I’ll never forget the image of splattered tomato on those fake marble stairs. It was a Wednesday. Pub night. Like every Wednesday night. Carrying a decent buzz and a giant slice of pizza each, Tracy and I stumbled up the stairs to our tiny apartments.
Then, it happened. The big, chunky meat tomato slid off Tracy’s piece and smashed right onto one of the grey steps. Splash! It landed dead in the middle, flat on its back. Tomato juice everywhere.
She was about to pick it up, already half-collapsing under her fit of laughter, when I said: “No! Wait! Leave it! It’ll be even funnier tomorrow!” And leave it she did.
Too few hours later, we fell out of our beds and rushed out the doors of our small intern units - not ready for, but still going to work. On our way down the stairs, we spotted a piece of dried tomato, and then it hit us. We burst into laughter.
We’d both forgotten, but I had been right: It was even funnier today.
I’d love to tell you that Tracy and I then diligently cleaned up that nasty piece of dried tomato and that was that. But we didn’t. Someone else had to take care of that. Sorry!
The point of this story, however, is a different one: Seeing in the moment what something is going to feel like a day, a week, a year from now is a superpower.
If you can judge situations for what they truly are as they happen and manage your emotions accordingly, you’ll make better decisions. Calm will never be in short supply.
This is easy to do with the drunk foolery of young adults, but much harder when you feel hurt - especially if you’re the one who needs to be forgiven.
Forgiveness is like falling in love: First, it happens slowly. Sometimes so slowly it feels like it won’t ever happen at all. But then it washes over you in one fell swoop. Like a built-up wave that finally crashes on a rock.
If you can see the wave crashing long before it does, you have learned to truly be kind to yourself.
The process will still be the same, slow grind of fighting the bad thoughts, battling the obsession with your faults, telling yourself you have to let go over and over. But from the first day, you’ll know where and how it ends: with a smile on your face and the courage to start a new chapter.
About Forgiveness Wednesday: No matter how the week starts, by Wednesday, we’ve had enough time to kick ourselves. We’re human. We make mistakes, we regret them, and we blame ourselves. But the only way we can keep moving on is if we forgive ourselves and those around us. So every Wednesday, forgiveness is what we’ll practice.
Let’s be kind to ourselves so we can succeed.
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