Author Bryant H. McGill said “there is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” When you’re in the glow of new love while planning your wedding, maybe forgiving your partner isn't an issue. But in the day-in, day-out of living life together, take notice!
Ruth Bell Graham, wife of the Reverend Billy Graham for more than sixty years, said: “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” Perhaps by taking that advice, all couples can find their own version of “happily ever after.” Not as some frothy, superficial, romance novel confection, but as a day to day letting go and embracing: letting go of judgment and embracing our imperfections; letting go of criticism and embracing acknowledgement; letting go of hurt feelings and embracing forgiveness.
Sometimes it takes courage—and it always takes opening your heart—to allow your forgiving, flexible, tolerant “big Self” to emerge. I find when I’m being “small,” holding on to some position, and definitely not feeling very “forgiving”—it helps to do this little exercise. I take several deep, easy inhales and long, soft exhales then say: “thank you for giving me this opportunity to let go and let love in.” I say it until I can forgive myself for whatever I made up (about me or someone else!) and can feel my heart open again. I like how Margaret Walker said it: “Love stretches your heart and makes you bigger inside.”
Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia
[Photographs: Jason Hudson]