Anyway, back to hibernating in the AC, this is our thing on days like today. I'll dash out, take care of business and dash back in. I kind of like this part of summer.
Mom and I get to spend a lot of time inside chatting. No one hates the heat, mosquitoes, ticks, horseflies, or gnats more than Mom. If she's not swatting them she's imagining they're close by, waiting to stealth bomb her at any minute. This makes it difficult to get any sort of reply other than uh hu or what did you say?
Yesterday as my FB followers already know was my Dad's Birthday. Yups, he just turned the big 59. Mom decided she'd take the old guy out to one of his favorite BBQ's places to celebrate. They had a wonderful time and the food was great as always.
Just as the meal was ending a waitress came over to clean the table bedside the folks. She, being terribly busy and in a rush, dropped the condiment tray on the floor splashing BBQ sauce alll over the Mom and Dad. This never turned into the drama I'm sure you're imagining. Dad, who bore the brunt of the condiment attack, simply went into the bathroom and cleaned himself up. Mom mopped up some of the floor and cleaned off her purse. In the course of cleaning her purse, she knocked over her beverage and then commenced to mopping up the other side of the table and floor...
Now I know you, my followers, don't have a clue what my Mom is like, but I do. Today my Mom just looks at things and lets it go. Her philosophy is for the most part, "just go with it".
In the past, Mom was simply hell on wheels. She felt there wasn't a wrong on this earth she wasn't put here to set straight; and she honestly didn't care who it was that needed to be set straight, she could handle it. For the most part she did just that. There was no fool she suffered lightly. Nopes, not a one.
Forgiveness wasn't a word in her vocabulary either. Old age has mellowed my Mom a lot. Don't misunderstand me, she's a work in progress. There's a story I remember of someone sharing about a conversation they had with Ruth Graham. "They were driving along and saw a sign that said, construction ahead, thank you for your patience". According to the tale Mrs. Graham liked that sign a lot. She thought it applied to we Christians. It truly does apply to my Mom, there's a fair amount of construction that needs to be done ahead.
That's ok, as our Heavenly Father is faithful to put situations in our paths according to the areas that are still under construction. One of those, for my Mom, is still forgiveness. I told her we pups can teach our hoomans a lot. I can forgive my Mom and Dad anything a thousand times over. That's simply the way I'm made.
By the same token we dogs don't have the health issues connected to stress and lack of forgiveness that humans do. (I guess Mom isn't the only one that struggles with this one).
(1) Whether it’s a simple spat with your spouse or long-held resentment toward a family member or friend, unresolved conflict can go deeper than you may realize—it may be affecting your physical health. The good news: Studies have found that the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for your health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression and stress. And research points to an increase in the forgiveness-health connection as you age.
There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed,” says Karen Swartz, M.D., director of the Mood Disorders Adult Consultation Clinic at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Chronic anger puts you into a fight-or-flight mode, which results in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure and immune response. Those changes, then, increase the risk of depression, heart disease and diabetes, among other conditions. Forgiveness, however, calms stress levels, leading to improved health.
Forgiveness is not just about saying the words. “It is an active process in which you make a conscious decision to let go of negative feelings whether the person deserves it or not.
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
That's a lot of forgiveness.
(2) Forgiveness is for our own growth and happiness. When we hold on to hurt, pain, resentment, and anger it harms us far more than it harms the offender.
Forgiveness frees us to live in the present. Reliving the wrong that was done to us keeps us living in the past and missing today’s beauty.
Forgiveness allows us to move on without anger or contempt or seeking revenge. As Confucius said about revenge, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” This applies as much to the spirit of anger behind the desire for revenge as much as to revenge itself. Even if you do not actively seek revenge, holding on to your anger brings you down.
Forgiveness brings you back to good spiritual, physical and mental health. The systems of the body respond to negative emotions, affecting the immune system in ways that would blow your mind. Releasing those emotions is a good thing.
Forgiveness clears the cobwebs so that you can see the good in life again.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
We're only human, we all have short comings, and to be honest we're all going to fail at meeting the expectations of others. If God can forgive us, can we not try to follow His example and forgive those who have hurt us?
Myself I do keep trying. I think of Ruth Graham's "Construction ahead thank you for your patience", sign and I smile. Honestly I'm not sure how many miles there are until we hit the Construction Completed notification, and I'm certain I'll never go through life with the grace of Ruth Graham.
I'll keep on mopping up the spilled BBQ Sauce through out my life with whatever bit of grace I can muster in the moment, and remember "to err is human, to forgive is divine" Alexander Pope.
Molly looks at her Mom busily typing away and says, "Mom you're 15 min. late on taking me potty, but I forgive you". BOL
Love and Peace,
Molly and my Mom
Sources of our Quotes
(1) John Hopkins Medicine Healthy Aging
For some reason the above link doesn't work Plz copy and past the IP address below in your browser
(2) The Good Men Project The Importance of Forgiveness