Friday, May 16, 2014

The Forgiveness Challenge -- Day 13 - Grieving

I am taking the "Forgiveness Challenge" which is a 30 day Journey of Forgiveness by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Each day you get an email with the link to your daily lesson. Most days there is a small audio clip to help you with the day's lesson, or a video clip. It doesn't take much time to do, and whatever you write down stays so you can refer back to it as you make your journey. Today's lesson was about grieving. Grief does not only occur when someone dies. Grief happens whenever we lose something that is precious to us, even our trust, our faith, or our innocence. Grief plays a large role in the forgiveness process, and especially within this step of Naming the Hurt. Grief is how we cope with and release the pain we feel. Grief has many well-documented stages—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and ultimately acceptance. There is no fixed time and no fixed order for experiencing the grief associated with any loss. And while there is no right way to grieve, grieving itself is essential. Grief is how we come to terms not only with the hardship we have endured, but also with what could have been if life had taken a different course. We grieve as much for what might have been as for what was. I have had so much happen in the past few months, that today's lesson struck me exceptionally hard. But, I think this will be a lesson I really benefit from as I finish it today. The activity is simple...Name the feelings that accompany these losses. Simple, huh? I alo just started "The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World" by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu which goes along with The Forgiveness Challenge. From the book: "I would like to share with you two simple truths: There is nothing that cannot be forgiven, and there is no one undeserving of forgiveness." Great words to live by, don't you think?