11 March 2010

Lesson #27: Nothing is Unforgivable.

I need to start this post by saying this is a lesson I have learned, and am still learning, through the example of others.  There are special, amazing people in my life who are teaching me how to let go of past hurt or anger, practice forgiveness, and move on into a more fulfilling life.

I have yet to get there.  But I know it's reachable.

There's the idea of forgiveness, which is not the same as forgetting.  I'd agree with that.  It's important to remember what's happened in the past, to the extent required to learn from it.  But I haven't always done that.  Under the guise of 'not forgetting', I've carried around past grudges, which have then come out in other areas of my life - damaging the relationship I have with my oldest brother, for example.

I didn't realize how bad it was until I realized I had some things I had to forgive myself for, and I didn't know how to do it.  Myself.  That one should have been easier, because who else knows me better?  Hm.

I got a book.

And I can't say it hasn't helped.  I've learned how to focus on the positive that's come out of the negative.  I think I have about fifty-one more chapters to go, but I decided midway through this post that I don't really want to even talk about that.

Insert draft edit fail here.

I want to go back to the idea that nothing is unforgivable.  I've learned this from seeing the ability of others - people I know, and people I don't - to forgive.  I also feel like this is something I know, deep down.  That kind of Knowing that just is, like gravity or Six's TARDIS+Delorean shirt.

And I just want to say that I'm learning that forgiveness is an action, deliberate, and real, just like drinking a glass of water or saying I love you.  It involves feeling, sure, but when we can't forgive, we're hanging on to negative feelings or thoughts that belong in the past.  Letting them go should make it easier.  When I let go of those thoughts or feelings, I can perform forgiveness as an action, something which is well within my ability to give, because I dictate my actions.  I choose to forgive, which means that the bounds of forgiveness can be infinite.

Forgiveness is also a way to free us from the burdens of the past.  No one should have to carry around the weight that is anger, or injury, or resentment.  It turns people old, stretches them into thin shadows of the people they could be.  And no wonder - they're living days upon days of their lives over and over again.  If I'm pissed at Susie-Q for stealing my Hostess Cupcake, and I think on that every day for a year, I've spent a whole year living the same day over again, in addition to my actual movement through time and space (another debate).  If I let go of the Cupcake incident, I can focus on living just one life, one that is entirely mine.

Forgiveness keeps us whole.  It unites all the little pieces that break when someone hurts us.  It's like duct-tape, which is pretty cool in and of itself.  And because forgiveness makes us whole again, we can become better people for those we love.  We can do good in the world, and spread joy.

That's what I've figured out about forgiveness.  It's not an instant process.  There's no switch.  But it will happen, because I want it to and I'm willing to work at it.

Maybe I won't even need to read the rest of that book.

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