Forgive…….whats that?


F-O-R-G-I-V-E

That is the biggest 7 letter word I have ever known of. You are probably as familiar with these “quotes” as I am :

“forgive and forget”, “you must forgive and move on”, “I can forgive, but I will never forget”, “Forgiveness isn’t easy but it makes you a stronger person”, “Forgiving someone will let you be free”, “You need to forgive someone for you, not for them”

Confused much? I was, could be, am……hell I don’t know!!

To me it’s very weird to say that I am forgiving someone because it never made me feel any better to say that. I would still think about what happened and get red-faced pissed off just thinking about it. Is that what forgiveness is? It seemed to me like forgiving someone was just letting them off the hook. I am not in the business of letting people off the hook! You screwed me over, you did this to me!! Why should I forgive you?

Familiar? Looking back on life, I can never remember anyone telling me what forgiveness actually was. I was just told how to do it. It’s as frustrating as trying to follow directions to cook and you have no idea what you are cooking. How good do you think that will turn out? If I know what I’m cooking, I can put my own spin on it to liven it up and I enjoy it more. If you knew what forgiveness was AND how to do it – you think you could liven it up, feel good about it and enjoy the process more?

Forgiveness – Letting go of what you think should be and accepting what is.

images

Wow, really?! So, if I’m angry that I thought my husband should have made me coffee and he didn’t. To forgive him, I just have to realize that he didn’t, it’s not the end of the world, and I could make some myself?! Okay, okay, okay, that’s a super-duper simplistic version of what I’m telling you but its the truth.

If I am angry, hurt or upset about something, dwelling on it, brooding over it and retelling it a thousand times – makes no difference in the world in moving to forgiveness. But, you know what it does do? It harbors hatred. Pissed-off-ness (as I like to call it) turns into resentment. Resentment will lead to defiance and walls – gobs and gobs of walls – that you build all around you. Why? Because it temporarily makes you feel safer.

Fair warning: Walls that keep people out, also keep people in. Shocker, I know.

For me, seeing the simple definition that says “let go of possibilities that don’t exist and embrace what is”, this was the first time it clicked with me on what it meant to forgive someone. No one had taught me what it was, they just tried to give me hundreds of ways to do it. For me, that didn’t work. Can you imagine going through almost 30 years of life and never having actually forgave anyone?

Yup, it was as bas as it sounds.

Forgiving is easy to do when it comes down to someone not stopping at the store to get what you needed. So, you don’t have what you needed – that sucks, it really does. But, you can’t change it so what can you do? Accept you don’t have it and figure out what to do next. Go yourself…….. you didn’t really need it after all……… you have enough to work with anyway……there are so many possibilities.

I will admit though, forgiving someone who has seriously hurt you or wronged you in some way is much, much more difficult. Why? Because someone who has hurt you this deeply means you were vulnerable to them. When you are vulnerable, you are open from the inside out and the pain goes much deeper. You want the good side of this? Here goes – learning how to forgive, actually heals the wounds that were created.

No joke!

I am not telling you that it will be easy. I had been wounded so deeply that I felt like I was a walking bag full of broken glass. For me to forgive those that hurt me meant that I had to understand where each of these broken pieces had come from – if not, how else could I put them back? Who hurt me, how did they hurt me? That was terribly painful. I had to remember things I have spent my whole life trying to forget. But guess what? Once you go through this process, you start to feel whole again.

I won’t lie. I prayed for my life. I prayed for God to forgive me. I couldn’t have started this process without God. Am I done forgiving? No. Some of these shards of glass are still to sharp to touch, but I am a lot better off than ever before. I know how to forgive now. When I am faced with a new challenge where I need to forgive, its much easier. Forgiving old wounds that were buried long ago is much harder than wounds of today. I also learned in forgiving, that forgiving myself for what I didn’t know is just as important for forgiving others.

Do you have a list of people to forgive? Maybe even just one? Think about it, forgiving them doesn’t mean they get away scott free, it does mean that you can be free.

Homesteading Happiness

Learning. Growing. Doing.

JUMP FOR JOY Photo Project

sharing the joy of the human spirit in mid air around the world

onbeinga30something

Stories and memories at 30-something. Because some of this is really worth remembering.

Alyce in Wonderland

A Glimpse Through The Looking Glass Of My Life