Wednesday, October 24, 2012

day 19: forgive

The quote that hangs on the wall to the right of my desk at school is from Anne Lamott.  It reads:
“Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a better past."
Forgiving is a lot like accepting, except it has more to do with making peace with what has already happened.  Accepting is about making peace with things as they are currently happening.   It means taking out all of that baggage we carry around, looking at it, taking note of what we've learned by going through it {and carrying it around for so long}, accepting that we cannot change it, and then simply letting it go.

Here's how it starts:

Some unfortunate event occurs.  It does not matter whether the event was planned or accidental, real or imaginary.
That little side-talker in my head says something like "You shouldn't have done that." or "She has no right to do this."

And then it grows.  and grows.  and grows. 

Because sometimes I am too angry, afraid, dumbfounded to speak up or I can't because I don't know how or because the risk is too great.
Or I do.  And the repercussion is more than I thought I could handle or doesn't resolve it the way I thought it would.
Or.  The offending person is me.

And then I become resentful.

And trust me, my lovelies, I am not sweet when I am resentful.  I am mean.  I use my words to cut and hurt and demean.  
I destroy what fractured, splintered, hanging like "sinners in the hands of an angry God" piece of a relationship was left as a result of the unfortunate event.
The only person who is really hurt is me.

If I can learn to forgive, I can learn to accept.  If I can learn to see things in my past as they were without judgement; then I can learn to see people and things as they are, rather than what I want or hope for them to be.   If I can learn to forgive, I can stop punishing people for the things that others have done to me in the past.  If I can learn to forgive, I can trust people to be themselves.  And that, my darlings, is the sweetest thing of all.

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