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Monday, January 09, 2006

Forgiveness

A friend of mine sent me a short article about forgiveness last week and I must admit it revolutionized the last few days for me. Since then, every time ANYTHING would bother me, I'd just forgive the infraction and the irritation would magically dissappear. I use to have a problem with the concept of forgiveness thinking it meant I was condoning irresponsibility or unfair behaivor. However, I found that forgiveness wasn't about letting someone off the hook, it was simply letting go of my own hurt emotions about the situation. I can't tell you how much easier it was to handle situations from this vantage point not to mention how my soulutions to problems became so much more elegant. Now you probably never get irritated like me, but if you do, give this technique a try and let me know how it works for you!

Have a GREAT WEEK!

All Things Possible!
Chris


PS: We saw Fun With Dick and Jane this weekend. I actually liked it. Everyone else I have talked to hated it - I have no idea why!

18 Comments:

  • At 8:53 PM, January 10, 2006 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    Chris,
    Great comments concerning forgiveness. It's interesting that forgiving is both the easiest and most difficult thing that we can do. Easy because anyone can say "I forgive" but difficult because most of us don't really mean or understand it!

    I'll do my best to be more forgiving and letting go. That includes some things that have bugged me since high school...

    I haven't seen "Fun With Dick and Jane" (it's one of the those movies that made me think "why remake that?") - but I sure do recommend "Brokeback Mountain" which I saw this past weekend. The subject matter might put off some people, but in addition to a strong script and excellent performances by the entire cast, it's one of the most emotional movies I have ever seen and it says a lot about the human condition on many levels. I was so impressed I went out and got a copy of Annie Proulx's collection of short stories "Close Range" in which the original short story appears. Ms. Proulx is quite a writer!

    Dave

     
  • At 8:59 PM, January 10, 2006 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    I know what you mean about the difficulty there with forgiving. Once I realized it was something I was doing to free myself, it actually got a lot easier for me!

    I loved Brokeback Mountain as well. I think once folks get past the idea of gay cowboys, it's one of the most intense love stories I have seen and as you mentioned, the execution of it is awesome. Heath Ledger is definitely getting nominated for an oscar.

    ATP!
    C

     
  • At 9:38 PM, January 10, 2006 , Anonymous Sue said...

    I finally got to see Narnia...and enjoyed it very much. Hoping to hear more comments on that "movie event"! I haven't seen Dick and Jane, but I like Jim Carrey and am wondering why you liked it Chris, and why you think others didn't...I don't get to a lot of movies when they first come out, so what ones besides Narnia and King Kong stand out as "must sees" for 2005?

    That's an interesting perspective on forgiveness. It will take some thought...

     
  • At 7:12 AM, January 11, 2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Dear Chris,
    I never have to worry about forgiveness because I simply hate everyone :) Just kidding. Interesting idea you brought up. It's right up there with mentally saying, "I choose to" or "I choose not to" for everything you do instead of "I have to", etc. Try that one for awhile. It's actually difficult because it makes you feel completely accountable for your every choice.
    Well, I guess I'm not the brightest candle in the chandelier because it wasn't until AFTER listening to Last Cowboy that I realized LS died at the bank that day. I listened to it again and enjoyed it even more. I think you've got something great there...now just get us a video version... ;)
    miss ya,
    Matt in Amsterdam

     
  • At 8:28 AM, January 11, 2006 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    ** If you haven't heard Last Cowboy yet, don't read this next entry **

    Thanks Matt!! I love your deliberate approach to life! You're right about being accountable for all of our actions so choosing to choose is an awesome way to stay aware of that!

    Well you weren't suppose to figure out that LS died until the end. YEAY! It worked! I know the story seems bizzare up to that point as that experience must be pretty bizzare to LS as well.

    Miss You Too Buddie!

    All Things Possible!
    Chris (in LA)

     
  • At 11:02 AM, January 11, 2006 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    Hey Sue!!

    I'm glad you liked Narnia. It seems to be doing quite well having just passed up the Half Billion dollar mark world wide! In answer to your question, I think the Fun With Dick & Jane was very silly and Jim Carrey style physical humor that he has mastered but if you look deeper into the story, there is a major eco-political commentary about how we are all a bit self righteous when we are operating from a place of security and comfort, but take that away, and we all become animals. Some of the characters (Alec Baldwin) need a LOT of security and still savegely try to protect his way of life at others's expense.

