You will have to hold yourself accountable, and since we tend to be our own worst critics, that’s just a conversation we don’t want to have with ourselves. Remembering this is the first step to being a more forgiving person. The second step is wondering why your own opinions ofyourself are so important. Why do you care what you think? The third step is answering that question sincerely, because it’s also the reason why you will forgive whoever it was that wronged you. It’s not for that person. It’s for you. The more you like yourself to begin with, the more compelling it will be to let things go and be at peace with a lot of crap. It works for me anyway.
This is how I came up with the quote to go with the painting. It’s fitting. A forgiving person is a person who is happy with themselves to start with. And it always shows!