Sunday, November 12, 2006

Forgive Yourself

Saying for the day: It is hard to forgive yourself because you know you are guilty.

I’m going to end this Sunday chat on forgivness with one of the hardest acts of forgiving there is. That is forgiving oneself.
The simple truth is that if you don’t forgive yourself you will have real trouble forgiving others.
If I feel guilty and somebody says something that hits right where the guilt is I get angry as a defense.
Once I’m angry I can’t forgive what I think they did because to do so might say to me that I am guilty and I don’t want to hear that.

This kind of behavior is very noticeable in the grieving experience.
I feel guilty because I didn’t make them go to the hospital , or because I shouldn’t have allowed them to drive.
The guilt leads to anger and the family comes apart.

I need to forgive myself.

How do I do that?

Let’s start by dividing the guilt into two groups.
These are real and possible.
Real guilt comes from insulting Aunt Martha or leaving the pan on the stove until it catches fire. I really did something I shouldn’t have.
To forgive myself I need to say I am sorry to the person that was hurt by my action.
I need to do something positive to clear the air.
As I handle the reason for the guilt I begin to forgive myself.

If the guilt is possible like something I should have done.
Then I need to think through if I could have really done it.
If the husband wouldn’t go to the doctor then his wife doesn’t have to feel guilty for not forcing him.
The fault was his and not hers.
There is a lot of guilt that we carry that makes no sense when we look closely at it.
Thus self forgivness begins to break in.

For the Christian the fact that God forgives us helps us to forgive ourselves.
If God still loves us after all that we think we have been then we can forgive and love us too.

Forgivness of yourself or others sets you free to live.

News from Pigeon Falls– the little town in my garage where the trains still run and kids run the town– Tommy is starting to discover what it is like to be a Mayor. The city needs a new snowplow. One of the salesmen stopped in and took Tommy out to supper. He provided a brochure of his line of trucks. Then he told Tommy that he really thought it was great that he was doing this job as young as he was. He said he’d like to give Tommy something as reward for serving. He asked Tommy what he wanted. Tommy almost said a new wagon but then he thought he would owe the man a favor. He didn’t want to do that since he and the council had to decide on a snowplow on the plows merits and not because they liked the salesperson. He told the man thank you but he didn’t need anything. He also told him he hoped that the company would give the town a good price. He made himself a note to talk to the council about getting sealed bids on a truck. They would have the man from maintenance draw up the requirements and then open inform the companies what they wanted and let them bid. This by the way is not how the last truck was purchased. It was bought from a friend of Eino. Tommy is really trying hard.
Mrs. Trumble is trying hard as well. She has her recall petition all drafted and is now trying to get people to sign it. So far she has only two signatures including hers. She tried to get Nancy to put one in the coffee shop for people to sign but Nancy refused. She said that people had a chance to get adults in the job and they refused to run so she is giving the kids a chance. The White Rabbit was seen out near Mrs. Trumble’s house but she did not go after it with her shotgun. It looks like she will live by the law as long as it’s the law.
The snow has the deer hunters excited. So far there is a nice layer of tracking snow if it only lasts until the season starts. They are a little worried about getting too much snow. Its one thing to track but quite another to be up to your kneees in snow. Hunting deer on snowshoes is no fun.
In church this morning Pastor Marvel said that the Church needs another liturgical season. Along with Advent and Lent there should be a deer season. It would be marked by Exodus Sunday when the men skip church to go to their camps and end with the Sunday of the Return. This is the Sunday when they tell their hunting stories at the church coffee.

Today's Link:GeekBrit's Aquarium- Remember to leave the words Dr. John in the comments to get those fishy JCPOINTS.- Check HERE for your totals.
Well know blizard last night but at 3:00 I got a cramp in the leg that caused me to wake up and sit up. My arm caught the oxygen hose and it came loose. The alarm went off. In the dark I couldn't find it. Betty got up and turned on the light. The hose had fallen behind the stand and she had to get down on her knees to recover it. All the while the alarm is going off. But once it was put back we both went back to sleep. Never a dull moment at the Fortress.
We went to church in Stambaugh today. We had expected to be gone before they changed the closing date and I didn't want to see the people I said goodby to last Sunday. Aside from that my protege, Jack, was preaching in Stambaugh. He stopped by the house to let me hear the sermon and I wanted to hear it preached with a congregation. He did a good job. In teh afternoon Betty began loading the car for our Tuesday trip. So many things to do. So much to put in order before we go. Well I need a breathing treatment.


Anonymous Kat said...

I've had a few of those nights! Pap gets a leg cramp which scares the dog who barks and sends the cat crashing into the night table and wakes up the whole house. Whatever does'nt kill you, makes your stronger (I've heard).

6:05 AM  
Blogger Sunflower Optimism said...

Wow - I'm thinking we should start a "Tommy for President" campaign. Oh, wait, I think there is an age limit on that :-( But think how great he will be when he can run!

Very familiar with that self-inflicted guilt, over disabilities my son has. It took me years to realize it was not "my fault" and to let go of the "things I should have done." He is now in college and doing beautifully, and a tremendous weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I think forgiving ourselves is the most difficult kind there is.

6:47 AM  
Blogger starbender said...

ahhhh, 4-giving one's self! I find I am myself's worst critic! ..and, I seem 2 B able to forgive others much easier than I forgive myself! I must work on that! I am sooo glad Tommy is Mayor! It's a tough job, but someone has to do it! Have a Fantastic Day Dr. John!!!

