Things I Struggle With: The Idea of Forgiveness
Note: Every so often, I repost notes from my former blog page with refreshed notes (i.e. Ed notes) to connect it to where I am at today. The subject of forgiveness is something that many people struggle to understand, add to their lives and live in. Know that you're not alone in your struggle. And know that you and I can let that go.
Forgiveness sucks. I have a HUGE problem with it. Forgiveness? More like forgiveMESS. (Ed Note: That was a horrible line...)
Dumb pun. My bad. (Ed note: you're forgiven)
Here’s my issue…
Forgiveness forces me to get over something I’ve gotten used to holding on to…like a favourite shirt. The shirt is ugly, it’s embarrasing and no one likes it but it’s my shirt. (Ed note: Maybe a shirt was a bad example. It's more like hoarding stuff. Not forgiving is like holding onto junk that you know is running your house and life, but like the show Hoarders, you JUST can't seem to let them go. Everyone knows you need to but that voice inside says, 'Nope'.)
Forgiveness forces me to realize that the person who hurt me may never actually find out that they hurt me…and be okay with that. (There’s nothing more annoying that not knowing you hurt someone only to have them come up to you and say, “You know…I forgive you.” You reply, “For what?” They reply, “It doesn’t matter anymore because I forgive you.” And then the separation of friends begin. Been there?) (Ed note: You can actually tell when someone actually forgives you and when they don't. The face can't lie. Trust takes time to build and many times we connect forgiveness and trust together...not sure if that's right or wrong...thoughts?)
Forgiveness says that justice and revenge isn’t in the card…and that retribution isn’t mine but rather Someone else’s.
Forgiveness says life isn’t fair nor is it about winning, in fact, forgiveness is about losing.
Forgiveness is something that has to, yes HAS to, be given. It’s not something that’s a PROCESS or an “over time”. It’s a right there and now. (Ed note: This is where we mix up the world's idea of forgiveness with Scriptures. Jesus never told the disciples to have a payment plan system for forgiveness...the idea of '70 times 7' was to say "Keep on forgiving no matter what!" Forgiveness is kinda where we say, "I'm now going to work on trusting/liking/believing you." It's the starting block.)
Forgiveness can’t be earned like a pay check or promotion. It is a gift that can’t be begrudgingly given but rather offered no matter what. (If I are make someone earn your forgiveness, I am being what they call…revengeful and spiteful.)
Forgiveness is a human choice enabled by Spiritual power and sustenance. It sucks because it means depending on someone other than myself.
Forgiveness is about other people and not about me…and when I am hurt, it’s all about me. Unforgiveness when not treated is narcissism at it’s best.
Forgiveness means someone gets another chance, when they really should get a backhand.
Forgiveness means following the example of one who was rejected by many, turned on by many, spat upon, mocked and later killed for his beliefs but said, “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force (Dr. Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream).”
Forgiveness means, “I am not right and you are not right” but rather “I love you and let’s move on.”
Forgiveness means forgiving someone not to be an example to them but to simply do it.
Forgiveness takes guts and doesn’t allow for glory.
Forgiveness heals and allows for repeated hurt.
…forgiveness sucks mainly because it means being like Jesus when I really want to live like the devil.
But without forgiveness, I might as well be dead…and I like living.
So today. I choose. To Forgive. To let go.
And I when I wake up tomorrow, I plan on relying on the strength to do it again.
Because I still am human you know. And bearded.
(Ed note: There is something physically freeing with forgiveness, i think. We actually feel it in and on us. Just recently I said to someone, "It feels weird to not walk with a limp anymore..." It's a weird feeling but I have to believe a good one. I mean it's the new life we're designed to live.
What does forgiving someone mean to you? How has it changed how you look at yourself? Others?