Forgiveness is a funny word. We tend to forgive others before we learn to forgive ourselves. But what happens when something happens, that’s unforgiveable? Do you fester in anger, fear and resentment until you burst from the infection? How long can you carry that violent toxicity around inside of you before becoming septic? Can you learn to let things go, so you can move on without holding onto the polar opposition of what you consider the worst type of betrayal? Is letting things go, actually a forgiving action or a self preservation tactic?

Euphoric emotions are impossible to maintain; it’s physiologically impossible. I often think our emotions want to mimic our heart beats, with lots of highs and lows and mostly stable in the middle range. I think it’s our natural human balance. We struggle so much with emotions and feelings and trying to understand them, both in ourselves and others. I think that’s the actual draw of pair bonding; you finally discover someone with whom you believe you are synchronous with. Clear evidence that your search for stability and peace are over and you can focus on building a life together.

Which is why it’s so devastating when it is snatched from beneath you and is proven that it never existed. It makes you question your sanity and interpretation of your entire life and how you make sense of your environment. In the cave man days, this may have resulted in the dire consequences of your offspring being someone else’s or your own taken from you and never seen again. Your inability to select a mate you could trust might mean your own destruction.

As advanced as we are, we have a primitive response to so many things, that we have to learn to incorporate those feelings into how we view ourselves. Once acknowledged, we can either reject them on purpose or learn to use them to our advantage in a situation of our own choosing. We construct our own reality based on the information we have every day. Our lives are a fluid representation of not just what we are, but of what we may want to become. That’s an amazing thing to be able to achieve if you think about it.

I think forgiveness is simply deciding to take a fork in the road that leads you away from where you were. You may not know where it will go and as scary as that idea is, you have to trust that it will be better than where you were. Like anything worth doing, it is an emotional and physical process that will be different for every person, as we all take a different path, even if we share parts of the same journey.

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3 Responses to forgiveness

  1. HemmingPlay says:

    Great post on something very important. I think forgiveness is a difficult, but conscious choice we make to put our feet onto a healthier path, too. That fork in the road you envisioned.

    Letting go of anger and resentments and hatreds does more for us than it does for the target of all those emotions, but I think it does them some good, too, although that may not be our primary motivation.

    A few years ago, a deranged milkman walked into an Amish one-room school not far from here, bolted the doors shut from the inside and killed five little girls and wounded five more before killing himself.

    The unbelievable acts of kindness and forgiveness that came from the victims of that tragedy beggars belief, even today. But it makes one wonder if it isn’t a better way.

    This story (at the link below) is about the shooter’s mother, who THE DAY OF THE MURDERS was approached by the parents of one of the little girls and forgiven and embraced. And other’s in the Amish community reached out to his wife that same day, too. That’s the meaning of Grace, I believe. But…. How does one DO that?

  2. GRichard says:

    It’s really quite helpful for me to look back at and read about your journey on this most complicated and emotionally confusing issue of forgiveness. It provides perspective since I am at a considerably different place in that journey. The racing thoughts, the intense grief and anger, the love that intervenes and colors the otherwise black moments, and the attempts to interpose logic and reason to an otherwise unreasonable series of events that seemingly have been thrust upon me. It all feels like I am the only one – even though I know that is far from the truth. Thanks once again, your sharing and exposing yet another part of your soul brings a further degree of hope and a smile to my morning.

  3. 'Tis says:

    Most definitely self preservation, forgiveness after all is me giving up the right to hurt you for hurting me.

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