A new program is being installed at home here.
"I forgive you because..."
Two important factors contributed to this:
1. Earlier this evening my husband said something that wasn't meant to upset me - but it did.
I didn't want to be mad at him: the weekend just started, I began Gretchen Rubin's 'Happier at Home' and wanted to start applying those ideals. I just didn't want to be mad, but I felt it welling up like an unwelcome cold. One of those automatic reactions, based on 'old' ways of being.
2. This afternoon, my husband cleaned out his truck and found a library book of mine that has been missing for two months. And it instantly occurred to me, he's just made me infinitely happy today! I've been clearing out the house all this time in search of something I'd given up on.
I can't be mad at him over something insignificant and unjustified. He's just made it possible for me to feel like a free patron when I walk into the library. I no longer need to explain to the librarian why the book, 'Into the Unknown' has disappeared into the unknown. (PS: Librarians love irony.)
As I was feeling myself being mad at Michael, but not really wanting to be mad at Michael I thought, I'd really like to forgive him. But that didn't feel like enough. I felt the need to have a reason to no longer harbor the mad feelings. (Not the most gracious, I realize. Needing a reason to stop being mad, but baby steps.)
So I said to myself, 'Michael, I forgive you for saying what you said (that upset me) because you found my missing library book today.' And I felt like I really could forgive him. Then I said it out loud to him, with a smile, because I felt unburdened and rather happy.
Wonderful, I'm going to try this out with my kids too. If they can find reasons to forgive one another's transgressions, how life changing could that be!