Recently, I had trouble going to sleep. I finally feel asleep only to wake up early. Why? I was replaying a scene in my head where someone had been offended and I was the offender. Maybe you can relate. You replay the scene like a choose your own adventure book. You relive the moment but this time, in your thoughts you say the right thing and do the right thing. If only we could change the past, right? Better yet, if only we could forgive ourselves. What if I told you that forgiveness is giving up the fantasy that the past could be any different.
“…One of the deepest longings of the human heart is to be known and loved unconditionally,” says Ruth Haley Barton as she begins chapter six of her book Sacred Rhythms. A common desire among us is that we want others to be authentic and transparent. A byproduct of this desire is that it requires that we be open and transparent with others. We want people to “be real.” We also want to be known and loved for who we are. We fear though, that if we act as we want others to act with us, with openness, then they will reject us. Being open opens us up to unwanted ridicule and judgment.