Fear? Forgiveness

Sometimes, when you are just simply afraid of doing something wrong or acting like a fool who is all confused, sometimes you need to forgive yourself first. Why? Because you are usually afraid of what someone else will think about what you have done and then how they will react. A lot of people yell as you when you’ve done something wrong, yes? They get angry at you and they might even get angry enough at you to call you bad, hurtful names or even worse. They might call you stupid, clumsy an idiot or tell you that you really should have done things so much differently! They might call you a bad girl or boy or worse. What happens is that every time you are yelled at, every time you are called names by anyone, though particularly by your family, you feel small inside. You feel badly. And sometimes you feel that you are bad, too. 

You can understand that people can get impatient, exasperated and they don’t know what to say about what you have done. When they feel that they don’t know what to do they feel that they are inadequate. But what they and you both need is not more yelling, more feeling small inside and more angry words or feeling inadequate: what you and those other tired, frustrated people need is forgiveness. 

Forgiveness doesn’t mean, “That’s all right that you did this bad thing: it doesn’t matter.” Of course it matters! Everything you do matters, even if you don’t think so or feel so. Forgiveness means: “I love you and I love myself. I know you made a mistake; I know you did something mean or foolish for some reason. You might have been trying to get my attention. You might have been hurting and not known what to do about it. So I am not going to yell at you: yelling at you makes you feel small inside, small and unhappy. Instead of making you feel small and unhappy, let’s wait until we can talk about this gently. We both need forgiveness so we can feel better, right now.” That’s what forgiveness means. 

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