Forgiveness is a tricky thing. It is a word, just like any other, that we throw around. But unlike the word love - which I believe we use carelessly and throw around - I do not believe we use forgiveness enough.
Life is full of mistakes. We are late to work, and late to class. We hurt each others feelings through accidental neglect. Sometimes we make a huge mistake that can ruin a friendship or relationship. We use words like: “I’m sorry” and “Please forgive me.” We are hoping that our mistake will be forgiven, but with these words we are usually asking for our counterpart to forget as well, and that is a tall order.
Last weekend, I was able to attend a class with Peter Crowley at Back Bay Yoga. He is a wonderful and highly recommended teacher in the Boston area. I arrived three minutes late and tried to sneak in quietly – out of breath and obviously not yet able to be fully present. I was extremely embarrassed. I am not only a student, but an instructor, and I understand the importance of arriving on time. I should know better.
After arriving quietly on my mat and joining class, Peter came over to me and gently squeezed my neck to help me release further in a forward fold. This simple touch was not only divine, but an action that made me feel forgiven. Although it was my fault for arriving late in class, Peter had given me permission to be fully present in class by forgiving me right away. The class was such a blessing, as I was able to fully enjoy my practice, being in the moment and being a true student.
As I said, forgiveness is a tricky thing. It is a part of communication, which is a two-way street. If one person says “I’m sorry” and their partner says “You’re forgiven,” it doesn’t always really mean that someone has been forgiven. It doesn’t mean they are truly letting it go. There needs to be a little something extra: a hug, a smile, a gentle assist in class.
Forgiveness is a part of everyday life, but as the holiday season is approaching we should make an extra effort to be careful with our words and actions. We tend to overbook ourselves and leave little time for ourselves and our loved ones. As silly as it sounds, we may see our loved ones more often, but often times we are so busy that we are not truly with them. Spend a few moments each day practicing being in the moment. It will help you to lessen the mistakes and brighten your holiday cheer.
Even if you haven’t made any mistakes lately (lucky you!), get out there and give an extra hug or smile anyway. Perform random acts of kindness. Not only to make one person feel wonderful, but to share joy with them and help them to pay it forward.
Get out there! Do yoga & make life sparkle!