All this month, I have been thinking about forgiveness. Each week, I have learned something new about myself, something I need to let go of within myself and forgive myself for thinking, feeling, or internalizing. Planning Zoe’s 60th surprise birthday party has brought up a few things I needed to forgive. This week, I have had to learn to release expectations about people and events. I had to learn to let this weekend celebration of Zoe’s life be what it was supposed to be. I had to release my expectations that people would communicate with me when there was a change in plans, as I would have with them. I had to release my desire to have the whole family together at one time. As with relationships, once I learned to release expectations around how things were going to be, it was just fine. However, for that hour or so that I was working on releasing my dreams and fantasies, I have had to forgive myself for self-imposed suffering.
I have had to forgive myself for ever thinking I am super-woman and forgetting that I can only do what I can do in one day. I can never do better than my best. So it is okay if I do not get all my grading done on the schedule I imposed on myself. Even though I needed to spend the day grading, it was more important that the salads be made, the cake baked, and the grill cleaned in preparation for the party. I can catch up with my grading after the house empties today. I do not need to be the Messiah; I just have to do my best.
I have learned that I need to be intentional about seeking clarification. Many things I assumed were okay were not. I came to realize this when I started seeking more detailed answers. In some respects, this was related to my expectations that others communicate in the same way and degree that I do. As a result, I did not seek clarification, which caused me suffering, for which I had to forgive myself.
Finally, just when I thought I had at least managed to follow the first agreement, which was to be impeccable with my thoughts and words, I realized that I had, if only for a few minutes, allowed non-loving thoughts and feelings to float through my mind. At least this time, I realized that I needed to forgive others and myself so that it became more of a commercial interruption then a full-length docudrama.
Life lesson learned this week: If I follow the five agreements, I will have far less suffering and far more peace and joy in my life. I hope that I got it this time and will not have to repeat this lesson.