Do you know what’s hard? Forgiving someone who isn’t even sorry. For the most part, we allow time to heal those hurts. But what about those deep hurts? The ones when the seasons and the space don’t grant that same kind of grace.

I have notoriously struggled to give myself permission to let something (or someone) go. Anyone else? Why do we choose to hold onto the anger, hurt, frustration and all the incredibly consuming emotions that steal our joy? Because we have to go through all the feels before we can forgive. Simply choosing to forget usually means it was minor and without much attachment. But forgiving? That implies investment.

A quiet episode of tears and tremors in an empty house, was my particularly paralyzing moment. The one that led me to fully realize the extent of what I’d been doing to myself for so many years. I had robbed myself of time, energy and bouts of unnecessary stress. But as the sadness streamed down my face, it also came with a silent strength. A moment that left me breathless…and no longer broken. Alas, I had finally been granted the closure; choosing peace over pain.

ForGIVE Me
Image credit: The Power of Forgiveness, Lorna Byrne

Forgiveness is not [primarily] about the past. It’s about the future. It’s not a gift to the offender, it’s a gift to yourself. Did it take me thirty-eight years to understand this? No. But, it has taken me thirty-eight years to embrace it. I’m not sure why it was that precise moment that led me to this freedom. Or why it took so long. I’ll just do my best to believe it came with calculation. We are only granted life lessons when we’re ready to accept them and use the knowledge for greater purpose later on. My pain was significant at one point. I needed the sacrificial time to sort through the grief. I’m not an unforgiving person. I don’t like to hold grudges or be deemed as an anchor in the mud. But, I am an individual who internalizes almost all of my emotions. Connections with others are usually an all or nothing. And because of that, I can easily become bruised by the loss of loyalty. It’s who I am. And forgive me, but we cannot always apologize for who we are.

 

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