Sunday, July 3, 2016

Forgiveness



Today I think I may have reached a place I have been struggling to get to for several years...

I met with someone who owed me a debt, which I had actually forgiven/forgotten about. I didn't expect to see the money and had let go of that. What I hadn't let go of was anger.

I had been holding onto anger for other things that had happened actually. Things that hurt me and I hadn't talked about with this person. Today gave me that opportunity.

Now this is someone I once loved very much. Someone who is no longer in my life. We are on much different paths now and don't ever see or speak to one another; partly by chance, partly by choice.

A week ago this person contacted me and told me that they had something to give me. I figured it was probably some photographs or something of mine they had found.

But, no. They repaid a debt. And we chatted a bit, catching up on where life had taken us in the past year. They said they didn't want the money to be an issue.

That was when I decided to discuss the "issue". I was calm, I tried to honest yet gentle. I tried to use "I" statements and not blame. I am not sure if I did that as well as I had hoped but I tried to say what I needed to say.

I explained I had been holding onto anger. That I was wanting to forgive but I had been hurt by their actions and had not  told them I was hurting and angry.

Today I did that.

And I let it go. I let go of the anger. I saw my words register, I saw pain in their eyes. I didn't want to inflict pain, since I know how it feels, I just wanted to say my piece. To gain peace.

And then we said goodbye. I think maybe this was the final goodbye. I don't know that we will be friends again. I don't think our paths will often cross, but when they do, I hope to look with eyes that hold no anger or judgement.

I am grateful for the repayment of the debt. I admire the person for doing that, for being accountable and being true to their word. It showed me they have grown and changed for the better. And for that I am happy for them. I wish them the best. I wish them all the happiness they never found before. I wish them only good things.

I really think I let go of the anger, of the past, of all the hurt and pain we caused one another. I hope they can forgive me of that past as well...

My heart feels odd today: lighter, a bit sad, a bit hopeful... maybe this is what forgiveness feels like.




1 comment:

Robert Parks Johnson said...

Forgiving and being reconciled to our enemies or our loved ones are not about pretending that things are other than they are. It is not about patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong. True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth. It could even sometimes make things worse. It is a risky undertaking but in the end it is worthwhile, because in the end only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing. Superficial reconciliation can bring only superficial healing.
- Desmond Tutu