Have you ever heard that great athletes have to have short term memory loss? Do you understand why this is essential for them?
Pitcher: The last pitch I threw was hit for a home run. I can’t throw like that again.
Quarterback: My last pass was intercepted. I can’t throw another one like that.
Batter: I have struck out the last two times I was up, Can’t do that again.
Tennis player: OMG please don’t let me double fault again.
Pick a sport, any sport; if you screwed up just seconds ago, if you are thinking in anyway shape or form of screwing up again you most likely will; especially if you are afraid of doing it again. You will get tense, start thinking and interfering with the muscle memory, because truth is you know how to do this, you’ve done it thousands of times before. What you need right now is to forget about what happened. Let it go!
How is that like forgiveness?
I screwed up my last relationship, don’t screw this one up.
I screwed up my last job interview, don’t screw this one up.
I really was an idiot with my son, my wife, my husband, my daughter …
There are a lot of human endeavors that are exactly like the situations athletes face, that if you go on thinking of what you did wrong, you impair your ability to function at a high level of expertise. You can’t be a great human being.
So just cast off your guilt. If only it was that easy, well actually it is but people seem to refuse to do it the easy way.
What are the ways to cast off guilt?
This all started pretty early. Eve says, “It was the snake’s fault, not me”. Adam says, “the woman made me do it!” First method was to blame someone else. How did that work out? It doesn’t really get rid of the guilt does it. It just misplaces it for a while and it still gnaws at us.
Pretty much the same with “I am innocent, it didn’t happen that way.” Now you just flat out lied about it. And if you can get other people to lie with you and for you loud enough and long enough it might seem like you were innocent, in the end truth comes out and it is all worse than it was before.
How about it wasn’t really me, it was my evil self. Dividing yourself into multiple personalities doesn’t really sound like a smart solution either.
All the way we try to relieve ourselves of guilt no matter how small the error, it eats at us, doesn’t sit well with our psyche, our souls. There is only one method that works and while it is the easiest, it seems to be the one we take the least.
Repent, and ask for forgiveness. Acknowledge I did do wrong, affirm I do not want to do wrong again, ask God, ask the people around you for forgiveness, accept the forgiveness and then go do the best you can, with all you have until you stumble again. Rinse repeat. Because you will stumble again.
But in the meantime how do you give all you have? By asking and then accepting the forgiveness. How else do you put all your heart into the next relationship? How do you give it all with no hesitation on the next pitch? The next dinner with your family? The next conversation with your daughter?
And what is the secret to accepting forgiveness? Knowing you are loved. People that love you and yes your Father loves you, wants to see you do your best, wants you to believe in yourself, give all you have and see you love with all your heart; and knows without lifting the weight of guilt off your shoulder you won’t be able to do your best. Love is more concerned about you and you being your best than it is about whether or not you stumbled. Love is the answer.