Sailing Along with Forgiveness

December 31st, 2019 by Kelly Kienzle


How about if we close out 2019 with forgiveness?  Forgiveness washes away the hurt, anger and frustration we feel.  Forgiveness is a way of rising above what has happened to us.  Forgiveness is how we show we are greater and stronger than the roadblocks in our lives.  Forgiveness is our power over our own lives.

What is the connection between forgiveness and power?  Let me give you an example:  If I get angry about the impersonal cashier at the grocery store, then she has power over me.  Her coldness has created anger in me.  Thus, she is controlling or influencing my emotions.

Yet if I choose forgiveness, then I can forgive her coldness, knowing that she carries burdens that may be too heavy to manage a cheery disposition, just for my temporary pleasure.  By forgiving her, her actions are not causing me anger.  She is not controlling me.  Through forgiveness, I am back in control of how I feel.

(I can and should also forgive myself for creating a rather self-important expectation of cheeriness from various retail associates wherever I go, but that topic is for another blog.)

And so I want to close out 2019 with forgiveness for others and also for myself.   I will forgive myself for all the times I lost my temper at home, for the judgments I passed on people who disagreed with me, for the guilty boredom I sometimes felt listening to and engaging in small talk, for the self-scolding on what and how much I ate, and for the hours I wasted doing meaningless tasks (alphabetized spice drawer, I’m talking to you).

Let me be clear.  Forgiveness is not a white-washing nor a brushing-under-the-rug strategy.  Forgiveness is when I can truly accept what I did, thought or experienced without judgment.

And then I simply follow a 3-part framework: “1. OK, that happened.  2. I have options on how I want to respond.  3. What do I want to do about it?”*  Now I am back in control.  Now I have all the power I need.

As we sail into 2020, I want to steer a clean, lightweight boat unencumbered by musty freight and grouchy stow-aways that have been down in the hold for too long.  This new boat will have buoyancy, grace and speed.

What will your boat look like as you steer into 2020?  What will your Forgiveness hoist over the railing and leave behind in 2019?

*Note: Many of my coaching clients may recognize that 3-part framework as one of my favorite tools: Name it. Tame it. Reframe it. Ask me about it, if you’re curious!

Leave a Reply