Week 5: Forgiveness (Part 2)

Hey everybody, it’s Kendra!

I’m coming at you for week five, Compassion Collective. This is part two, if you remember, last week was forgiveness for ourselves, for you, for me, for us, because we have to learn to love ourselves and let go of all the bad things that we’ve done in the past and that’s the only way that we’re going to learn how to forgive others, which is part two.

Eyes on—definition coming. (Motion of me throwing a baseball) that’s my fastball—or maybe a curveball—I don’t know what that was … but yes, I am a lefty for anybody out there!

Forgiveness, the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven. Some synonyms—pardon, absolution, exoneration, dispensation, clemency, mercy, amnesty. So there you go. I think that’s pretty self-explanatory. We also read this last week, but the bottom line here is forgiving others.

There are two commandments that Christianity is summed up in—1) love thy God with all thy mind, body, Spirit, and might and 2) love thy neighbor as thyself.

Now, what in the heck does that mean? And who in the heck is my neighbor? That’s every single person on the planet—you have to love like yourself. Which is why we focused on ourselves last week because we have to love ourselves. We have to forgive ourselves, be patient with ourselves, and challenge ourselves to grow in life as we journey and learn and become better people.

Loving my neighbor as thyself means loving every single person. This goes back to my very first Compassion week one. The people that you know, the people that you don’t know, the people that you know that you don’t really like, the people that you are kind of are familiar with but you really pretty much ignore or that you pass or you sit next to on the train, but you never talked to—those are your neighbors. It’s not just the person that lives next to you. So that means every single person that you have a grudge against right now—I want you to remember that second commandment—you need to love them and ask God to give it to you.

I had to forgive somebody else. I also had to forgive myself and it took me awhile to forgive myself. I mentioned last week that, for me, it was going through confession, realizing that have if God can forgive me, I should forgive me. But then at the same time I wasn’t forgiving some other person in my life who I was harboring some bad feelings.

I prayed for it, I said, “Oh Lord, I know that you expect me to forgive like you forgive me.” I don’t go into that confessional and say, “Oh Lord, please, I hope you forgive me.” I expect him to forgive me. It’s what it is there for (confession) and He expects me to be better, grow, learn and try not to do that sin again. Right? That’s kind of the deal. But me forgiving others, I was not doing that. I was really kind of hateful and spiteful in my head about this person.

So at the end of it all, when I finally got there from the forgiveness side, which another way to look at it is to let go. Once I let go of all that angst and hate, I guess would sum it up that way, it’s a horrible, horrible word, but I really think that that probably best describes it.

Oh, that feeling—how freeing!

I was like, “OK, all right, I get it. I know, he’s human. I’m human.” And it wasn’t the best situation we were in or circumstance so I’m done with this. And it’s amazing the weight off your shoulders and then the ability to now really pray for that person and hope that they have great success in their life. And then when you think about that person or you recollect on your relationship with that one individual or group of people or whatever the situation is, you look at the good stuff. I mean you don’t go to that automatic “rrrrrr” place and it’s freeing.

So if you want God to forgive you, you have to do this for God. He expects you to forgive yourself and others. So that’s your focus this week. I’m not sure how you did on the forgiving yourself last time. I, again, strongly recommend going to confession for those of you who are Catholic and haven’t been in awhile or have been in awhile and need to get something out there that just happened recently. By all means, it’s the best thing ever.

And you can go to my website. I’m going to reflect back to those two vlogs. There’s one on confession and one on the Eucharist and confession that are super duper important—the source and summit of our Catholic Faith. This is what I believe, but again, this is just back to the basic Christian belief—love thy neighbor as thyself and that means forgive them, OK?

Hoping it goes well. Let me know, keep in touch and keep the feedback coming! Have a blessed and inspired day and week. We’ll talk soon.


Kendra Von Esh

Kendra Von Esh is a Speaker, Faith Coach, and Author who has a passion to help others to deepen their relationship with God and the Catholic Faith.