Monday, February 4, 2013

Forgiveness: Red Balloon Day

This post, unlike what I told you I was planning to write on Sunday night, is NOT random. It happened in the last two days and it's huge. I've been wanting to write about “Red Balloon Day” for a long time, THAT idea is in my jotbook, but to actually celebrate THE most needed red balloon of my life, is even bigger. I'm thinking you need some context.


about a lonely little boy who is followed around the city by a red balloon. It becomes his friend, they have adventures, and in the glorious end to the movie, I see a lot of symbolism.

More context: Back in the late 80s before the was the internet everywhere, there were some ways to connect online, so friends of mine and I participated in a forum abbreviated RATS. Rec.arts.tv.soaps. We all watched “As the World Turns.” In fact, I watched ATWT for 17 years but have since reformed...not that it was easy. It was like leaving a blogging community ~ friends made online that I never would have met before and we didn't just discuss the show because c'mon, it was a SOAP, but we got way into real life, too.

So speaking of real life. There was a a participant who was going through some tough times, and we were all encouraging him to forgive and just let it go. I suggested calling it, “Red Balloon Day” and he actually knew what movie I was talking about so we declared a day, and we all “let our balloons” ceremoniously into the air, letting go of past hurts, bad relationships, bad habits, you name it. We had quite the celebration and bonding encouraging each other over this.

I've known for quite a while that there was a grudge, a non-forgiveness I'd been holding onto for a long time. 3 years. But you might have noticed I'm a bit stubborn, and no amount of good Christian friends preaching forgiveness was going to deter me from my grudge. I'm not usually like that – stubborn yes, unforgiving, no.

Then a dear friend posted the parable of the unforgiving servant (found in Matthew 18:35) on her fb page...and stirred my thoughts.

You might recall it's Matthew I'm teaching on Thursdays this year...so it's yesterday morning that I come to that passage...and it clicks. Forgive. FORGIVE. We have been forgiven much, forgive others. And bawling my eyes out, I sent my balloon, with the company name, and the name of my former boss, up into the air for my own unexpected Red Balloon Day. It feels good.

~ Tina

P.S For the full story of why this was necessary, you could read “Abrupt U-Turn”


14 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

When we forgive others, we set ourselves free. Glad you let your balloon go!

JoJo said...

Good for you for letting it go!

klahanie said...

Hi Tina,

And with the floating up of the red balloon, you felt a release, a freedom. I cheer you on.

In peace and hope,

Gary

Brian Miller said...

smiles...i have seen the film i believe...and i like the analogy you make of it as well...and how you relate it to matthew....

we have done a few balloon ceremonies to symbolize releasing things....

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. what a fascinating read - and now I'm so pleased for you ... it's funny as we go through life we learn so much ... and that difficulty has now gone forever ...

I'll remember the red balloon ... with thoughts - cheers Hilary

Elena - Adriana Dascalu said...

movie inspiring and influencing life. hmm... good topic. and the symbolism is fantastic.

Hart Johnson said...

I have not typically been a person to hold a grudge, but I learned a number of useful tools several years back in the chairs at Al-Anon meetings. I think the most helpful way to think of it is 'resentment is a poison, self administered'. Because it never hurts the person you aren't forgiving as much as it hurts you. My favorite tactic was writing it (being a writer) and then burning it.

Marcie said...

I really like the idea of Red Ballon Day - I might even steal it :)

Ice Girl said...

Red balloon day is a great idea! I might try it myself ;)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Hart said it best. Holding on to wrongs is poison, and it only poisons us. It's wonderful you found the strength to let go.

Sylvia Ney said...

Good post and outlook. Hello fellow A to Zer. I just wanted to drop by and say hi. I'm now following and I look forward to reading more from you.

Sylvia
http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

Medeia Sharif said...

I need to let some balloons go. It definitely hurts me more than the other person to rethink things and get angry, plus I need to forgive.

Robin said...

Forgiveness. One of my favorite topics. You think you are hurting someone else by not forgiving. That is the Biggest Lie We Tell Ourselves. Or at least one of them. Not forgiving is like drinking poison every day that is meant for someone else... and clinging to the belief that we are saving that poison for the other person because they deserve it. The irony is that we don't even know we are drinking it.

Or looking at it through another lens. We can hate someone for a wrong done to us (consciously or not), but that hurts THEM not at all. They walk around completely oblivious to OUR agony. The only one who suffers if we do not forgive is the person who refuses to forgive. However, in forgiving both people benefit, whether the other person ever understands it or not, accepts it or not.

Forgiveness is a salve on the soul of the person doing the forgiving. Whenever I run up against this wall, I don't ask "how" I just say "please." It is the desire to forgive that allows it to happen. If you allow God to do the heavy lifting, the How will take care of itself.... much like that Red Balloon.

BTW, that was an excellent way to physically let go of something that was mentally disturbing you. As human beings we tend to relate to visuals. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story.

city said...

thanks for share.