    I may be in the minority, but I know at least Dave and I agree that Brokeback Mountain is a groundbreaking film and if you only saw one movie this year, that would be the most important one. It is not a blockbuster visual parade like King Kong, but the story is a very powerful look at relationships from a new perspective.

    Thanks for writing in Sue!

    ATP!
    C

     
  • At 8:16 PM, January 11, 2006 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    Chris,
    We sure do agree on "Brokeback." When I first heard of the film I didn't really have any interest in it, but then I started hearing such good things that I decided "what the hey" and went to see it. My only regret in seeing it is that it was the first film I saw this year and it's going to be hard for any other movie to top it for sheer impact.

    It was a great reminder of what film making - and the arts in general - are really all about!

    But I still enjoyed King Kong, too...

    Dave

    PS By the way, had our first rehearsal for "Beauty and the Beast" today - we are on our way.

     
  • At 9:02 PM, January 11, 2006 , Anonymous Sue said...

    Thanks for your comments, Chris, on "Dick and Jane"! Our county paper has a front page photo of the downtown movie marquee today...showing two films..."Narnia" and "Dick and Jane"...

    Thanks, both of you, for your perspective on "Brokeback" --

    Best wishes Dave with "Beauty and the Beast"...keep us posted!

     
  • At 11:33 PM, January 11, 2006 , Blogger Matt from Australia said...

    Hey Folks!

    Funny enough, that movie: "Brokeback" was going to be banned from screening down here. Apparently it had something to do with the whole homosexuality thing! Honestly i think the whole thing is pathetic! 2 of my closest mates are gay and they really are no differnt from anyone else. I've noticed that whenever the word "HOMOSEXUALITY" or "GAY" are mentioned everyone goes quiet or get's mad because who ever the centre of discussion is disgusting or something and people who aren't get offended when around people who are or something. Really i think it's ridiculous. Who honestly cares about an individuals sexual orientation and stuff, it's their business and people should really just accept it and drop all this discrimination and everything.

    Anyway back to the topic, the point you raised chris is a real eye opener. Although it's hard to admit, when i was starting out in high school, i found myself in situations where i'd be in the centre of ridocule for my interest in the school productions or wanting to be in the school choir and band. This is comming from another perspective of forgiveness but it's kind of interesting to see who actually does or doesn't in these kind of situations.
    I won't bother going into detail but it did hurt alot of the time because i was doing what i really loved doing and i'm hoping and doing everything i can to hopefully someday become involved in singing and acting. now being in my last year of High School with University the next step after this year, the dis-respect has completely died off only because people see how much fun doing this kind of thing really is. with some particular people, it will be kind of hard to complely forgive because of different things but when it comes to those who actually found how awesome the arts is, you notice that really, their ridocule is pointless because they didnt know what they were missing out on. I've learnt over the years that when it comes to similar situations, it really is healthier for yourself to just let it all brush off. The outsiders doing the irritating etc don't know why u like what u do and because of this absence of knowing why, they immediatly think what you do is stupid or whatever.

    This kind of forgiveness would have to be in another perspective and all but it has a similar backbone. It may be hard to forgive but for your own sake, it's really better to think higher of yourself at times. There's so much more in the world that is worth your time than letting yourself be overcome emotionally and eventually mentally and physically by such trivial things like worries. Going back to Chris's point, when you hit a brick wall, you simply go round it and continue marching on. if you need to, climb over it or simply knock it down with persistance if the situation requires being worked on. Every minute counts and spending a minute on these infractions is really waisting that minute completely!

     
  • At 2:31 PM, January 12, 2006 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    Wonderful insight, Matt!! Thanks for that. I think that one reason people will try to impose their values on others is to validate their own beliefs. When you have confidence and conviction you don't need a unanimous consensus to feel secure in your own individual perspective. Heck, that is what makes you unique! And remember that forgiveness is something you do FOR YOURSELF to let go of the pain from a past incident. If you can see where someone was acting hurtful out of their own weakness or insecurity, the hurt can often turn to compassion - a much nicer feeling!

    Good Luck with Beauty & the Beast Dave! We're all rooting for you!

