Forgiveness equals grieving

Originally published at the normality factor. You can comment here or there.

It’s all over the place: forgiveness is the kindest thing you can do for yourself and others.  Crappy childhood?  Learn to forgive.  Terrible relationship?  Get on the Forgiveness Train.  Friend screwed you over?  Forgive and move on.

The problem comes almost immediately with the question of how to forgive.  What does forgiveness mean?  How do we accomplish it without tacitly approving of the offensive behavior?

Okay, you know what?  While I was going to give you a pretty straight-forward essay on forgiveness and how important it is and how the steps of forgiveness are exactly the same steps as grieving – and that the Letter Method works really, really well – that’s not what’s really on my mind.

I just got back from having a psychic reading done by a very accurate and downright pleasant lady named Nina at the Psychic Palm.  She’s the one that used to be in that house on Monticello right off of Central Expressway, but she’s moved over to Richmond right off of Lowest Greenville.  At first, we were just going to get a reading for Amber, who is visiting this week with her boyfriend Darien, but I figured, what the hell?  Gods know I have questions, and reading for yourself is both potentially inaccurate and no fun.

Now, normally, I rely on cards, especially when I feel like I’m dealing with someone who needs to know that it’s not just my personal opinion giving them advice or pointing out the unseen circumstances of their lives.  I figured that I would make this leap of faith for Nina and forego the cards, going straight to her personal intuition and sight.

I am really, really glad I did.

Obviously, some parts of the reading are not subjects that I’m going to address in a public forum, but the overall thumb-nail sketch of the whole thing was that I’m on the right track, I’m doing the right things, I’ve got my life set up right, and any intermediate wrinkles are nothing more than that – that everything is remarkably and beautifully stable.  “Keep doing what you’re doing and stop second-guessing yourself!”

This is excellent news.  Sometimes I lose my perspective a little bit, especially when I’m dealing with a lot of anger, and it’s necessary to get a third opinion before moving on.

One of the most interesting things that she said that was not part of my immediate plan was that while she saw my books getting picked up and published, I would enjoy the most success from a series of children’s books.  I’ve thought about writing children’s books before, but she said that she actually saw them as more in the “self-help” vein than in the “story-telling” vein – although there is a great deal of overlap.

Well, that is definitely an intriguing idea – and one that, of course, I started outlining immediately.

What could I write a self-help children’s book on, though?  Well, golly… there’s grieving, loss, divorce, eating, exercising, friends, bullies… Really, the list goes on.  And maybe this is part of that niggling in the back of my mind that I got when I was talking to Kira lo these many moons ago about how much easier our lives as adults would be if we were just told as children that this problem or that problem is not the end of the world, that it’s normal to feel how we feel, but that it doesn’t have to warp the rest of our lives.

I’m thinking that these would target the 7-12 audience (such as it is) and they would need illustrations.  I’m also thinking that they may be some of the only “self-help kid books” on the market that are not coming from a Christian or otherwise indoctrinated position.

It’s time to do some research, and to continue reading up on the parts of childhood that I’ve forgotten or just didn’t know.  I feel a quiet, fascinating passion growing about this.

(For a few of those books I’m working on, click on the “Merch” button up top and go through the Amazon carousel.  “Raising Cain” and “Reviving Ophelia” are possibly some of the best I’ve seen on the topic.)

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