What is Forgiveness?

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Or should I call it ‘early morning SCRAMBLED thoughts from the Cold Coffee Club? Ha!

Honesty has always been an easy concept for me to grasp. At times I’m honest to a fault and it gets me into a lot of trouble. But honesty paired with forgiveness is a different story. I think of the two as oil & water.

I think it’s all too easy to say “Forgive, it will set you free”. I’ve heard this most of my life, I think most of us have… But my question is, what if it doesn’t? What if you’re too quick to forgive and then forgiveness just feels a lot more like being numb? What if you’re taught from when you were small that it’s your obligation to forgive to relieve the other party the pain of feeling guilt? It’s your responsibility to put your feelings on the back burner, for everyone else’s sake? And maybe it becomes that the only way you know how to forgive is to associate it and get it mixed up with ‘forget’. You make yourself forget and you never have to acknowledge that you were ever hurt at all. Like your own feelings never existed.

What if you’re sitting in adulthood and realizing you don’t know a damn thing about forgiveness or what it’s true definition is? You’re only just beginning to realize the weight of resentment, and the only reason you’re becoming aware is because it’s far past the point of painful. Forgetting isn’t real, no matter how badly you want it to be. There’s no such thing as an able minded person truly forgetting. The truth of your feelings seep down into your cells and build homes until you chose to acknowledge their existence. These are the vagabonds of our bodies, of our spirits, and of our minds. If you’re willing to absorb everything you’re not ready to ‘give’ but are forcing yourself to forgive, you’re poisoning yourself with your own thoughts and feelings. Hanging onto anger may feel like a hot coal at times, but not allowing yourself to be angry and instead being consumed with all of the things you never said, feels a lot like drowning.

I’m unlearning so many things in my life that I thought I knew for certain since childhood and I’ll tell you, this one isn’t going to be an easy lesson to undo. But as I grow as a mother, as a daughter, as a wife, as a woman, as a human being I’m becoming more aware of the fact that forgiveness is a one man show.

It has absolutely noting to do with the other person involved or their feelings at all. Maybe forgiveness is not an obligation but a beautiful hard earned gift to yourself. It’s a gift I’m learning that I deserve as much as anyone else.

Marriage & parenthood pull these things out of you though. Things you never knew existed. The will to be better, to be there, to be present… And to be truthful. When you’ve spent so much of your life walking away, but you neither have nor want that option any longer. As a mother,  I cannot possibly teach my daughter her worth and the worth of her feelings without first acknowledging my own. I cannot possibly teach her to forgive when she’s good & ready, if I myself am not able to do so. I look at my toddler and I see that she gets upset and she gets frustrated because she can’t vocalize what she wants yet, but she never questions her own anger. She never questions why she cries or why she’s upset or if it’s justified. She never questions how long she’s ALLOWED to feel what she’s feeling. She doesn’t need to. And that’s the amazing thing about children, if you’re willing to listen they can teach you the secrets of life. She doesn’t question her emotions because she doesn’t need to. She’s only 1.5 years old and she knows better than us about the ways of the world. As she gets older, I never want to stifle her wisdom… Only help her build upon it. I want her to know that being strong does not need to mean bottling things up. Being strong does not mean self sacrifice. She’s my daughter but I don’t need her to bear the weight of my world. I need to help her create her own and in the best way I know how. Every day I’m trying my best to do right by her, but at the end of the day that begins with learning how to do right by myself.

Here’s to another day of being teachers and students.

Love to you all xo

 

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