Forgiveness in the time of Covid 19.
These days I’m constantly looking for relief from the worry and anxiety of the chaos in our world. Relief can come from taking a walk in the woods, reading an inspirational book, watching a sunset, calling a friend, and eating comfort food.
These past few months I have felt fear, uncertainty, confusion and angst. And I have been compelled to find relief with home remedies. Remedies like regular doses of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food (aka chocolate+ ice cream), or the ingestion of medicinal Tate’s chocolate chip cookies or my go-to soul food, pepperoni pizza paired with a tasty chardonnay.
None of this may seem unnatural to you, but for me, these self-treatments feel like a comforting embrace. You see, before Covid19 I had not eaten any sugar, grains, or dairy for nearly 5 years and felt terrific. Then enter the global pandemic and the uncertainties of the future led me to relief-eating. I reasoned if you are going to get sick, you may as well have ice cream before it’s too late.
Relief-eating did not include restraint, but rather gluttony of all the things I had said “no!” to in order to have better health. While the cookies and ice cream were good going down, those actions have now resulted in guilt and self-loathing and a terrible side effect…a realization of an entirely new number on the scale from 5 months ago. And yet I must confess, I cannot stop!
This is where forgiveness comes in. Forgiveness is the feeling that motivates compassion. In order to be compassionate toward others, we must first be compassionate toward ourselves.
Forgiveness exists at the intersection of two forces within us...suffering and relief. That moment of grace, when you choose relief over suffering, is where forgiveness dwells. Releasing the limitations of guilt, grief, pain, or anger in exchange for relief is like taking a deep breath of fresh ocean air and giving up your worries and doubts to the tide to take them away into the great beyond.
Forgiveness is the release of resentment or anger. Forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation and it should always begin with yourself. This is why I’m forgiving myself of the guilt of relief-eating and treating my relationship with Ben and Jerry as a fling vs. a long-term relationship. I hope you do the same!
Consider this: What 3 things do you need to let go of or forgive yourself for from the past 5 months? Who else deserves some forgiveness or greater appreciation from you?