“People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; …Forgive them anyway.”- Kent Keith
Looking at some of the synonyms of the word forgiveness, I fail in the fight to achieve any level of forgiveness in my life: pardon, Mercy, absolution, exoneration, exculpation.
Pondering the depth of what it means to forgive is overwhelming at times and in some cases feels unachievable. To forgive means to let go of (in some cases) the only thing holding a relationship together. Yes, I said it, sometimes our lack of relationships can reach a level of toxicity and having a toxic relationship is better than not having a relationship at all (or so I told myself in the past).
I fall short in the forgiveness department yet expect forgiveness for myself. I have no difficulties cutting others from my life or “giving them what I feel they deserve” however true forgiveness is hard to accomplish for me.
Growing up forgiveness was not practiced or expected, (what was done was done and it was what it was) and the consequences where held as surfactant punishment and forgotten about yet never forgiven. The offence was stored in a mental file that had 24/7 access for judgment of future problems.
So how do I deal with forgiveness today? It’s simple, I don’t or should I say I didn’t …
I have a file of my own that I fill with the offences of others and passively drudge back up at my convenience as a weapon of leverage. I am learning what “true forgiveness” is and how it is applied in my life and I have seen a pattern as I learn, the closer I hold you in my life the harder it is to forgive. It is an uphill battle between my forgiving and forgetting and I confuse the two all the time. Looking at this verse below I struggle to absorb the depth of what is meant and fail miserably at reaching it.
“Then came Peter to him, and said,
Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me,
and I forgive him? Till seven times?”
Jesus saith unto him, “I say not unto thee,
Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”
– Matthew 18:21-22
In the perspective of a healthy relationship that is also desired to continually grow and develop into something more, forgiveness is to achieve selflessness and everlasting love for one another. To forgive is Letting go of the harmful act and shredding the file as opposed to storing it away to be used in any way at a later time.
I have so many to forgive and I hope one day I am also forgiven for my actions.
Today I start by forgiving myself and letting go of the self-harm and disregard for myself as a man, father and husband. Next is a huge list of individuals that need to be filtered and plucked from my life as weeds of fed as flowers…