As it's Saturday - and I enjoy the others in this link up - here is our contribution for the week! Comment below with a caption for this little beauty! Then when you've done that pop over to the link below and say hullo to Mamasaurus, the brains behind the linkup, and comment on some more! Mamas aureus satcap linky
Being a little tiny bit OCD (which is a fact you can certainly miss about me when you see my, erm, housework skills) I find doing crafts and baking with my boys a little traumatic. This is mainly because I have an idea in my mind of the finished product, and rather than behaving perfectly, the kids want to eat the glue and hit each other, whilst telling me poo jokes. (they get that from me. The toilet humour, not the hitting.) Today I decided to grit my teeth and just go with their destruction, but kept it simple. A packet of rich tea biscuits. Red icing and blue icing. Let them go at it. After many experiments with natural food colouring (all of which tastes like the fungus it is extracted from and none of which is colourful) I found some amazing professional food colouring that actually gives food colour (and is about as natural as my own colouring) and away we went. The boys immediately took to the idea of painting biscuits with brightly coloured sugar paste but, ever the guilt ridden Momma, I attempted to include some kind of learning opportunity to our fun. "what do we get if we mix red and blue?" asked I. Jellybean suggested "yellow?". Midget Gem suggested "Bikkits" and ate two rich teas. I mixed some of each colour in a fresh bowl. The red was very bright. The blue particularly vibrant. I anticipated a bold purple...what I got was an uninspiring dark brown only normally recognised by someone being treated for a nasty bout of iron deficiency. Still, the boys seemed to be having fun, and the 'fun' we all had at bedtime after they had sampled their wares was magnificent proof for those against e numbers and additives!
What is it to you? I'm not religious so it is nothing to do with handing anything over to a higher power or any kind of deeply ingrained goodness.
I think forgiveness is more for the person doing the forgiving than the person they forgive.
Forgiving someone who hurts you in error, whose intentions are good but whose actions result in hurt or pain, can still take time and thought - but essentially if a person is good and they express sorrow and seem to have learned from what they did then forgiveness should follow naturally. You take into consideration the person, their intentions, whether they have made amends. If a person is good then bad actions on occasion can be forgiven.
But what if someone hurts you, if someone deliberately hurts you and acts in cruel, malicious or carefully planned ways designed to cause pain to you, or to your loved ones, or to everyone?
What if a person is, for whatever reason they might give, just bad? Can a person just be bad?
I think that can often be forgiven too, and can only try to explain why.
It starts with the fact that I don't believe there are many truly evil people. There are some, and some truly evil acts which cause hurt and damage on such a grand scale that even I couldn't forgive it, and i forgive a lot.
Most people who do something which seems evil, however, got there through evil deeds being done to them. This does not excuse further cruelty, but it explains why someone might be filled with hurt and damage, and might pass that forward. If a person has only been shown cruelty and pain then you can't really expect them to know how to express anything else and when they are so damaged by their own pain they cannot do anything but cause pain, can you really not forgive the pain they have caused you?
I don't mean 'forgive and forget' - I absolutely don't believe in that. If you forget then nobody learns anything from the hurt caused, and life is all about learning lessons and moving forward.
But refusing to forgive, bearing a grudge, seeking revenge even - who is hurt by that? The person who deliberately hurt you? Or yourself? The people around who love you?
Anger on that scale, holding on to hatred and anger and bitterness, it takes a lot of energy. It burns you up inside. It touches everything in your life and taints it. Taints you.
Forgiveness isn't about saying that what happened is ok. It isn't about excusing bad people or bad acts. It's about not passing it forward.
It's about keeping that pain and anger away from your loved ones, away from your future, away from your now.
It's about making a decision to let go of that anger, to move forward with your life and leave that pain behind.
You don't forget and you don't need to tell those people who hurt you that you forgive them. You don't have to go back and try to be their friend or even contact them. It isn't for them. It is nothing to do with them.
It is for you. For your children, your partner, your family and friends. It is for YOU that you forgive.
One of the wisest things my Grandmother ever said to me was that you don't have to make all the mistakes yourself, it's perfectly acceptable to learn from other people's.
To me, that is what forgiveness is. Accepting that you were hurt as a result of someone else's damage, and that they passed it forward to hurt you by way of trying to lessen their own pain.
It didn't work. Hurting you did not heal them. It did not make them a better person. It did not undo their pain. It did not lessen their anger or bitterness. It grew it. It just gave them a tiny little more pain, guilt or damage to add to what they already had. It wasn't about you. It was about them.
So what do you do? Do you act the same way? Spread the poison? Pass it forward?
No. You let it go. You forgive. You move forwards and you leave that pain behind. It isn't easy and it can often require a lot of support, guidance and constant work, thinking day by day that you are moving forward, a little at a time.
Talking therapy is good to help you understand more about how things happened and how you can process things. But essentially, rage only hurts the person feeling it. Let go. Forgive.
That is, to me, what forgiveness is. An act of healing which makes your future better than your past.