    All Things Possible!
    Chris

     
  • At 3:51 AM, January 13, 2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Christopher - Your Mom keeps me posted on your show-biz persuits. She told me of your wesite and I think it rocks! I feel confident that some day I will be able to say, "I knew him when....". To be in touch with you makes, "my heart sour like a hawk". (Little Big Man)

    Movie issues: I recently saw, "Walk The Line". It was a good portrayal. How nice to see a movie without the added filler of mucho profanity and bedroom scenes. Not that I am against either but, I feel this rarely adds to a story. When I was a kid a bedroom scene was metaphored by showing waves crashing on the beach. You got the idea."Don't go to the beach, you'll get pregnant", (Tody Fields) Also, Sam Goldwyn once said that if you have a lot of dancers behind the singer, the singer is no good. Last night my hubby and I rented, "The Exorcism of Emily Rose". What a good movie. It surprised both of us. We were expecting pea soup and derogitory remarks about one's mother but got neither. No goo, just a good renewal of faith. You might want to give it a shot. As for, "Dick and Jane", we'll see it when it comes out on rental.

    Frgiveness issues: We have all been there, fighting our own seperate demons. From the time I was fifteen until I was about fifty I had a source of pain from an injustice that tore at me. One day a good friend of mine told me that there was no way to change the situation and to let it go. Such simple logic was my saving. Forgivness? Maybe. Acceptance? Possibly. Call it what you may, it worked and now it is all behind me.

    We are working on Opera choral selections this term, in Choral Union, to be sung with the Symphony. What fun to give the old pipes a good workout.

    I will stay in touch. TTFN (Tigger)
    Your friend - Mimi

     
  • At 8:22 AM, January 13, 2006 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    Hi Mimi!

    Thanks so much for writing! I love your little big man quote. I agree with you that if movie elements don't add to the story, you don't really need them in the movie! We saw The Exorcism of Emily Rose last fall and it still haunts me! Pretty powerful - and based on a true story too.

    Bravo for dealing with that injustice you mentioned. Something that eats away at you for so many years can have continued devestating consequences like ulcers and cancer. It seems at the time to be such a leap of faith to let go of a pain that you have lived with for so long, but your courage will be paid off a thousand fold in longevity and happiness.

    Good luck with Choral Union this semester!

    All Things Possible!
    Chris

     
  • At 12:56 PM, January 15, 2006 , Anonymous Gail said...

    Chris...I enjoyed you in GOTJ2 when the movie came out. Looking forward to seeing you on screen again! Can you tell us more about the other projects, acting and otherwise, that you've been involved in since then? I heard your Sea of Fear movie is still to be released. Is that right? You've obviously been busy creating "Last Cowboy" in recent months. I'm enjoying that, too. Any news updates on a film version yet?

    This week's postings on forgiveness have been candid and inspiring. Realizing that everyone experiences the same feelings makes it easier to let go of the hurts and slights. This is a great topic. One that I, for one, need to work more on. A GOTJ2 FAN.

     
  • At 4:06 PM, January 15, 2006 , Blogger Tom said...

    Hi Chris I use the fogiveness technique you mention your right it does not leave them off the hook but it takes away there power over you. Only you have control over what will bother you. When we let comments or hurful things bother us it allows that person to have control over us. We meust learn to have good judgment though as some things that are said are in fact truth and we must learn from that even though it is embarassing or hurtful. I have carried around a lot of baggage over the years and its a shame I didnt learn early on as you and some of your readers and fellow friends have. But it is never to late.
    I havent seen brokeback mountain or Fun with Dick and Jane yet but I will see them. I saw the original Fun with with Dick and Jane and enjoyed that.
    Being gay myself we are put to the test every day of non acceptance. friends who don't know that I am gay say really nasty things about gays I try to defend them but due to the closed mines of most so called construction workers I find it best to keep quit about my life style even though I did not choose it. I wish people would get that. Oh well enough about that. I enjoy your sight very much as you know. Tom

     
  • At 9:49 AM, January 17, 2006 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    Thank You Gail for your kind comments. No news yet on Last Cowboy but these things move like giant cruiseliners. They are very slow to get going and take a long time to change direction. I'll keep you posted.

    Good to hear from you again, Tom!! Thanks for sharing your clear and open comments about forgiveness and acceptance. If we all felt confident we'd be completely accepted for who we REALLY are, just think how freeing that would be!! How much of who we are is hidden or changed so we can be part of this bigger group called society?? And I'm talking about the smallest minority group of them all, the INDIVIDUAL! I have a dream (remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) of a society that we do not have to shrink down to fit into, but that expands to embrace the diversity of all of us!

