“In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy”
I am not sure I am comfortable with the word enemy in the quote above, but in keeping with the original wording I must allow it to remain. I really don’t consider anyone to be an enemy. In any situation where I might happen upon someone with whom I have suffered a disconnect, I can and will behave in a cordial albeit aloof manner, but I would never consider them to be an enemy. More so a lesson in what to avoid, I suppose.
I am terribly imperfect. This blog represents a vulnerability that is uncommon for me because I am much more comfortable in healing your discomforts than my own. From yours I have an ability to disconnect. Perhaps this is why I am so good at what I have been led to do. It’s worked for me so far, yet recently it has become evident to me that I have missed a step along the way somewhere, and my ability to go forward and provide the best of myself was reliant on some soul searching and contemplation.
For those that know me quite well, they know of my inability to comprehend or extend forgiveness. This is in complete opposition to my empathetic nature, a learned human behavior not a true characteristic of who I am. It is not uncommon to hear me tell people to reserve the act of forgiveness for themselves alone. To heal their hurts without giving opportunity to those that created them to feel that they are abolished of their wrong doing. As the quote above states I have always lived by the belief that forgiveness does little more than reward the behavior that created discomfort.
So, in keeping with the fairy tale, I will, more often than not, don the proverbial glass slippers and exit stage left. I rarely to never leave a shoe behind either. Gone. Little trace exists that we spent time in each other’s journey short of a few crystals you might find that have broken off in my escape.
I am no Cinderella by any stretch. She was much kinder than I when it came to the dealings of those that distressed her. At least she provided them jobs in which to support themselves once her Prince Charming appeared. I don’t even allow that much. I cut you out entirely, my support in your journey forward is over.
It’s just always been my way. I will not forgive you but I will forget you. I guess the premise behind that logic (somewhere in my mind) is that you won’t forget me because I leave no opportunity for you to feel that you found closure in my departure.
Well that’s not screwed up at all is it?
Someone recently asked me to consider forgiveness and my first instinct was my natural instinct. Find a big box to put that in. Nail it down firmly and bury it. Dig out my glass slippers, rush off to my hearth, pack them away and then sit and forgive myself for allowing something or someone to cause me pain. And it often goes a little like this.
“I forgive myself for allowing myself to be harmed by the actions of another. “I forgive myself for my inability to control the events that led to my discomfort”. I forgive myself for being misguided” “I forgive myself for giving too much of my good energy” “I forgive myself for the expectations I put on others”
I could go on forever here because I can find a litany of reasons to forgive myself in any and all situations. I could forgive myself for burning the pasta last week.
But I digress.
I recently pulled out the glass slippers. I haven’t done that in a long time now. Maybe the passage of time caused me to hesitate before I slid them to my feet. Maybe I was too tired of trying to run in them. Or maybe…..just maybe….
I was tired of putting the blame on myself and soothing myself with a ritual of self forgiveness for my own sincerity of action.
I still strongly believe in the power of self forgiving. Once this blog is public I will forgive myself for not discovering this lesson sooner. I will forgive myself for perhaps offering up advice to others based solely on what I thought was true for me. Early into this spiritual journey I was reminded several times to not permit my own prejudice to color the souls that I encounter along the way. And I believe I have allowed that to happen. Forgive me.
So something today I never thought I would do…..
A plot twist perhaps…
Forgiveness does not mean that you will accept further discomforts. It does not mean that you are a pushover. It does not mean that you announce open season for those to take aim once again. Forgiveness means that you are loving yourself enough now to include boundaries that will not permit discomforts in the future.
Forgiveness is not weakness. Forgiveness is strength.
Forgive. If your forgiveness comes with an apology accept that and forgive because in doing so the responsibility for your pain is shared. As it should be. It is not solely your discomfort to carry and feel you created. Sharing it is much less uncomfortable and far less self injuring.
Forgive. If your forgiveness must come with no apology attached, forgive anyway. Because no one suffers in this but yourself. Spending decades waiting to hear I am sorry takes the beauty out of life because there is no pain such as the pain of waiting for words that never arrive. And if it has taken you decades to reach this part, then forgive yourself only for not doing it sooner. You are a beautiful creation and you deserved so much more than that. You deserve so much more going forward from today.
Forgive. Because forgiveness is self love in its most unconditional manner. And there is no one more deserving of that love than yourself. It does not require that you maintain a connection to those that you have forgiven but it does require that you understand that until you forgive you do not attach responsibility to anyone else but yourself. And that’s a heavy load to carry alone.
So take a moment and repeat this with me if you are so inclined.
I forgive you if you caused me discomfort intentionally, unintentionally, with malice or with lack of consideration. I forgive you because it is my right to live a life unfettered by the weight of pain. I forgive you because I deserve to live a life that is free of self blame. I forgive you because I love myself.
And if I have caused you discomfort I ask that you forgive me also. Because you deserve nothing less than I deserve. We will share our discomforts and love ourselves through it.
You’ll excuse me now……
I have glass slippers to smash