Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Daily Reminder # 60

Forgiveness is complicated.... and I think it comes in layers.

I've been thinking a lot about what I posted on Sunday, about not needing apologies and letting go of the need to forgive. As I said then, I'm not there. I think maybe I'm half way there, but then I wonder if one can half forgive and count it as done. I find it all very confusing. I think I forgave my brother in some ways. He was horrible, but I have to think he was horrible because he was mentally and spiritually ill. So I know that. I know that in many ways nothing he did matters beyond how much I allow it to matter. But there's the rub. Because however much I may wish to let it all go, the wounds he left are deep and sometimes the scars throb. And when I hurt, my forgiveness doesn't seem quite so real.

I've lost a couple of friends because I couldn't get past the hurt. I don't know if this is because I didn't forgive them or because on some level they weren't really friends. I mean if someone can hurt you and think being right is more important than acknowledging your feelings, are they really your friend? Is it petty to move away from such friendships or is it good self care? For some, the answer to this question may be obvious, but I was raised to forgive EVERYONE and EVERYTHING - even horrible cruelty - except my own feelings. So the truth is, that I get confused when I try to care for myself, when I try to honor my own feelings. I feel guilty and petty.... and like I need to forgive myself for hurting the people who hurt me and for wanting to protect myself from unkindness.

Maybe that's where I get stuck, because while I recognize intellectually, that it's OK for me to have feelings and even negative feelings, on a profoundly deep in-the-bones place, my emotional antibodies still think self-care is a disease that needs to be attacked. So is it my brother and my friends and a few others that I haven't forgiven? Or is it myself for the audacity to feel a need to forgive them in the first place. I don't know. Maybe a little of both.

In any case, I have plenty to work on in therapy, plenty to think about.

Some things I'm grateful for:
  • my computer
  • forgiveness (even partial)
  • vitamins
  • sunshine
  • Shannon's visits
  • photography
  • coupons for the farmer's market


1 comment:

imriz said...

i can empathize with you...forgiveness is almost always against our will, but it is said, when we forgive, God sets our heart free from any ill-feelings that comes after forgiveness.

i always liked your post even though sometimes, contagious yung lungkot:(

but, thanks always for sharing:)