Reflection by Scott Stoner
The Heart quadrant of the Living Compass focuses on two aspects of wellness: Handling Emotions and Healthy Relationships. Forgiveness clearly touches on these two areas of wellness, as well as on our practice this week of our need to overcome a tendency to protect ourselves in order to be able to both forgive and seek forgiveness.
Today’s quote reminds us that holding on to anger when someone has hurt us actually causes our emotional well-being to constrict. Anger makes us smaller, while, as the quote goes on to say, the process of forgiveness stretches us and forces us to grow beyond our comfort zone.
As we discussed yesterday, this is all quite complex. There are times when being able to be angry is a sign of growth and healthy empowerment. But there are times when our anger is unconsciously acting to protect us and even unconsciously trying to punish another. Trying to hurt someone who has hurt us by giving them the cold, silent treatment or refusing to connect in any way with them would be an example of the kind of anger that makes us smaller. Making the harder choice to work on forgiveness and possible reconnection means that we will have to give up our self-protection in order to grow.
Making It Personal: What role to you see forgiveness playing in your life in the two areas: Handling Emotions and Healthy Relationships? How might moving toward forgiveness impact your emotional life and your relationships?
Follow along with us this Lent season with our daily devotional and engage in discussion in our closed facebook group moderated by The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner & The Rev. Jan Kwiatowski.
In this group, participants will have a chance to share their responses to the prompts in the daily readings, and also the chance to receive additional material for reflection.