I took a little break from writing. But I am back. So here I go...
I thought long and hard about what I wanted to write about for this blog. And slowly thoughts and ideas have come to me. Forgiveness.
Everyone wants a "clean slate" at times. To start again. To have no hang-ups as to others remembering their downfalls. To the time that they did this, or did that. Or didn't do this or that. I have been guilty of this as well throughout my life. Offending others. So one day it struck me, "Why haven't I forgiven others that hurt me during those difficult days of losing Emily and Michael?" I breathe deeply to myself as I write that line.
I could come up with a million reasons why I shouldn't forgive someone, or let go of their wrongdoing. That is what I have been doing in my head over the years. "Well, how could someone say that? Or do that? Don't they have kindness in their heart? How can they not see it?" And then just like that, one day, I thought to myself, "If others are to forgive me, I have to forgive others. If God is to forgive me, I must make a choice to let go." And I did.
It didn't happen all at once. Slowly over the past year or so, it has happened. I did it with one person at first. And I did not wait for them to say an apology. I decided to not hold this bag of sadness or anger towards them. I just said in my head, "It's time to forgive. And move forward." I did not bring it to their attention that I did. I just did it. And I made the decision to be myself around them, and not hold a grudge as I had been doing.
It felt good. There was some mixed emotions - I'm not going to lie. Why haven't they said anything to me? I'm being so nice, thoughtful.. Whatever it was. And then I just said, "Oh well." Be myself. Don't look for a reward for any kindness or forgiveness I give them. Just do it. And so I did, and continued with others.
It has felt liberating. I think that it was contributing to my worry and anxiety. Not forgiving others. Not entirely the cause. But a factor I will admit. It is hard to forgive. It took me a very long time to do it. I think I was waiting for a feeling to come over me. Or for someone that hurt me, to say something apologetic. I don't think that always happens. Plus, why wait?
Will those that I forgave change? I don't know. Have they said things since I "forgave" them that were offensive? Yes. But I have made a commitment to live in the present as much as possible. And if something is said now, that I am offended or saddened by, I will speak up. But also realize that I am not perfect, and try to forgive on the spot.
And if reading this, it seems foreign or not doable right now, that's okay. Be kind to yourself. But if you are ready, you'll know it. And if you need a quick push to do it (wanting it), here it is: Forgive. Let go of those bags. Choose love, and move forward.
Posted on January 4, 2018
by Anne Morrison