Saturday, June 6, 2009


I love to read my friends K's blog: Today I Vow.

Some posts ago, she suggested creating a personal, secret, silence ceremony of forgiveness for 5 minutes a day to free yourself from the burdens of anger.

Forgiving others is much, much easier than forgiving yourself. As a bereaved parent, I know a lot about guilt, emotion that is considered a "demon" in grief. I felt an overwhelming guilt after the death of my children, but long before that, I was already an expert on guilt.

Some weeks before my 25th birthday, I remember staying a weekend by myself at my parents' home. I needed to do some soul-searching and found out that the thing that bothered me a lot was feeling guilty over those misdeeds of my past and because I never asked for forgiveness to those I knew I hurt.

I gave myself to the task of getting the phone numbers of all of those I needed to ask for forgiveness: that little girl in kindergarten which I didn't let play with me, that boy I bullied in elementary school... well, you get the idea.

It took all I got back then to make each phone call. I was amazed by their graciousness and big hearts: all of them answered my call! I explained each one why I was calling, recalling the event in question and asking for their forgiveness because I knew better and I have hurt them.

I left the difficult calls for the end. It was almost November 19th, when I called an ex-boyfriend of mine. I remember him answering my call in a cold voice.

When I began explaining the reason of my call, he asked: "Why are you calling? Are you sick or something?"

I remember grinning to myself and reassuring him that I was OK, that I was not on drugs or drunk or anything, that I simply needed to talk to him and ask him to forgive me for all the bad moments, the fights, my lack of compassion towards those difficult times he was facing when we were together and the hurt I caused him during our relationship. He graciously said: "OK, I forgive you, but are you sure you are all right?"

I met him again on FB, some 15 plus years later, a few months ago. Apparently, he does not hold a grudge towards me. His forgiveness was the best gift he ever gave me, and for that I am grateful beyond words.

My point here is that even though it is very, very important to forgive those that have harmed us in any way, it is vital to learn to ask for forgiveness. We all know deep in our hearts whom we have hurt. Most of us hurt those we love without even thinking, but the damage is done.

I decided never to let 25 years of regrets burden my heart and soul. I try to apologize as soon as I know I hurt someone... sometimes it takes another person to let me know what I've done without meaning. Other times, my worse judge is me: I try to forgive me for my lack of compassion towards myself.

Asking for someone's forgiveness is as liberating as forgiving, why don't you give it a try?

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