Saturday, October 22, 2016
Forgiveness For Personal Growth
People, as we all know, are subject to corruption. We are capable of error and known to be fallible in general. What's new there though? It's part of something most people call the "Human Condition" (though I posit that it applies to all living creatures).
However, we do have things we can do about those conditions. We have idealism. We have integrity and self discipline. Those are skills that must be practiced in order for them to help us but we do have them.
One of the bigger problems many people seem concerned about is the "What If" and "Now What?" Basically, they want to do when they realize they are likely to err or have realized that they have erred or to what extent.
What do we have to help us become better people at those times?
We have appreciation and we have forgiveness. Those are both very powerful influences on our constant effort at becoming or maintaining being better people.
Appreciation seems to be the more simple of the two. It really is having the knowledge of the situation and that it has happened to others and that it is not insurmountable. From experience AND appreciation, we gain wisdom.
Forgiveness is something special though. Forgiveness requires appreciation. IT also comes in multiple forms. There is forgiving oneself, an important and necessary thing. There is forgiving others for two things. Something that directly affected you and something that indirectly affects you if it affects you at all.
For example, In forgiving ourselves, we first need to recognize and appreciate that we erred and that we are not alone in our error. Everyone makes errors in various degrees but no one is exempt from them. What are these "errors" I am talking about? Depending on who you talk to they call them different things. Christians and others like them refer to them as "Sins". Personally I find it a bit dramatic but point remains that these are things we as people are susceptible to.
Greed, Envy, Laziness, Undisciplined, Recklessness, miserly-ness, Being "hot-headed", Thievery, those kinds of things. We engage in these things all the time. Many times they are petty infractions and harm no one except perhaps yourself. Sometimes they are much more serious things and harm not only yourself but others around you.
Sometimes the errors we make, the "sins" we commit", are accidental or incidental. Sometimes they are more egregious and intentional. The degree, scope and scale may change from person to person and situation to situation but every person is subject to being errant.
Once we identify that we have erred we need to appreciate the error. I don't mean in a positive "Ooh look what I've done." kind of appreciation but an, "Ah, I see what happened there. Hmm, I see how it got to that point and where missteps were made."
Once we can truly appreciate what our error has been, we can then forgive ourselves in that we acknowledge that A) we regret what we have done, B) we are determined to correct it and C) we make amends for what we have done, if amends can be made.
Keep in mind, acknowledging our "human condition" is not an excuse to err or to shrug our shoulders and make no efforts to improve and learn from errors. It is only part of the acknowledgment and appreciation of what we are and how we find ourselves in these situations.
When we can earnestly forgive ourselves, sometimes it is not enough. Sometimes we seek others forgiveness in order to move forward and make progress. No one is entitled to forgiveness. Often it must be earned by demonstrating regret, intent to improve and making amends to someone who has been harmed, particularly if it the one who has been harmed that we seek forgiveness from.
Sometimes in order to forgive ourselves, we need to know that we can be forgiven by others who can appreciate the human condition. If someone else can find it in themselves to forgive us, we can then see our way to forgiving ourselves and begin the journey of learning from the experience, working to improve and make the necessary amends.
Christians and other religious groups have the same concepts, they just use different words to express them. Where I say "appreciate", they say "attrition", Where I say to identify improvement on that error or fault within us, they say "contrition". Lastly, where I discuss making amends, they say "atonement".
The difference, if any, is that other groups may call not only for doing those things for yourself or other people, they would say those things need to be done because God was affected or offended an needs to be shown the same.
Topixqui as we are, already have the understanding that God has full appreciation of the "human condition" (though we don't limit it to just humans). After all, God made things as they are with full knowledge of what will and does happen. They were made to happen in the way they do so that we can learn to be better people. He requires nor desires any atonement from us because that's not the point of our being here. We are here specifically so that we can err and then learn from it. By learning from these experiences, we can then become more like God in being capable and have a more true understanding of life.
Appreciation and Forgiveness are very important tools for us. They allow us to see the errors of our ways, to understand those errors for what they are are and how to improve and then to carry out that improving of ourselves.
A topixqui like myself is available to listen to other people and help them to appreciate the situation. We might then, if desired and requested, give our own forgiveness and make suggestions as how to improve and make amends.
A topixqui does not ever imply that this process is required or must be complied with in order to receive any other assistance from us. That's not how we work. We are the shelter in the storm. We are the guide on a path and we are a host in times of respite and learning.
Should you ever find yourself "stuck" in a situation where you are in a rut of a bad habit or desire to change the ways you feel have led you down a wrong path, we are here to help.