We've been learning and focusing on forgiveness at our place lately.
During this past weekend, I attended a few Mediated Learning Workshops. During workshop 2, Therese (amazing lady and opera singer extrordinaire) said that in her home, her family will constantly say to each other: "You get a fresh start."
She mentioned that once they've dealt with an issue, they don't bring it up again. And the only exception to that is if they need to revisit the positive decisions that came in conclusion to the issue. ie." What did you decide that you would do differently from last time ?"
I loved this idea.
Immediately, I got a visual picture in my head about how to teach my babes this concept.
Then I grabbed a pencil and made angry zig-zags (at the top) and asked them what attitude they thought I was expressing. They answered with responses of anger or yelling. Then I drew the vertical line on the left. It represented being disrespectful or saucy with my words. The squiggly line in the middle represented blaming someone else for why my chores weren't done.
And finally, the loopy script at the bottom is my version of rolling my eyes when someone tried to correct my behaviour.
I then asked: "How am I behaving?"
"Not very good. "
My two year old, holds up a fist and growls, "BAD!"
We then talked about what we could do to turn things around. How could we start heading in a positive direction? What steps do we need to take to make things right? How should we treat the person who behaves this way? Are you a kind person if you are only kind to people who are nice to you? Or is a kind person a person who is kind even when people are being mean? My eldest was curious about where to draw the line with kindness. This led to a great little talk on kindness and not letting people walk all over you, and yet remaining kind as you put up boundaries.
(It sounds really philosophical, but it was at their level).
Then I pulled out a new piece of paper. Blank, white and fresh. And said, " How about we give each other a fresh start?"
We were in agreement. Then we bridged this idea by asking the question: What does this look like with our neighbours? What does giving a fresh start look like to Japan?
Can you remember a time when someone gave you a fresh start?
So we prayed and started the day all over again.
And after an hour, we started again.
And after clothes were left lazily on the floor ( a growing problem) we started again.
And after Mom lost her temper, we started again.
How beautifully this has unfolded in my home.
I can use a fresh start.
How about you?
"Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “ Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.Isaiah 1:18