    ALL THINGS POSSIBLE!
    CHRIS

     
  • At 3:33 AM, January 18, 2006 , Anonymous Jaschenka said...

    (I can't even go on a holiday for a week or this forum is just buzzing with inspiring posts!!!)

    Wonderful insight on the forgivenes issue, although I must say I have a bit of a different view on that.
    I see 'forgiveness' and 'letting go' as two seperate things, although no doubt emotionally very close connected to one another. From my own experience, I've come across some nasty events and I've been able to let go, move on, get over the hurt. But did I forgive the person who caused it in the first place? I'm sorry to say so, but: no.
    In this particular case I think it comes from the fact that the people that I love most got hurt. Had it just been me I might have been able to forgive easier (if it ever is easy..). Which brings up another question. Is everything really forgivable?
    But your view on things certainly gives a whole new perspective to it, Chris. Thanks for sharing.

    Talking movies: Yeah, a Golden Globe for the Nethies!! (Best foreign movie award!)
    On my wishlist of 'films to see' there now also is 'Casanova' on it. After seeing a trailer and the comment 'lavish costumes' in the review I just couldn't resist. ;) Anyone else saw that one already?
    We rented The Island the other day. Wonderfully executed, good performances, but what a freaky thought!! (And not totally unthinkable either..)
    'Brokeback mountain' sounds wonderful and I do hope it will get some of the narrowminded people that walk this earth thinking.

    @Tom: Isn't a big part of feeling confident and being accepted by society for who we really are impossible -for anyone- if we don't accept ourself as we are first?
    I wandered around a bit in the world of ballet, the fashion industry and costumes & theatre. Some of the most kindhearted, warmest, gifted, inspiring and creative people I've met there were gay. I'm not sure who said it once (but it must have been a smart person!): 'The world would be whole lot friendlier if we were all a tiny bit gay..' ;)

    Be Inspired, everyone!

     
  • At 8:09 AM, January 19, 2006 , Blogger Pae said...

    Hey Chris and everyone, whoa was last month a whirlwind or what?? So glad that is over. Felicety and I are reading the Narnia books, started with "The Magicians nephew" and are now reading "The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe". We are reading three chapters a day and plan on finishing the book before we see the movie. We may have to wait for it to come out on video, but that is okay, we will just continue with the rest of the books in the series. It is helping her reading and incuraging her imagination. Which I am starting to wonder if I was thinking clearly when I decided to incurage this, now I have a 7 year old running around the house acting like a lion....yep and I incuraged this.....LOL...anyway, I do hope the movie stays (somewhat) true to the book, one never knows.

    Your comment concerning forgiveness was very insightful. I once found it very difficult to forgive certain individuals, but came to the conclusion that holding onto the anger only caused me pain, and solved nothing. It is very easy to put on the "face of forgiveness", and still be hurting and angry inside. I think everyone has to come to a point in their lives where they deside that being angry is not benificial to their well being. How can one enjoy life and be happy when their is anger, I am not talking the everyday ups and downs, I mean the anger from emotional pain. For me I found I could not be happy and still hold onto the emotional baggage. I had to learn to forgive what had been done, and move beyond it. I learned that unless I want to constantly be on my guard, I had to remove myself from the individuals who were causing the pain. That doesn't mean they are not in my life, it just means I choose when I have contact with them, and I make sure if its in person that I am in a "safe" place, like around others who care about me. I now realize that I have a responsiblity to protect myself from others who might do emotional harm. Whew!!! I feel like I have just been on a "Dr. Laura" or "Dr. Phil" show....LOL

    Anywhay, I hope everyone is having a great start to the new year. I know my family is eager for it to start warming up, they are already dropping hints for vacation spots, I think this year will be our "Yellowstone Vacation" year. Who knows, anything is possible, or should I say....All things are possible. Take care all and have a wonderful day.

     
  • At 5:10 PM, January 19, 2006 , Anonymous Sue said...

    Pae, I am just checking in before Chris changes the topic. I enjoyed reading what you had to say about Narnia and your family. My husband and I did go see the movie...and liked it. Now I'd like to read the books that I never had a chance to read while growing up. So I like what you are doing with the reading program. Hope you will let us know how you liked the movie once you do see it!

    I also must take a moment to commend everyone who wrote about forgiveness. It's been very inspiring and helpful to see how others handle difficult situations in their lives. This week's website talk has been fun to tune into! You never know what to expect!!

     

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