|Posted on August 14, 2010 at 7:39 PM|
11 July 2010
There is one thing from Petrea King’s book, Your Life Matters (2004, Random House) that has leapt out at me. I’ve made in my FaceBook status for the time being.
" 'Forgiveness is giving up all hopes for a better past.' "
It was something Petrea heard another participant say at a conference she attended.
It’s a definition of forgiveness that is profound. It removes religious connotations (for those who prefer to do without religious overtones) and moves forgiveness into a realm of non-effort. Usually we think forgiveness is something we feel we have to struggle to achieve and involves a bunch of mental gymnastics that few can truly achieve and that need to be revisited day after day. In fact, it reveals the truth of what we usually try to do: re-create the past so that it is different. Now that IS mental gymnastics! Giving up all hopes of a better past tackles reality head on. What has been, has been and that is that. It can’t be changed. Now, all that energy spent trying to make what was into something else can be focussed on the here and now.
This past week I missed two days where I should have been either walking or doing my Callanetics exercises. By Saturday I was struggling with the reality of dealing with a plateau (same weight of two weeks now) and wondering how I was going to carry on. I felt guilty over not sticking to my plan. One of the most common companions of any would-be weight-loser is guilt. Guilt is dangerous. It leads to misery, and misery leads to comfort eating and more guilt and so the cycle heads downward towards despair and giving up.
That is why this definition of forgiveness is so very, very important to me right now. The way to ditch guilt is through forgiveness – giving up all hope for a better past. What was yesterday, was yesterday. I have this day, this moment to choose what I will do now and do next. I can’t change the last two days, but today I have walked and done my Callanetics, and I am drinking water and enjoying salad for lunch. Today I am choosing to live healthily and help my body that serves me so well.