What is forgiveness? How do you truly forgive? Honestly, how do you know when you have actually forgiven someone? What does it look like for someone who has truly forgiven a wrong? These are all the questions that I ponder with sometimes. Most people say that they forgive, BUT have they really? Is it much easier to say than to actually do? Is there some kind of formula for true and total forgiveness that I have somehow missed or wasn’t able to comprehend?
They say that only those who haven’t forgiven are the ones who loose sleep, not the ones who are to be forgiven. How crazy is that? Why is it that we are required to forgive those who hurt us (or who continue to hurt us) while they get the advantage of just doing whatever they want? Why is it that we must set aside our justifications for feeling angry, while they just get to be happy with the fact that we now have to struggle through this thing called forgiveness? How is forgiving you going to set me free, when it feels like I’m tied up in by the disappointment of wanting to forgive you, eventually, anyway?
Yes, it’s true that God wants us to be merciful and gracious like He is with us, BUT how is it possible to be that when some folks/people (these same people) just continue to take advantage of it? All the smiles. All the kind words. All the restraint of trying not to be disrespectful. All the silent moments. All the biting of the tongue. All the I’m sorry’s. All the excuses. All the second, third, fourth, to the thousandth chances. All the “I’ll just forget about it’s”. All the never-minds. All the “They know not what they do’s”, so, “it’s ok’s”. It’s FINALLY over and I’ve come to realize the TRUTH……..I haven’t forgiven them/you all this time, at all!
I haven’t forgiven you for the hurt. I haven’t forgiven you for your silence in the moments I needed your words. I haven’t forgiven your absence when I depended on your presence. I haven’t forgiven you for taking my kindness and generosity for weakness. I haven’t forgiven you for using my need for love for your own selfish gain. I haven’t forgiven you for the way you blamed me for the things you were too indecisive about to decide for yourself. I haven’t forgiven you for the things you’ve said that have stripped away the way I view myself worth and others. I haven’t forgiven you for the times you’ve pretended just so that you could look perfect. I haven’t forgiven you for the moments you hated me simply because I was in the process of progress. I haven’t forgiven you for the people you decided to support instead of supporting the one who supported you.
I haven’t forgiven you for the way you use your “title” as a sense of entitlement. I haven’t forgiven you for the money/energy you spent on drinks you wanted to take instead of the time/money/energy/attention you should’ve given to more important things. I haven’t forgiven you for expecting so much from me without giving anything, of yourself, at all. I haven’t forgiven you for the lies you’ve told to justify your actions and look good. I haven’t forgiven you for placing so much responsibility on me so that you could live irresponsibly. I haven’t forgiven you for allowing your pride and selfishness to keep you from saying “I’m sorry”. I haven’t forgiven you for controlling what/how I do things so that you could feel greater than you are. I haven’t forgiven you for making me invisible until the times that you needed me. I haven’t forgiven you for all the “Thank You’s” that you purposefully chose not to give because you wanted me to be left to feel obligated. And I haven’t forgiven you for all the “I Love You’s” that you clearly didn’t mean.
So how do I forgive you for all these things that I haven’t forgiven myself for allowing all this time? How do I look past having to forgive myself for forgiving you? That is the question that I’ve always asked myself throughout this journey until now. TRUTH IS……I’m learning to let go! I’m letting go of all my past stuff so that I can enjoy the future stuff. And unfortunately, sometimes, in life, we must let go of the people who have been attached to the past stuff, even if it feels like the hardest thing in the world. It’s in the letting go where forgiveness can begin. Because until you are able to understand that the things that you haven’t forgiven needed to happen in order to bring forth wisdom, you’ll never truly learn to forgive. For me, my forgiveness starts with me. “I forgive me” for my participation in such a long chain of events.
Dear YOU–“I forgive you”–Not for what you’ve done, but for what you could’ve done but just weren’t capable of doing (because you, yourself, don’t know what LOVE is nor even how to love).
Such a simple word with such a complex meaning. What a dichotomy!