: )

6:47 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

Ahhh, that evil "hose". My Mom has been ranting a fit over it for the past year or so. Sometimes the dog steps or sits on it while she is in route to the kitchen and she suffers whiplash. Among many other stories that are fun to hear but aggrevating to her at the moment they happen.

As for those cramps, how's your postassium intake? Eat a banana, drink a V8 juice or even Gatorade has a nice amount in there to help that out. =O)

7:28 AM  
Blogger Miss 1999 said...

That was an absolutely wonderful post. I've had so much going on this week, and two times I was in the wrong BIG TIME. I've felt a lot of guilt over that, and I know God has forgiven me, but it's taken me a little longer to forgive myself. Thanks so much for posting this! *hugs*

7:41 AM  
Anonymous cindra said...

Excellent topic...I really appreciate the topic today. You are a gift, Dr. John.

I'm so glad the white rabbit is still for Tommy, well, I'm holding on to hope...

9:55 AM  
Anonymous TC said...

Very true, Doc - there's a lot of unnecessary guilt going around! Like we don't have enough to worry about!

10:29 AM  
Blogger Sister Chris said...

Yes, Margaret is right--when George dosen't eat a bananna, he gets leg cramps and not just in bed anymore, he gets them just sitting watching tv now too!! But a bananna a day keeps the leg cramps away!!
Are you digging out from the snow? or is it melting?
Have a good day.
Chris and George

10:49 AM  
Blogger The Rev. Dr. Kate said...

Forgiveness and guilt are so often intertwined and it is hard to offer one without letting go of the other!

11:03 AM  
Blogger butterflies said...

Betty is a loving and faithful caregiver and I thank God that she is there to mind you.
Forgiving ourselves is a hard one.I find that if we think carefully before we act then we dont have so much regrets..which causes guilt.Self imposed guilt is the worst kind!
And to feel forgiven,we must tell the person we hurt that were sorry.
And admit that we were wrong.
Its a learning process that continues all our lives!
Breathe easy Dr John.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous sandy said...

I was juggling baby, husband at work when my Mom had a repreive from cancer, so I came home to sort things out (140 miles away) I was getting ready to catch the train to the hospice when the phone rang. My Mother had just died and I wasn't there. It has taken me a long time to forgive myself for not being there at her side when she needed me. It is hard, thank you for this post Dr. John.

"Exodus Sunday and the Sunday of the Return", I like that.
Keep a good eye on that run-away hose too.

11:59 AM  
Blogger bazza27 said...

Cheers Dr John. recieved the spoons. No disrespect and i know it's sad, but the most exciting thing is receiving mail from America, not the gift itself.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Jan said...

I am still thinking Mrs Trumble is a knitter is knitting the White Rabbit a sweater with a hidden target on it. JMHO.

How appropriate you sermon notes mentioned a wife forgiving herself over hubby not going to doctor. I have been grabbling with that very aspect of self forgiveness for a few months now. I am trying, haven't gotten to self forgiveness yet, but I do keep trying!

2:41 PM  
Blogger QuillDancer said...

Dr. John -- Tommy is smarter than I.

And I'd loan you my cat to turn off your CPAP for some unexpected excitement, but you sabotage yourself and don't need her!

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Stacy said...

That was a really good post on forgiving ourselves. Sometimes I wonder if we don't hold on to our guilt to give ourselves the punishment we think we deserve. Once when I was struggling with guilt I had someone ask me if I'd asked for God's forgiveness and when I said yes, they informed me that not forgiving myself was a sin since God had forgiven me. I was going against his will. It may be true, but then I had more guilt.

That Tommy is one amazing kid! If he's this smart in 8th grade.....I sure hope he runs for national office when he's grown up.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Chana said...

Good evening Dr. John. Forgiveness, how often we blame ourselves for things beyond our control and maybe other times, not take more responsibility.

i can't unerstand how it is easier to forgive others than it is to give ourselves a break.

the last few sundays, you have taught us well. thank you very much.
I love Tommy. He has a sense for the job..I don't know if i would have know when someone was being nice or wanting to get on my good books because of business..(i don't think i said this right but i'm drawind a blank in how to explain it).
He is not only trying hard but doing a great job with alot of common sense.
Mrs. Trouble is up to not good, i do hope she doesn't go far..
Another night of excitement of the wrong type. How scary it all must have been. Joe sometimes gets horrible cramps that make him jump. I don't often but when i do, they come in clusters it seems and i don't have tubes and such to worry about..Poor dear Dr. John..that must have hurt.

I hope you tell your doc about it..Maybe there is some vitamin or extra something your body what they have mentioned before me.

I'm glad that you and Betty got to go hear Jack. If he learn from you than he must be very good. I can understand not wanting to explain to all how the dates were changed.

I know there is so much work ahead of this move and afterwards..I hope and pray that along the way you may find guardian angels sent by God to help you out..I know all of us would surely be there if we could. Hope you have sweet dreams and a restful and peaceful night. love to both.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

I struggle with forgiveness, so I really enjoy reading your posts about it. I have learned a lot about forgiveness from your posts. There is one particular incident I am still struggling with and I think the person is struggling with guilt. Something inside me wants to say, "I'm glad you feel guilty, because you are." But that would be very unkind. And it wouldn't help me.

You're right. If God can forgive, we certainly should be able to do it.

8:41 PM  

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