Friday, April 20, 2012

Forgiveness

I don't even really know how to start this post, because it's just kind of a mind-dump.  For as long as I can remember, just writing things down has helped me get things out of my system that were bugging me.  I have a tendency to brood and over-think, but writing down what's on my mind helps me get on with my day.

Forgiveness.  That's one of the things on my mind.  I keep turning this word, this concept, over and over in my mind... and in the midst of this, I've found that I always had the wrong idea about forgiveness.

People claim that forgiveness brings a lightness of spirit... that it 'frees' you from the anger and hurt you've been hanging onto.  I think they are wrong.

There are a few people that I've struggled for years to truly forgive.  I made the decision to forgive them, and not hold a grudge, and kept waiting to feel better... waiting to feel the hurt evaporate and to have a chance to truly start over with them.

I'm amazed that it's taken me this long to figure out that it doesn't work that way.

Forgiveness is a decision you make, and it doesn't end there - you have to keep making that same decision over and over, because it's impossible to forget.  Because it's impossible to forget, you can never really start over... the best you can hope for are new, good memories.

Forgiving may make you a happier person in some ways, but it's never easy.

Every single day of my life I have to make the decision to forgive these people again.  I have to decide every single day that it's not worth holding onto the pain and anger.  And every day I grieve the fact that I can never/could never open my heart to them again, because I can forgive, but I can't forget.

Forgiving can't erase the past... it can only provide opportunities for the present and future.  I think that's what I hate the most.  I want to erase the pain and hurt... I want to re-write the past.

I should feel guilty for saying that, shouldn't I?  Because if my past were re-written, I might not be where I am today... I might not have my children, I might not be who I am.  I'm not wishing my present away, truly... but deep down, I desire to 'right' my past.

But the best I can do is to be vigilant in deciding again, every day, to forgive.  Maybe one day I can learn to let go too... that is my hope.  :)

4 comments:

  1. You are absolutely right. Forgiveness is talked about as if it is something you choose and that is that. But I think the way you describe it is accurate. Forgiveness is something you must choose over and over again because you can't forget. This was beautiful. I wish you strength in your battle to keep choosing forgiveness.

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  2. May basically took the words right out of my mouth...

    "you have to keep making that same decision over and over, because it's impossible to forget."

    Truer words were never spoken. Best of luck to you, I give you lots of credit for continuing to "try" daily.

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  3. Thank you very much, May and Sheri. :)

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  4. Beautifully expressed--forgiving is definitely not a one-time deal! It is SO hard...

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