Mar 17, 2013

Forgive and Forget...Truly

As I get older I have come to some realizations.  Sour candy doesn't taste as good as it did when I was 5.  I actually like smoked oysters.  I still love big, bright colors, like I did when I was 10, and forgiving people isn't as always as easy as it was when I was younger.

When I was in Kindergarten, my friend and I could be playing on the playground and she would "ditch" me to go play on the monkey bars with someone else.  Yes, I felt cheated, and used, and like a little fat "unpopular" girl that no one wanted to play with, but 10 minutes later when recess was over and we were back inside, we were friends again making a craft project.  Forgiving was easy.  It didn't mean that my feelings didn't get hurt, I guess I was just more resilient back then.

As I have gotten older I have learned a few things.  I have learned that I care less about what others want me to be, and more about who I want to be.  I have learned that my waist size doesn't determine the size of my heart.  I have learned who I can trust, and who I can share only "surface" details with, and I have learned who my true friends are, and who they're not.  I have learned who I can depend on this life, the people that truly matter to me, and that I will actually invest time on.  I've also learned that when one of those people hurt you, it's the hardest to forgive; even when you too have done something to hurt them.

In my daily reading of one of my 100's of self help books, I came across a quote that hit me very hard this morning.  "Most of us have to do our forgiving while we are being forgiven."  That was so huge to me because I realized, "Yeah Jill, you're not perfect.  You screw up, and even though you're mad, the other person is just as mad at you."  It never clicked to me that while I was trying to forgive someone who had hurt me, that someone else, or the same person, may be trying to forgive me.  

We all do things that hurt each other.  The majority of the time we don't mean to offend, or hurt another person.  We are human though, and we are going to.  We are going to offend no matter how hard we try.  We're not in control of how another human being reacts to our actions, but we are in control of ourselves.  We are in control of saying "I'm Sorry" when we've done something wrong.  You are in control of making the situation as right as you possibly can, but once you have done all you can, you have no more control.

I guess what I didn't realize is that even when I screw up at times (which is a lot) and I hurt someone, and I know I have hurt them; I will apologize and try to make it right, but at the same time I have learned that, that is not always enough for me.  I tend to hold grudges and have bad feelings about something completely unrelated to the screw up that I made.  Now is that fair?  I quite frankly don't know.  I don't think a lot of things in this life are fair, but this is how I feel, and I'm just being honest about that.  

Sometimes I hurt people, but at the same time they have hurt me.  They have hurt me without even knowing, and although I will do my part and apologize, I still have to take my own time to work through my issues on forgiving them.  I don't have to let them know about it, because it's MY OWN issue.  It has nothing to do with them.  They probably don't even know that they have hurt me, and they don't need to know.  It's my issue that I have to come to terms with and either be okay with or not be okay with.  This is part of growing up and learning to be the bigger person.

During this process of me letting go, and forgiving them, I don't need to go to them and say, "Hey by the way I want you to know that I forgive you too." because that's going at the situation with bad intentions.  That's trying to make YOU feel better, and get revenge.  And trust me, revenge is a lot different than forgiveness.  Revenge is NEVER a road you want to take.  It only ends in sorrow.  But acknowledging in yourself that 1. You have been hurt, and 2. That you have to forgive them within yourself, before this relationship can ever hope to have a chance again; is a HUGE step.  It can't be forced, it can't be put on a time limit, and it's okay if they have forgiven you, but you have yet to forgive them.  You don't need to tell them you haven't dealt with it yet, you simply thank them for their forgiveness, and say that you still need sometime.  Simple as that. (Yeah, so simple. Right?!)

These are the things I am learning as an adult, having adult relationships.  Relationships are hard, especially when you let someone into your trust zone and they hurt you.  Trust me my friends, that is hard to forgive, but for you to ever get on with your life, YOU HAVE TO FORGIVE THEM. You have to work it through for YOU. You don't have to have them in your life anymore, but you do have to forgive them for you to ever be able to move on as a full functioning human being.  You have to forgive them to be the best you, that you can be, and isn't that what we all really want from this life?  We just want to be the "Best" that we can possibly be.  

So let it go, move on, choose to have them in your life or not, either way forgive and forget.  I promise you will be happier when you do.  It doesn't have to be today, or tomorrow.  You have to work it through and it has to be in your time frame, but you need to do it, FOR YOU.  You need to love every second of this life, and you can't do that with resentment and hurt in your heart.