Forgiveness and Appreciation

The oceans stay in place. The rain falls. The sun comes up. Throughout my life I’ve been astonished at this daily dance of nature. I marvel at the resilience of the earth and all her inhabitants. I appreciate all the blessings that shower down on me in a single day, let alone a lifetime of days.

One of the blessings I appreciate most these days is the act of kindness I give to myself each morning: ‘I forgive myself’. I see this as a simple and powerful prayer. A friend gave me a longer version of this prayer several years ago: ‘I forgive myself for dreaming this dream.’   At the time he was studying A Course in Miracles. Forgiving myself for dreaming this life and death experience holds amazing power and releases me into greater freedom. For me, it is an opportunity for renewal; a chance to awaken and transcend. My saying it means I haven’t fully awakened yet – and I can forgive myself for that and get on with appreciating the moment at hand.

There are moments, days and even weeks I forget these prayers. Then it is easier for me to step out of appreciation.   I complain more and have difficulty connecting with the joy in my heart. I start telling my old stories of abuse, neglect, loss and lack. I can get stuck there. It may take time for me to move away from those going-nowhere mantras and move back into forgiveness and appreciation. It is a balancing act. I am learning to forgive myself moment by moment.

Whenever I feel my deepest desires aren’t being fulfilled,

I forgive myself and appreciate the emotional courage I carry with me.

Whenever I am feeling unloved,

I forgive myself and appreciate my connection to spirit.

Whenever I am feeling lack,

I forgive myself and appreciate my loving heart.

Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed,

I forgive myself and appreciate my breath.

Whenever it seems (yet another) death will surely break my heart wide open,

I forgive myself and appreciate the release grief brings during moments of loss.

Whenever frustration and self-hate is about to over-whelm me,

I forgive myself and appreciate the compassionate smile of a friend that greets me, wordlessly, with love, in the mirror.

Whenever I am in despair,

I forgive myself and appreciate the joy I get from playing with my little dog Louie or watching him bounding like a gazelle through tall grass, or snuggling up to a warm body (human or fur-buddy), or watching children playing in the street, or seeing my athletic nephews abandoning themselves to the goal at hand or hearing Elgar’s Nimrod or Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World or a hundred other things.

The oceans stay in place. The rain falls. The sun comes up. Often the simplest things provide the most solace (forgiveness) and joy (appreciation). What can you forgive in this moment? What can you appreciate?

This post also appeared on page 38 in the August 2017 issue of Sibyl Magazine: For the Spirit and Soul of Women