Tag Archives: anxiety

Day 13 Be Present: Forgiveness and The Prisoner

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Day 13 Be Present: Forgiveness and The Prisoner

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.
-Lewis B. Smedes

We can all be prisoners of our own anger, resentment, and stubborn resistance to forgiveness. Nobody knows how hard we have it. Nobody knows how difficult it is. Nobody is there in the middle of the night, when the fears, anger, resentment, and the anxiety are in bed with us. They wrap around us like strangling blankets, encasing us in the darkness. By morning, all we can do is get up and struggle to our day. “They did this to us. They made it awful. If only they hadn’t done_______, everything would be fine.”

Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.
-Lewis B. Swedes

What if we remember it differently? What if we forgive them, forgive ourselves, and what if we see ourselves (that prisoner), who really did a kick-ass job taking care of themselves and their loved ones in the face of difficulties. What if we change that memory into 1) letting the other person off the hook and 2) give ourselves some doses of awesome sauce?

What does that leave us with then?

Another Good Tolstoy Quote

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“As our self-interest diminishes, our anxieties disappear, and then comes quiet and firm joy, which always diffuses us with a good spiritual disposition and a clear conscience. Every good deed helps to kindle this feeling of joy within us.”
— Tolstoy

Well, I could have used this quote before the reunion gathering! And again before any date, and again before any family function, and, um, again before any job interview… Actually, this is a good one that I could tattoo on my arm to keep me remembering it really isn’t all about Anne-Anne-Anne. Although it could be about shoes, shoes, shoes. I found that shoes do fill the God-sized hole in my heart, even if only for a temporary time while I get my “spiritual discipline” together.

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