Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The F word

No, it's not the word you think it is.  It's not the Queen Mother of all swear words.  Some people may rank it up there with the real F word though.  No kids the word I am thinking of today, brought to you by the Letter F is FORGIVENESS.....

How may things have I done in my life that warrant forgiveness?  How many HORRIBLE things have I really done where I have asked that person to forgive me?  Not many.  I have wronged people, those I love.  Made them mad.  Said things I didn't mean out of the heat of an argument, repeated words that were never meant to be heard outside my head.  I have gossiped, enjoyed repeating something to a fascinated audience who I anticipated would have the same response I did when I heard this news and the discuss it in detail.  I have withheld information.  I have purposely repeated something I was sworn to in secrecy.  But are these things that I need to go to someone and utter the words "Please forgive me".  I don't think I have ever said these words and meant it in a pleading, heart-wrenching tone.  I have apologized profusely.  I have been caught red-handed opening my big mouth when I knew better.  I have learned from my mistakes...big time.

What about me forgiving someone?  Oh I have gotten over being treated badly by a friend, a boyfriend, someone who crossed me or made me mad, but I cannot remember a time when someone came to me, Heart on their sleeve...forlorn...begging me to forgive them. And even if I had it must have been someone that I would have forgiven regardless.  I have learned to forgive and forget as people grow and change and those you seemed to be at war with at one time are your fiercest protectors.

No, the real time you forgive someone is when they never ask, never admit any wrongdoing, never acknowledge, or maybe realize, they need your forgiveness.

 In my whole life, out of everyone I have ever met, come across, loved, hated,  passed on the street or blown by in traffic, there are only three people that come to mind.  They have never asked, and never will and I will never utter the words to them "I Forgive You".  I have to just do it for myself and move one. 

One is a former family member.  One is a former best friend.  One is my Ex-husband. 

One had no idea how her actions would affect her children or husband let alone her teenage niece who idolized her.  One took a misunderstanding and ran it so far into the ground, twisted it and killed it so nothing could ever make it right.  One took all the love, faith, hope and will out of the other person until they had nothing left and were just a shell of their former self.

One had no idea they did it.  One did it with a sick deviant pleasure, One could never see that anything they did was wrong.

I have held hatred in my heart for years for each of these people. 

The first one, I learned to forgive as an adult.  She never realized I hated her, even the day I saw her at the mall,  I think I was about 16 and she  looking happy with her now husband and all I could think was "How dare you?"  She smiled at me, thought to speak to me and I turned around, ran as fast as I could and cried in my car.   I learned that if others could forgive her and move on I could too.

The second has been more recent.  It's more of a let it go and forgive because when someone seems to make it their goal on a daily basis to run you into the ground,  you just have to learn to ignore it.  There is no getting away from it.  There are always evil looks and whispers. I have walked into a room and heard my name more than once.  What I stared to feel was Pity and decided that by forgiving this person, I could really care less what their opinion is of me.

The Third is the most raw.  This one will be ongoing.  It's taken me the last three years to forgive myself.  I think I can now  forgive and move on.  I will NEVER get the apology I want.  I have to live with that.  I will NEVER get the acknowledgement that anyone but me was at fault.  I will never be Forgiven.  But I can forgive.  I can move on and learn to live, and love and know that it's not all my fault.  I am not a terrible person. 

There is a song by Matthew West.  It's called Forgiveness.  Listening to it has made me realize its not abut absolving those people but myself.  By forgiving others, we let go of what is holding us down.

"It'll clear the bitterness away, It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it's power can do. So let it go and
be amazed by what you see through eyes of grace the prisoner
that it really frees is you, Forgiveness"

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