Friday, January 11, 2019

Toddler-Like Forgiveness

My 2-year-old could teach me a thing or two about forgiveness.

I do TONS of horrible stuff to him. I attempt to comb out his tangled hair after his bath. I make him sit still so I can trim his fingernails. I tell him it's time to change his stinky diaper when he is obviously in the middle of playing something very important. I make him settle down for naps/bedtime when he isn't ready. And WORST of all - I occasionally have to leave him (in tears) with someone else for a while.

And he forgives me for all of these things. And really quickly, I might add. Sometimes there's some pouting, but he usually comes around within like 5 to 10 minutes. And those times when he's really worked up at having to be left behind with someone else for a few hours? The next time I see him... he's all grins and excited shouts and hugs.

The times I offend him the MOST are the times that he forgives me in the BIGGEST way.


When do we lose that as adults? Granted, there are probably some really wonderful, selfless adults out there. People who constantly turn the other cheek... people who always smile and love their neighbor with open arms... people like Mother Teresa. (But she's been dead for what? 20 some years?) I'm willing to bet that the rest of us could probably use some more "toddler like" forgiveness in our lives. And maybe we should start with ourselves.

A friend of mine was recently posting online about how she caught her 1-year-old son watching her do push-ups... and then she saw him attempting his own. And this observation made her more fully aware of how he really is a little sponge. She went on to say, "I so need to live a better life with these little eyes watching. Makes me feel guilty for all my shortcomings." I immediately replied with something encouraging about how much love I know she has for her sons... and how she shouldn't forget to love herself too.

But maybe what she really needs to do is FORGIVE herself. I know there are things I need to forgive myself for. Those silly things from years past that keep you up in the middle of the night, robbing you of sleep while you replay ways that you could have handled them differently. Regrets you have about not making time for the right things (or the right people) at certain moments of your life. Being ashamed about choosing a nap or mindless Facebook scrolling over something else on your to-do list that was infinitely more important.

I can remember my mother once telling me to try to put "things on yardstick." I think she meant that if you back up, and look at the moments of your life as marks on a yard stick, you might see how something might not be a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Everything is just a little mark. Life changing days, like the birth of your first child or little things... like sighing as you pick up the Legos for the four-hundredth time - they are all little marks. And YOU can decide which marks have significance.

Forgive yourself for some of the "little marks" you aren't proud of. If my toddler can do that in 10 minutes, maybe you could do it in the next 24 hours.

No comments:

Post a Comment