The hardest people to forgive are ourselves

This morning I came across a facebook post from one of my young friends – a young man who has seen more of life in his 20+ years than many of us would have at twice his age and who is so much wiser and more inspiring than one’s first impression might portend. I was not able to share a link to his FB post for you to click to, so with his kind permission, I replicate it here:

“As I step into the working world, I’m taking a big leap towards reintegrating into society.

With the making of relationships related and work related errors repeatedly, this transition has been gruelling… Yes, even after more than two years post graduation..

My struggles are not in the case of seeking support, understanding and forgiveness from my co workers; these are freely given in my workplace.

In a working environment where Mercy and Grace is outpoured daily, the challenge for me lies not only in learning from my previous faults, it is in humbly accepting forgiveness and in embracing my need for second chances.

This has become the only way i can progress forward… And I have been grown tremendously.

……

When God blesses our lives with His Mercy, we may feel undeserving.

However, in God’s wisdom there is no such thing as a Love that is in vain.

The invitation is to simply accept and utilize His blessings to make the best out of whatever circumstances we are put into.🙂”.

In his words, “the challenge for me lies not only in learning from my previous faults, it is in humbly accepting forgiveness (from others) and in embracing my need for second chances.”

I have often tried to explain to others the very central Catholic tenet that we are “justified by grace”, meaning that though we are sinners, our way back to God and heaven is secured by God’s unconditional love for us who have been created by Him. There is nothing that we need to do but to accept this grace fully and willingly.

In our limited human capacity, we (myself included) find this profound yet simple idea so hard to accept for others as well as for ourselves.

Putting the spiritual perspectives to one side though and thinking just of the relevant context of our day to day earthly existence and our relationships with our loved ones, it is just as hard to accept. And sadly, I think about how many human relationships have we messed up because we can’t deal with accepting forgiveness from others whom we have hurt and embracing our need for second chances?

If we can but humbly accept our vulnerability and frailty in the hands of those we love and not build up walls of denial that shield our egos, those relationships have so much potential to become amazing vessels of life that will take us forward to becoming our truly better selves.

Walls are unyieldy and imprison us, keeping us in the same place. When we can take them down we let sunlight in and we can stretch our legs and start moving forward.

Thank you Matthew for your sharing. It is a poignant reminder to me to continue to work on taking down my walls and allowing grace into my life.

Such sagely perspective from a young man of 24. I can’t wait to see how much more he will grow and what more I will learn from him.
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