Jan 072012

The post below is a rambling post and may not make a lot of sense to others but this particular post is about me spilling out my mind’s reflections and rationalizing it’s decision making process in the written form. Sometimes it’s easier for me to go back and read my thoughts for a particular time frame without getting things confused. It also gives me an opportunity to look back and see if i’ve grown in my thought processes or remained stagnant. So you can read along if you’re so inclined but please keep your judgment to yourself. I have enough criticism in my life (some from others, some from myself) without another heaping helping pile, okay? The flip side of that is to also say I am not looking for blind support. If you can relate, great. If not, I don’t need someone blowing smoke up my ass. I do need validation sometimes but not at the expense of insincerity. So having said that.. here we go. Verbal diarrhea and plodding through the mud in my brain are about to commence.

I’ve read this quote a million times and sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t. I wonder.. is a person’s life truly defined by “moments” or do we need to lump all those moments together and try to see the overall picture? That “moment that takes your breath away” can be a really good thing or a really bad thing and we don’t always get to choose. So should we allow “moments” in our lives to define us? Do we allow our emotions to pave our paths when it’s been proven time and time again that emotions are a horrible guide? Emotion isn’t rational. It isn’t predictable. It generally isn’t safe. But it does make us more humane and less robotic. Relationships are generally founded in emotion and also come to a close surrounded by emotion as well — “live by the sword, die by the sword” comes to mind here. Do we trust our emotions or seek a greater sense of peace through rationality?

What about mistakes? What happens when those unintentional moments result in great pain to ourselves or to others? Do we allow those moments to define us as a human or can we learn from those mistakes and move forward? What about when those “moments” have the greatest impact on others? What choice do others have in deciding if their lives will be defined by that “moment” of your action. We are not isolated in this world.. our paths collide, we interact with others, our behaviors affect those that we are surrounded by. But we do not have to be defined by moments of indiscretion or cruelty just as we do not have to be defined by moments of love and kindness. It is a choice. Just as forgiveness is a choice.

There is no set timeline for forgiveness though. It will come when the healing begins inside the self. Granted, forgiveness is much “easier” to give if there is true repentance and atonement. After all, what is an apology without an act of contrition? Words. Words that cease to have depth of meaning if they aren’t followed by actions of remorse. When a person asks for forgiveness yet shows no real ownership for the originating offense, how much faith can be placed in those words? Redemption lies in the actions that directly contridict the offense that caused the pain. Otherwise, there is no awareness.. no growth.  Which causes us to repeat those offenses.

But none of that is required for the act of forgiveness because forgiveness is a selfish act. Yes, I said a selfish act. An act to let go of the pain that someone else caused. It does not mean you must allow them to continue subjecting you to their actions. It does not mean you continue to accept wrongful behaviors as being okay. It just means that you are not going to let their bad behavior control your life.

If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive.  –Mother Teresa

In order for me to have peace, I know I have to forgive.  Unforgiveness can lead to depression, bitterness and negativity as well as physical, spiritual and emotional sickness.  It also leads to loneliness.  The benefits to forgiving is that it gives you the freedom to move forward and heal, no longer allowing a situation to have power over you.  Forgiveness is not a feeling though, it is an action.  It does not diminish the grievance against you, does not condone the other person’s behavior and it does not mean that trust is instantaneously granted back to that person.  It does not mean you forget.  Yet the purpose of forgiving is not to make someone else feel better, it is to make me feel better and not have my life defined by a “moment”.

I want to forgive.. I want to have a sense of peace in my life. I want to take that step.. and then the next step.. and then the next. But I must decide if there is true atonement and change in actions so as not to repeat the offenses. I don’t have the answers to those questions yet but I am open to the possibilities. Forgiveness can be life changing and is a decision that is very personal and comes in it’s own time.  That’s all I have to offer right now. After all, i’m human too.

  4 Responses to “The Art of Forgiveness”

  1. “Unforgiveness can lead to depression, bitterness and negativity as well as physical, spiritual and emotional sickness. It also leads to loneliness. ”

    Very true as this is where I am at and have been for some time- a long time- but until reading your words I have not thought once that the above state that I am in or these various symptoms occuring are from the anger I carry around – its 3:00 am my time- so I guess I am suppposed to be awake and stumble across this almost a year after you posted it .

    thank you ~ deb

    • Deb.. we are all pretty much the same, aren’t we? Human emotions can take us the highest highs and drop us to the lowest lows — sometimes within a span of minutes. I hope your heart can find forgiveness for whatever, whoever or wherever your pain originates and that it leaves you feeling refreshed, hopeful and forward moving. Much love coming your way! <3 <3 <3

  2. Beautiful… forgiveness begins with the self…<3

  3. Haven, Your post, your words could have been written by me. Not so eloquently if it had been me, though. I’m searching for that that peaceful place that comes with forgiveness as well. In the meantime I’m making emotional bonehead decisions that get me so worked up. You have much beauty to offer through your words, photography and many other mediums. I wish for you to find your happy place so you can flourish once again.