Spiritual Memoir and Forgiving Others

Late Thirties:

You can learn about forgiving others through spiritual memoir or spiritual autobiography. This page can help you use a spiritual journal as a tool for forgiving others. It can also help you understand the role of apology in your story.

Antique Bed

I've considered the role of forgiveness in my spiritual journal. I've discovered that I want to apologize to the people I have not loved well. I have expected much and given little. Please forgive me. I was much afraid. I was trying to be perfect and I was demanding perfection in return. I’m not perfect. I’m really very messed up. I’ve tried to hide so much from you. It’s OK that you’ve hurt me. I’ve hurt you too. I’ll do my best to accept the pain you’ve given me. I want to love you anyway. I want to love you even if the best you can do is push me away. Please know that your heart, and your name, is safe with me. Even if we’re not friends I still love you. Even if you hate me, I’m still your friend.

God meant for me to love. He made me, and others, to love. We all mess that up pretty badly sometimes, but that doesn't change the truth of what we were made for. When people are really terrible I don't feel like loving them. I'm not even very sure of what loving them would look like. All I really know for sure is that I'm supposed to love.

I'm a woman in my late thirties. Isn't it time for me to figure out how to love the sick and messed up people that surround me? People have had to figure out how to love me when I've been sick and messed up. A lot of the time our stories are pretty complicated: they make it hard to love and they make it hard for us to love others. Somehow in all of that we're supposed to figure out how to share love with others. What we have before us is a huge challenge. I'm almost forty. I think it's time for me to be up to the challenge. How about joining me in the challenge? I'd like some company.

Do you believe that you were made to love? Do you believe that God wants you to love others? How do you feel about loving everyone, regardless of what they've done? Are you up to the challenge of loving the unlovable? Consider the place for loving those who are hard to love within your story. What place does loving yourself, and others, have within your spiritual memoir?


Sharing My Journey
 

Forgiving others and my story:

I have a dream. I’m an ordinary white horse but I become this beautiful, black creature. It has wings and it’s unique and wonderful. It’s like a beautiful stallion, but it’s so much more. It’s fantastic.

I add my black stallion to my canvas. Good apples pelt my black, winged creature. They’re red, delicious apples, not peace stealing crab apples. The red delicious apples bear the names of the fruits of the Spirit from the Book of Galatians. With each “hit” my stallion gets something and lets something go. Hatred is traded for love, fear is given away for peace, and sadness is swapped for joy. I give my black horse wings so it can soar.

I am becoming the beautiful black creature in my dreams. I had been the ordinary white horse until I chose to begin absorbing all the evil that was sent my way. That’s when I began transforming. I've started to understand who I really am. I'm learning to embrace each “hit” and understanding, more and more, that the chasm between me and my offender is small. For the first time I am giving a little of the love I wish to receive.

Recognizing the chasm between ourselves and our offenders can be our way of being the hands and feet of Christ. When we love those who have hurt us, or might hurt us, we are like Christ and His example of forgiveness. Demonstrating Christ's call to turn the other cheek is trading hatred for love, giving fear away for peace, swapping sadness for joy, and choosing to soar in the most unlikely places. Discovering how to love is not easy because we are called to love people who are hurting: people who are, or once were, just like us. Hurting people hurt others and it's a huge challenge to reach out to them and help them heal. With God's help our story can be about us transforming and giving away a little of the love we wish to receive. Our spiritual story can close the chasm and allow us to become the person God dreams we will be.

Black Angel Horse

Who I Really Am
Age 38

Journaling

Sharing Your Journey

Forgiving others and your story:

Write five sentences that describe you well. Use this paragraph to help yourself choose five adjectives that best describe you. List these adjectives in your journal. Do you like who you are? Do you believe you are created in God's image? Ask God for five adjectives that describe you. Does your list match His? Why? Why not?

Now think of someone extremely difficult to love. Choose five adjectives to describe that person and list them in your journal. Ask yourself, "Do you believe that this person is created in God's image?"

Consider some adjectives that describe you (and others) which are negative. Make a list of them in your journal. Do these adjectives describe who God made you and others to be? Are they adjectives that describe someone God made you, or another person, to become? Knowing that Christ is offering your forgiveness, and a way to become more like Him, can help you forgive yourself and others. Loving yourself and others allows your story to be about hope, transformation and forgiveness. It allows your story to reach others with the message of unconditional love. It can become the heart of your spiritual autobiography.

Testimonies: The Power of Inspirational Christian Stories was formerly titled Dancing in the Doghouse. This spiritual autobiography has been renamed and redesigned to better reach its audience.

 


Recent Work!


Yarn Swirl and Skittle Collage,
Age 46

More and more the pleasure comes from doing what I want and not caring what anyone else thinks. It's funny how many times people have tried to redirect me when they see my art. Mostly, they try to get me to go back to the style of art I was asked to produce in my first years of college: representational art from the times I was being taught how to draw and paint. Why should I go back to that now? I could prove to the world that I can do it. I can do it: make art that looks real. But, that wouldn't make me happy. A swirl of yarn and a button made to look like a Skittle is what makes my art today. Maybe that doesn't make you happy but I am. I am happy.


 Past Work!


Forgiveness Art

Spiritual Painting
I Get to Choose,
Age 41

Today I get to choose. I can open a door and I can shut it. Some doors will open me up to new and exciting things and I can stay in that new and exciting place. Some doors will lead to dead ends or difficult situations, and I can turn around and leave: shutting the door behind me. I don't have to stay if I don't want to, and I don't have to leave if I choose. I get to choose.

Click on these spiritual autobiography links:

Spiritual Autobiography Articles
 

Spiritual Autobiography Blog