Why do it? How does it even work?
It's about self awareness that improves how we love others and empowers us to be our best even in the midst of fear.
We live in uncertain times, sometimes turbulent, sometimes devastating.
Tragedies like the one in Las Vegas this week are horrific and devastating. Depressing and painful. We grieve. How should we lead and manage ourselves, families, and communities when faced with such challenges?
And it's not only the ones that make headline news. What about the chaos within our own homes around the conflict and isolation resulting from chronic resentment and grudges; the emotional distances that creep into our relationships and steal our joy and sense of fulfillment.
"Forgive us our debts..."
A cry for mercy. We need freedom from our liabilities, character flaws, mistakes / failures, and dysfunctional habits that stop us from the love that overcomes all difficulties and stays intact till the end.
If we continue indebted, we will be enslaved to unhealthy responses and patterns, destructive dances, toxic environments, systemic corruption, hopelessness.
This familiar phrase from the Lord's prayer is about ongoing, even growing self awareness of our buttons, triggers, baggage, fears, anxieties, and the deeply lodged narratives, choices and experiences that keep us in the dark, confused about why we're here, who we are, what we want, how to change, and where we're going in life.
It's about getting clearer about our emotions and dissociative cycles so we can know how others feel and are stuck, even our spouses and kids.
And once aware and clear, invite God to heal, release, transform, even on a daily basis.
Without inner enlightenment, we will continually be victims of circumstances and events, injustices, and other people's treatment of us (perceived or actual).
"...as we forgive our debtors."
And letting go of our own personal demand for payback and desires to return evil for evil is evidence of our own truthful and compassionate self-awareness. They go together hand in glove.
Jesus taught this practice in the context of a prayer stemming from finding one's identity in God as Father and aligning the will with His. Forgiveness was that which would sustain one's soul and spirit daily, like bread for the body. And this central, even identity-defining discipline and focus would decrease temptation's power and rescue from chaos and disintegration, the kind that divides households and divorces people who had promised to love till death.
This is our most urgent and profound need. Yes, often overlooked and forgotten. Nevertheless it is the key to life long, loving relationships, relationships that do what relationships are supposed to do—grow us up to be emotionally healthy, mature people.
When we don't do forgiveness well, we don't do relationships well. That is, our relationships will not be doing what they're supposed to do and we and our loved ones miss out on becoming our best selves.
Are you ready to go to the next level of your personal and / or professional development? Let's take your creativity, discipline, and productivity to new heights so that whatever happens, we're ready.