Monday, November 7, 2016

21 Days of Thankfulness: My Photographic Attitude of Gratitude Project (Day 4) Forgiveness and Reconciliation

DAY 4: Forgiveness and Reconciliation

I created the graphic above using an image taken of a portion of the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel that always came to mind when I saw the photo of "my two little guys" reaching out to each other from their high chairs.  I snapped that photo about 12 years ago when I was nannying for the boys for 11 hour days.  Though not brothers, those two could be the best of friends and the biggest of rivals, vying for my attention, but there was definitely a tight bond between those two that more often than not, ended in hugging rather than slugging.  
Some people like to say they're sorry with flowers.  I was taking a walk
in our neighborhood one afternoon, and I saw a young man holding a big
bouquet of flowers sitting on the steps outside of an apartment building
I half-jokingly asked, "Did you do something bad?"
"No, she had a really bad day, so I wanted to cheer her up."

My first thoughts of forgiveness and reconciliation have to do with turning to God to ask for mercy each time I have chosen to say or do something that goes against what is kindest and most loving. Basically, whenever I choose to act in a way contrary to what Jesus or the Blessed Mother would, then I could have handled a situation in a better way than I did.  In our faith, we have the beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation that helps us to ask forgiveness out loud for the times when we have sinned against God and/or our neighbor, then we are absolved of our sins through the grace of the Holy Spirit working through the priest.  Some of the holiest people I have met go to Reconciliation on a regular basis, monthly, weekly, or even daily.    

I've learned that there's a big difference between forgiving someone and reconciling with them.  The first means accepting the apology or not holding anything a person has said or done against them, whether they have admitted the hurt the caused or not.  Reconciliation goes much deeper than that and seeks to heal the division and restore the relationship between the two people.  There are some people I've been able to forgive that it has taken me many years longer to completely reconcile with. The most profound experience I have had of reconciliation within the context of a human relationship has been with my father.

This photo I took of one of the three silly sisters.
She put the sock in her own mouth, and I couldn't
resist taking a photo considering how many times
in  a day, something slips out of my mouth
I wish had come out differently or not at all.
I took this photo on an Easter Sunday when Michele
Morris and I were walking up to Monument Avenue
to check out the Easter Parade.  I thought it was neat
how the shadows made a cross on the wall near the steps.
Kevin, my husband of twelve years, is definitely the person
from whom I most often need to seek forgiveness and reconciliation.
Fortunately, he hasn't refused to make up with me, yet.
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