Daily Archives: September 16, 2010

Forgiveness is Freeing

Think about it. When you are angry it takes up a lot of your energy. It colours everything that you do or say. Until that anger is dissipated it eats away at you. Sometimes that anger never goes away.

A few years ago, before Yom Kippur, I called up my ex. We had been separated / divorced for 18 months but time had not healed me that much. I was so fed up of being angry and looking for hidden meanings where there were none, looking for more excuses to hate him. I told him that whatever had been in the past, I forgave him for. I did not want to fight anymore, I did not want to hold on to stress and tension. I didn’t just say the words. I meant them. We had both been hurt, and I asked him for forgiveness too. I spoke from the heart. It was at that moment that I truly started to heal. Letting go of what was done and said, and taking away the power from anger and resentment – I felt as if a ten ton block had been lifted off of me.

It was a short conversation, but one I will always remember. I went into Yom Kippur that year with a lighter heart. Yes I still had much to atone for, after all, none of us are perfect, but I knew that this new single mom arrangement would be ok. I felt lighter and refreshed.

As we head into Yom Kippur tomorrow night, I want you to think about the grudges you still bear. We all have them in some way, shape or form. Perhaps it is time to try to heal the wounds, perhaps it is time to try to work out a way to let the bitterness go.

I forgive those who seek to harm me in any way and have harmed me in the past. I forgive those people whose mission in life, it seems, is to cause upset and hurt in my life and the lives of those I care about. I will pray for them over Yom Kippur that they find it in their hearts to forgive themselves and find the strength to move on with their lives in a positive manner. I ask forgiveness from those whom I have hurt albeit unintentionally.

My wish for you, dear readers, is that you have a meaningful Fast. May we all be sealed in the book of Life.

Gmar Chatimah Tovah.

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Discipline

Why is it that I feel so awful after I discipline my kids, even though they totally deserve a consequence to their actions?

Case in point – one of the boys was asked to tidy something away before bedtime. A reasonable request, one that was asked in a calm tone. The answer was an extremely defiant “No” which escalated into said child yelling and slamming doors. A huge no-no in this house.

I told him that the next five times he asks something of me, my answer will be “No”. He didn’t like that idea at all. He didn’t think that was fair. But I figure it puts the point across fair and square and the punishment indeed fits the crime. He is also not allowed out on his bike today after school. That punishment is for the tremendous chutzpah he showed in his defiance, the slamming doors etc.

He deserves to learn his lesson. So why do I feel awful? I already used up one of the noes. I was making his lunch. I got the cream cheese out of the fridge. He asked if he could have tuna instead. I said “No, not today.” And reminded him that he has 4 noes left now. (And truly, making him tuna would not have been difficult at all).

He left for school, as if nothing happened yesterday. Yet I still feel hungover from it. I am also still waiting for an apology. I will stand firm and follow through, I always do, but why does it have to hurt so much??