Forgiveness — Approaching Easter, 2013

Forgiveness April 10, 2009

Good Friday.  One lesson is forgiveness.

It’s harder than it sounds.

It takes changing from demands to understanding.

When I understood my mother’s fear

It led so quickly to compassion, then forgiveness,

After seven decades stalled, resentful.

 

Now, what about forgiveness for myself —

When I’m less than perfect,

Can’t muster total calm,

Need some help.

Can I understand myself — be compassionate for me–

wrap my soul in loving kindness?

I think the secret’s in recalling

That I’m living on a learner’s permit.

 

Reflection

 

I remember trying to teach my daughter how to drive a stick shift when she had her learner’s permit.  The experience was so disastrous, in a large college parking lot on Sunday afternoons, that I couldn’t stand to stay in the car with her lurches and the resulting grinding of gears.  It was my car she was tearing up, and I kept getting out and walking away.  I was more fortunate in my own learner’s permit stage, in that my parents’ car was an automatic shift.  My own mother, who was learning to drive at the same time I was, paid for a professional driving teacher, who regularly (figuratively) tore his hair out at my timid panic at driving over 10 miles an hour, even on a parkway, and repeated, despairingly, “If you’re born to be shot you’ll never be hung.  Drive faster!!!”  Over a lifetime, both my daughter and I have experienced many “learner’s permit” moments — times with life choices, relationship development, parenting, making financial decisions, accepting spiritual understanding, when we lurched and ground the gears outrageously.  And yet, we survived and grew (and even, eventually, learned to drive a car!).

Forgiveness is born of compassion, and generates peace.

 

.  All of us in physical bodies are experiencing whole lives as learners.  When I remember that I don’t know it all, it helps me at a deep level to remember the importance of compassion for others and to accept that  we all have the right to make mistakes in our search for growth.  Therefore, if we can each distance ourselves from our own hurt feelings, we can find it in our hearts to forgive those close to us as well as our own selves.  Doing so is the way to Inner and Outer Serenity.

About Rev. Rosemary Hyde, Ph.D.

I am a grandmother, a classical homeopath, a mystical poet, and an interfaith minister. I also have a large, enduring place in my heart for Paris. I first spent time in Paris in 1961, as a Fulbright scholar. I remained in France for three years, living also in Toulouse and in Nancy. I have revisited France and Paris multiple times since then, and have come to know central Paris reasonably well. I grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where there were many Franco-Americans, and their language fascinated me. I was fortunate in 6th grade, when my family moved, to find myself in a Catholic French speaking girls' school, where I had the wonderful fortune of becoming bilingual. It still feeds my soul deeply, to visit Paris, speak French, and reconnect with the little French girl in me. I am serving presently as co-minister at Unity Center of Peace in Chapel Hill, NC. I give talks one or two Sundays a month -- please go to the website, www.unitychapelhill.org, and sign up for the weekly e-news to learn what's going on -- special events, seasonal interfaith ceremonies, and Sunday themes and talks. My vision for the Unity Chapel Hill ministry and for myself is to become a loving, uniting presence in the lives of all those who cross paths with us. That's all there is, really -- loving presence. And so it is. Amen. My goal as a minister is to add richness to life for those who resonate to more than one religious tradition or to none -- those with mixed religions as well as the unchurched, untempled, and unmosqued. All of us, whatever our cultural allegiances, hunger for and need support in finding the transcendent joy that's ours to find in this earthly life. All of us need and want to celebrate beautifully the great and small milemarker moments. All of us crave the beauty of prayer as an expression of our participation in universal love. All of us wish to learn a greater vision, to see our lives opening to the Divine. All of us desire deeply to find serenity and peace that lasts no matter what happens today and tomorrow. This is the meaning of Transcendessence. We find the essence of spirit and transcend the narrow constraints of our bodies and egos. Join us today by subscribing, so you won't miss a single poem, message, prayer, or meditation.
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