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Dents in a Tahoe Can Inspire You to Practice Forgiveness.

Can you remember a time when someone hurt you, lacked sensitivity or was mean to you?

Do you remember the feelings that went through you?

Practicing forgiveness will remove the bad feelings.

ForGIVENESS will STRENGTHEN your life. When you fail to practice it you can be left weak, irritated and less healthy.

Having a family of 7, I’ve had years of practice in forgiveness.

We once had a tree fall in our yard. I decided to make this a family project by taking the kids outside. Being a man I was focused, getting the job done and I lost track of the kids. When I took a break I noticed it was quiet. Too quiet.

If you have children you know that too quiet always means you realized too late that the quiet is about to end.

Whack. Whack.

The noise was coming from the garage. The garage where I last saw the love of my life … My black beloved off road Z71 Tahoe.

I rounded the corner to find my son Caden, then 2, in the garage, with a hammer and a Tahoe.

I remembered our families rule for split milk: “1st spill of the day”. Quick forgiveness from an adult to a child is important. Having 5 children has taught me to say “1st car dent” of the day.

Children can inspire you to practice forgiveness.

It was just last week when I needed forgiveness.

My wife had been running behind MY intended morning schedule for getting the children to school. Rather than waiting patiently (or maybe stepping in to help);

I did what I do best: I spoke. This time I speculated aloud about how many total minutes we could save if she would just use MY system for planning. My calculations didn’t impress her, but I could tell by the look on her face that I crushed her spirit.

Very smooth, Dale, I realized too late, very constructive.

You would think a leader, a teacher, someone CALLED to speak in helpful, uplifting, encouraging ways would have found something better to say at the moment – or at least something less damaging. Despite my arrogant words, my wife was able once again to cover them over with forgiveness. Patiently helping me see what was wrong with them.

Do you think my wife should have forgiven me so quickly? She’s been doing that since our wedding day.

… Our day was turning out perfect. It was a forecasted rainy day that had turned sunny.

We had overcome my father’s 1st words to my bride … “Where is some food? I’m hungry.” We had recovered from my Mom bringing my bride a cake. This day was also my birthday.

Not being in Toastmasters at that time I had to write my entire 3 lines on a card. I began … I Dale Suslick, do take you, Dale Suslick, to cherish, love and … ugggh … wrong card.

… People close to you can inspire you to practice forgiveness.

People need to forgive, yet what do some people do?

Some people, including me, say when they ask for forgiveness, I’ll give it.

That time heals all wounds.

IF I forgive, they’ll just do it again.

When all that happens then I’ll practice forgiveness. I’ve discovered people normally don’t come to me asking forgiveness. Time: does it really heal?

And yes, when you forgive, people do it again. Ask my wife.

I often go to my mentor and complain to him about the latest thing my wife, kids or person did to me. His response is normally, so what. What have you done this week that required forgiveness?

How do you argue with that? My mentor reminded me that every person can hurt others, lacks sensitivity and is mean on some days.

My mentor tells me of a 2000 year old speck/log story. It’s like I am walking around with a log tie in my eye. The log is all the issues in my life that I need forgiveness on. Somehow, from across the room, while watching ESPN, I see a speck of dust in my wife’s eye. Just my approach brings her pain …

as I try to remove her speck …

… while whacking her silly with my log.

A mentor can inspire you to practice forgiveness.

Gandhi says that you are strong when you forgive. James MacDonald says forgiveness removes irritation from life. The Dalai Lama says forgiveness improves your health.

You should practice forgiveness.

You will find that forgiveness doesn’t come without a cost or doesn’t stop you from setting boundaries to protect you. My Mom isn’t allowed to bring cakes. Ever. My Dad? Required to eat before visiting.  Hammers in my house need to be placed up high.

You will find that forgiveness can take 2 people who are capable of open warfare over toothpaste tubes, toilet seats and who had the worse day; enlarging their vision to include a higher noble truth.

You should practice forgiveness.

If you go out to the parking lot you will find my beloved black Z71 off road Tahoe with a row of hammer dents along the driver side.

Yes, those dents are still in that Tahoe; because that’s a reminder of one of the few times when I practiced forgiveness right. A reminder not just for me, but for everyone that sees those dents…

If you haven’t already, you will be the object of someone hurting you today. Someone will lack sensitivity to you.
Someone will be mean to you.

We all should practice forgiveness.

One Response to “Dents in a Tahoe Can Inspire You to Practice Forgiveness.”

  1. love this post… just good to remind ourselves…

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