Day 551: A round of forgiveness

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I did two therapy groups before attending Boston’s unprecedented fireworks show for Independence Day, 2014.

In this post, I want to tell you a little more about one of those groups.

A theme that emerged in that group — as people thought, spoke, listened, and shared — was forgiveness. About mid-way through the group, I suggested a new exercise, which people agreed to try. People took turns, naming and describing things they wished to forgive themselves for.

I found this exercise healing and moving. Today, I would like to continue it, here.

I’ll go first!

When I was in my early 20’s, I became very depressed, for many reasons. Today, I would like to forgive myself for becoming that depressed. Most importantly, I wish to forgive myself for getting  very angry at my parents, during that difficult period.


I choose to forgive myself for expressing that anger in uncharacteristic ways, which have lingered in my mind until this day.

Now, would you like to take a turn?  It’s up to you, of course.

Before I end this post, I could continue forgiving myself, for things like:

IMG_6528 IMG_6529 IMG_6531 IMG_6532 IMG_6536 IMG_6537

  •  repeating myself in several ways here (including linking to the same post twice), or
  • startling Oscar, with an unexpected noise


… when I was scanning that photo of my parents.

However, I think I’ve done the major forgiveness work, for today.

Thanks to my dear departed parents, to people who forgive as best they can, to parading (and/or sensitive) creatures everywhere, and to you — of course!*– for participating here, today.

* I was going to write, in this footnote: “Forgive me for using ‘of course!’ so often in my thank you’s, for perhaps overusing exclamation points, and for any other writing trespasses against you.”  Then I realized, again, it was in me … to forgive myself.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “Day 551: A round of forgiveness

  1. I can tell that Oscar forgives you, Ann.

    And I love the picture of your parents. It gives me a wonderful window into you.

    I was/have been/am angry at things in my life centered around my parents, too. Your post today is/will be an excellent exercise.

    Thank you.

    I hope the Boston weather improves today to allow outdoor dancing!

  2. Nice idea for a post! I have a feeling our parents forgave us for a lot of things. I only have to think about the times I’ve forgiven my own children. That’s what unconditional love is all about.

  3. In the Stillness of Willow Hill

    I forgive my parents for never hugging me and for treating life like a list of duties. I forgive my father for never once having a conversation with me. And finally………I forgive myself for teaching my children that achievement and a perfect moral code are the keys to life.

  4. Great post Ann. I find that when I take the time to learn the why about the what, I see the love that motivated my parents to do the things I did not understand then.

    Wow, talk about a fragmented, run-on sentence – hope it makes sense!
    Diana xo

  5. Pingback: * Loving Forgiveness Meditation | Find Your Middle Ground

  6. Thank you Ann for sharing this. It is a helpful and healing exercise to look within ourselves and forgive ourselves for harming others intentionally and unintentionally.
    I have re-blogged a 3 part loving forgiveness meditation which brings me peace and freedom.
    Val x

    • I just visited your post, Val. Thank you, from my heart, for the gifts of the 3-part meditation, and for your presence here.

  7. Oh, Ann, you are such an extraordinary woman!! I am with Mark … I absolutely love the photo of your parents. You are such an inspiration and I as I ride my bike today, have some forgiving to do. I personally thank you for the reminder. Bless you, friend! (((HUGS))) Amy

  8. Such a critically important (and personal) topic!

  9. I agree that we need to forgive ourselves for our pasts – that’s really the only way to move on. Thanks for such a thoughtful post here.

  10. This year, on Mother’s Day, my two girls happened to be together. They found they were both bothered by an occasion on which they felt that had been angry and mean to me in front of others. The funny thing was that I remember the occasion, but not their anger. It had been a stressful moment in all our lives and I must just have put down their reactions as natural stress – so there was nothing to forgive. Maybe your parents took your anger less personally than you feared. I, too, in my twenties suffered from depression and I was a short-tempered mother, but the way my girls have turned out has helped me to forgive myself.

  11. Gene Phillips

    As others have noted, it is indeed a wonderful picture of your parents, who I had the privilege of knowing slightly. One thing I have been able to forgive myself for, and you helped me do it a number of years ago whether you know it or not, is sometimes not having been as good a friend as I should have been.

  12. Pingback: Day 1649: Forgiveness | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  13. Pingback: Loving Forgiveness Meditation | Find Your Middle Ground

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