I could start out this piece with a witty turn of phrase or a deep philosophical sentence. Truth is, I like to throw a lot of big words around for the mere sake of taking up space and turning a simple point into an exhaustive one, but isn’t that what writers do? We like to take a mundane, simple concept and turn it into an eloquent, grand idea. This makes us feel better about ourselves…

Today I am going to do something different; something I don’t usually do. Instead of carefully bobbing and weaving my way around a topic to drop some major truth bombs, I am going to shoot straight with you and divulge what is on my mind. I do hope you enjoy.

Why did I get the word, “forgive”, tattooed on my arm? Seems silly right? Everybody has a tattoo these days. Its the cool thing to do. It says, “Look at me I’m creative and mysterious, no one can understand the complex human I am.” You’re fooling yourself if thats what you think.

My answer is a simple one.

A reminder.

A moment to pause and think about my choices throughout my everyday interactions with other people. A remembrance of failed attempts at forgiveness, but also the victories. An avenue for people to see this word more often and hopefully think about their own lives and choices and how the complex act of forgiveness can change the course of our future forever.

It is a reminder to forgive others. No longer will grudges or feelings of anger control my thoughts and emotions. No longer will I be a slave to bitterness and contempt. My life is too precious to waste on holding forgiveness from someone.

It is also a promise. Proverbs 17:9 says “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven.” I choose forgiveness in my relationships believing love will prosper if I forgive offenses. The state of my relationships is directly related to my capacity for forgiveness. I can grow and nourish my relationships or I can starve and corrupt them.

Finally, it is a reminder to forgive myself.

I am my worst enemy.

My loudest naysayer.

My harshest critic.

When I fall, I fall hard, and I have a hard time getting back up for the simple fact of continuously beating myself up for my mistakes. But when I stop to look at these seven little letters on my arm I’m reminded to forgive myself and move on. It is not the long walk home that will change my heart, but the welcome I receive at the end of that walk.

Forgive, endlessly.

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