Forgiveness

There are people in my life whom I am unable to forgive right now. The resentment is so strong that I look through them or beyond them rather than at them.

I hate the boiling rolling gut anger that I feel in their presence.

I hate the way I behave around them. Snarky and sarcastic throwing eye rolls and stink eyes.

I couldn’t forgive my mom. For many years. Though my brain understood that as a parent she did her very best, I bare many scars of childhood. I harbored anger over things I was exposed to. Situations I lived through. After my brother died that intensified and surfaced more often. My bitterness grew. And then she died and it didn’t matter. None of those feelings mattered. My bitter justifications lost all validity. Now, I live with the regret of not reaching peace and forgiveness with her. I live with the knowledge of the  unspoken stifled tension between us. How that disconnect shaped every single interaction we shared. How it colored our relationship and spilled over and splashed into other relationships. How it prevented us from true connection. I know it weighed heavily on us both. Why did we never discuss it? We danced around sniping and snipping. Maybe we feared that if we really dove into things we may not recover. After Travis died we couldn’t lose another piece of ourselves. Whatever the reason we will never have that conversation now. I have no closure. The gap remains. My memories are tainted by self-judgment. How perhaps I should have been more compassionate and understanding. Perhaps I could have been easier.

A wise person may be able to take this experience and channel the lesson into present life. Eliminating other resentments. Forgiveness for all including myself. But I never claimed to be wise.

Instead I feel further frustrated that those who need the lesson most don’t seem to be absorbing it. I feel rancor that their offensive behavior drones on as if nothing has changed.

When for me everything has changed.

I know forgiveness begins with myself. *UGH!

I know that I am placing expectations on others so what the hell do I think is going to transpire?!

I understand that I will benefit from releasing the negative pent up emotions and forgiveness isn’t really about the other person.

Despite this knowledge I have dug my heels in deep.

What am I waiting for? Am I biding my time until it doesn’t matter? Once again. Have I learned nothing?

Yesterday, I was forced to spend time with one of the people I normally look through in spite. Instead of feeling propped up by justification and righteousness, I felt silly. I felt childish and emotionally immature. I felt the beginning of readiness. Dispatch the venom. Let it go. I will nurture that feeling. Observe for growth. Exercise acceptance. Look at those people. Feel free around them.

Forgive myself.

Forgive others.

I must accept that for some people there is no lesson in life events. Some individuals are incapable of self-reflection or insight. I must recognize that I cannot take their transgressions personally. Most likely they truly don’t know any better. These people are just doing their best to survive. As am I. As we all are.

What are some strategies you use to find forgiveness? Is it easier for you to forgive yourself or others?

Share with me in the comments.

xxxxxxxxx

Melissa

 

5 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. for me, it’s easier to forgive others. i can barely bring myself to muster up justifiable anger. i alway, always turn it back on myself. make it my fault somehow. still, that being said, there are a few things i haven’t been able to let go. behaviours that created deep wounds that have seriously impacted my life and ability to function. i know, intellectually, that holding onto the anger harms only myself. but i don’t want to forgive, even knowing that i’m giving them free rent in my head. i want them to suffer, even if the only suffering i can create is my ongoing enmity.

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    1. How well I know all of those feelings….. I watched my mom evolve into a sour bitter human. Not unjustified. She had a lot of terrible things happen to her but ultimately it holding onto that stuff ruined her joy, peace and freedom. I do not want that.

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  2. When I was in middle school, a mother of a close friend died of cancer. My friend, being young and ill-informed of the severity of the situation (thanks to the “adults” who wanted to shelter her from such ugly things), grew very angry and resentful towards her Mom for being sick, being frail, being different than the other Moms, etc. She didn’t know that her Mom wouldn’t be alive to apologize to, to show love to… and when her Mom died suddenly my friend was SHATTERED. Spoke of many of the same emotions you have, so much regret, so many things left unsaid. She struggled night after night, every day, for months, almost a year in total, which feels like forever to a 13 year old. Finally one of our favorite teachers kept her after school one day and gently asked her about grief counseling. Gave her a book she’d bought her on forgiveness, and redirection. And this book had so many helpful suggestions for coping, for letting go, for forgiving ourselves. But the one I remember was the Letter suggestion. The task was to write a letter, no longer than one page, spilling your soul, your regrets, your grievances, and your unsaid words of love and thanks to your angel in heaven. Then the idea was to hold a little fire circle with a few beloved friends or family members and show your vulnerability to them. Read the letter aloud to the heavens, then burn the letter and let the ashes alight on the wind, and be swept off for delivery to heaven. Allow those feelings to completely surround you and then they fly off into the night for the last time. Allow you to say what needs to be said and then be free from it. Allow others to witness your paid and regret, and then to see you love yourself enough for self-forgiveness. Just thinking it or wishing it doesn’t have that feel of permanence, and having witnesses and watching the ashes fly off was an AMAZINGLY freeing experience. It was a huge turning point for my friend. And it taught me a lot about how resilient we are, when we give ourselves permission to grieve, and then heal. Sending you good juju Melissa.

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    1. Yes, I have written letters as well! Thank you friend!

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  3. This is a deep subject for sure. There are some things I don’t know if I can ever forgive myself for completely. I’ve done a lot of work and it’s not all consuming like it use to be, but it’s still there. I have worked hard to forgive others I really thought I’d never forgive and a few, although I let it go for the most part, it can still be in the back of my mind. Especially those that abandoned or gave up on what I perceived as very close friendships. True friendships are precious to me, they are few and far between for this girl. I guess it’s not for everyone, and as you wrote, some do not know any better, they truly don’t. I have to remember that. Life is so damn short, I don’t want to waste it with big resentments and anger, I can’t. It destroys my light. Acceptance. Thank you for your post.

    Liked by 1 person

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