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The Unforgivable

I have reached a stage in my life where I feel I need to grow.  As a person, as a Christian and as ME.  In order to grow, I have some wounds that need to heal.  They’re old and festering and angry.  And the only way I can heal them is to forgive.

Okay, so, long story short, I have a thing to forgive.  It is the one thing in my life that I have never been able to move past.  The mere thought of it now cuts as deep as it did when it happened.  Even writing so vaguely about it has triggered a rush of adrenaline.  Right now, my vision is clouded, my heart is racing and my hands are shaking ever so slightly.  My family was grievously wounded by the actions of one person.  It tore us into little pieces and, years later, we are still putting everything back together.  This person is living his life.  We struggle every day to live ours.  It’s unfair.  It’s not right.  And, yet, in order to heal myself, I have to forgive him.

Now, this challenges the concept of forgiveness that I have long believed.  I always thought to forgive meant to forget.  To excuse one’s actions.  To give someone another chance.  To forgive someone felt like a big eraser in which you just pretend that nothing ever happened.  Forgiveness felt like a gift to the person who had wronged you.  That makes forgiveness belong to people far more evolved than I am.  A gift for someone who hurt you.  That’s ridiculous.

I’m much older now, and a little wiser, and I have a different understanding of forgiveness.  Forgiveness is not for the person who harmed us.  Truth be told, he’s never asked for it and I cannot imagine that he cares, one way or another.  It’s for me.  I don’t need to forgive and forget.  I need to forgive and move on.

forgivekind

How to forgive.  I have to tell you that I’m not sure.  It’s easy to forgive the little stuff.  Even the medium stuff.  But the big stuff?  How do you say, “You willfully destroyed all things that I hold dear and you aren’t even sorry, but I forgive you?”  That’s a tough one, and I’m struggling.  So, while I’m no expert on this, I’m wrapping my mind around it the only way I can.

  • I do not know the motivations of any other person on this planet.  I don’t know why, I will probably never know why and, deep down, I don’t care why.  But there was a reason.  There was more to the story than I will ever know and I need to accept that people’s moral compasses often do not line up with mine.
  • Whatever happened, it’s over.  Forgiveness does not mean inviting pain into your life.  It means moving away from the hurt.  I forgive you for hurting me, maybe for no other reason that to eject you from my life entirely.
  • Forgiveness is about me.  Withholding it is a reflection of my character, not a measurement of the action against me.  I do not choose to be an unforgiving person.
  • Anger is exhausting and the only one it’s hurting is me.  I am weary and I deserve peace.
  • I serve a just God and I believe, in the end, each of us will get what we deserve.

forgivegod

This is what I’m working on.  It’s a work in progress.  If there’s such a thing as a forgiveness switch, mine must be out-of-order.  It’s pretty hard work, but I believe it will be worth it.  For me.  Because I do not deserve to carry the crushing pain of a grudge around.  I deserve to be free.

forgive

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