Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Forgiveness

A few years ago, I wrote about love being an "action verb." It was a theme I was working through in the winter of 2009. I needed to separate "love" from the Valentine's Day hearts-chocolates-and-mushy-card definition to love as it is lived day in and day out in the acts of parenting, marriage and community. In the end, I concluded that love was not an emotion, despite the rhetoric of the month of February. Love was an action. Often, the most loving acts weren't based on feelings at all. (I mean, really, who actually "feels like" getting up at 3 o'clock in the morning to feed a small child again!)

This winter, I am noticing the same connection with forgiveness. As I work through steps 4 and 5, I am seeing, over and over, the people from whom I need to seek forgiveness and the people whom I need to forgive.

And, I am seeing that, often, I am not "feeling" the forgiveness that is needed (either the giving or the asking).

And, maybe, that's ok. For now, at least. Just as I continue to do loving acts whether I "feel like it" or not, I think I need to do the same with forgiving. I need to ask for it. I need to offer it. I need to act and trust that the feelings I'd like to have will follow the actions.

And, as with loving, I need to start with myself.

3 comments:

  1. Feelings come and go. They are so unreliable. I agree about acting and then the feeling may come. But even if it doesn't, the action is the thing.

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  2. Mary beat me to it!!!

    ....my sentiments exactly!

    j

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