Barbara and I had no idea what we were getting into when we decided to collect “transition wisdom” in a book. But the process is a huge gift to us. As we examine the transition journey and discuss the best practices for navigating change with dignity and intention, we unearth the unexpected. Sharing our grief, our questions, and small victories, we grow as a team.
This week we’re working on content for part three of our book The Small Guide to Life’s Big Changes. While the practices applied in phase one and two of the journey involve coping with external shifts, part three looks at the internal shifts caused by a BIG Change. We call the practices needed for navigating internal shifts Soul Work.
Forgiveness is a vital part of Soul Work.
I have a checkered history with forgiveness. This may be because I am, on occasion, what Anne Lamott calls an asshat. However, I think a big reason for my mixed feelings toward forgiveness is the language surrounding it.
A child is told, “Say you’re sorry,” while an adult hand grips her shoulder and makes her address the offended. “Sorry,” she mumbles. The other child is told, “Say it’s okay,” which she does. But is it okay?
Don’t get me started on forgive and forget. Or the cheery, “Don’t get bitter! Get better!” as if we’re selling butter.
Needless to say, some days Barbara and I talk more than we write. And I am so thankful.
After listening to the unabridged version of my forgiveness rant, Barbara invited me to try Desmond Tutu’s wonderful, Global Forgiveness Challenge. She recommended it because she had just completed it. I did some research and what I found encouraged me.
It’s not okay to be injured. It’s not okay to be abused. It’s not okay to be violated. It’s not okay to be betrayed. But it is okay to forgive.” ~ Desmond Tutu
I signed on. Using journaling, guided meditation, and video, Tutu and his daughter are wise and gentle guides. They present a four-fold approach to forgiveness over 30 days. I’m on day three and the prompts take less than 15 minutes to work through. And yes, it is all free!
With each act of forgiveness, whether small or great, we move toward wholeness.” ~Desmond Tutu
Forgiveness can sound like heavy lifting, but I value the outcome: wholeness.
Lighten up your summer, and your life, and try it with me.