I’m experimenting today with a shorter blog post than normal. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
On our way home from Australia many years ago, we stopped at Yosemite for a couple of days. I’d never been to the western US before, let alone seen the marvel that is Yosemite. We spent the evening in the Mountain Room Bar. The thing that kept us in the bar wasn’t the alcohol (we were teetotalers at the time), but the soundtrack playing, Don Henley’s The End of the Innocence, which had come out just a couple of years before.
Henley’s song, The Heart of the Matter, resonated deeply with me. Go here to see Don sing this song.
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I knew, I’m learning again
I’ve been tryin’ to get down
To the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it’s about…forgiveness
Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore
Ah…these times are so uncertain
There’s a yearning undefined
And people filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age?
(partial lyrics to The Heart of the Matter)
I’m with Don. I think it’s about … forgiveness.
I grew up in the Christian church, so I had been hearing about forgiveness since my earliest days. I took a long, long time to recognize that without forgiveness of myself, there was no way to accept forgiveness being offered by anyone else, human or divine.
Indeed, I had wondered why I didn’t “feel” forgiven when I had heard this message at least a million times. Another aha moment when I figured out that until I was willing to accept and forgive myself, I could not receive the acceptance and forgiveness of others.
The power is immense in the question, “Will you forgive me?” and the answer. “Yes.” It’s much more powerful to add that question to the words, “I’m sorry.” (I’m sorry I am unable to remember the source where I read this information the first time. Will you forgive me for posting without attribution?)
How about you? Have you forgiven yourself? For being human, for being imperfect?