Tuesday, December 18, 2012

{Emotional Healing} forgiveness

Image from {here}

If you've been following my blog, you know I've been working through issues of fear, self worth, anger, and bitterness. Well, I reached a much anticipated turning point much sooner than I had thought: forgiveness.

I'm not exactly sure when my feelings shifted, but there was one day where I just realized that no matter how bad my ex had hurt me, I took no joy in seeing him hurt. I realized I wanted him to be happy. Even if that meant him being happy without me (or even with someone else.)

I knew the day would come when I would be ready to forgive. I intuitively knew I would never be able to fully heal, move on, or love again until I could forgive him for the pain he caused me, and wish him well. I had imagined, however, that this would be a gradual, long process, so it took me by surprise when it dawned on me suddenly that I was ready to forgive.

I think it really got to me when I stumbled upon the Mars Hill Church Real Marriage sermon series and watched the one about fighting and forgiveness. The Christian view on marriage is quite new to me and I am so fascinated by its principals and have found that my ideals are very aligned; duty, honor, dedication, friendship, love, respect. Anyhow, I learned a few things to help clarify my confusion over the whole forgiveness issue:

1.) forgiveness does not mean the other party has to beg forgiveness or even to be sorry. I knew my ex was sorry, but we hadn't gone deeper than an 'I'm sorry, you deserve better.' He didn't express what he was sorry for or tell me what he thought he had done wrong, or ask to be forgiven. Was I supposed to wait until he wanted forgiveness? Was I supposed to tell him he was forgiven? The answer is no. Forgiveness is about me. It is about freeing my heart. It's about letting go regardless of the one who hurt me. 

2.) forgiveness does not mean trust. I thought I might be ready to forgive, but I still didn't trust him, or even understand the whys and reasons behind what he had done. I didn't even think HE knew! If I forgave him, did that mean I was supposed to trust him immediately? If he suddenly wanted me back, was I just supposed to act like nothing had happened and trust him? No. Again, forgiveness is about setting my heart free. It doesn't mean giving it away again recklessly. You can forgive and not trust the person. Trust takes much more work than forgiveness. 

3.) forgiveness does not mean reconciliation. I thought I was ready to forgive, but there were no talks of reconciliation. If I forgave, would that mean we should get back together? No. Forgiveness can lead to reconciliation, but one does not produce the other. Reconciliation takes repentance (being genuinely sorry and passionate to work things out) AND forgiveness from BOTH parties! And even with all that there, it doesn't mean reconciliation will even work out. It can, but it is not guaranteed.

So, with the realization that forgiveness was a one-man (or woman) show that occurred solely within my heart, I forgave. I wished him well. From the deepest of my heart, I wished to see him happy. Not necessarily to his face, but in my heart and mind. Sometimes my past wounds reopen and I have to stop the drama playing out in my mind and remember that I have forgiven him. I also learned that forgiveness is a continual process. You don't forgive once and never feel anger again; you work on it every day.

Forgiveness may be freeing but it doesn't mean life has been a piece of cake. I still get depressed and anxious and worried about my future on occasion. Since giving birth and getting my 'monthly vagina party' back, I have experienced a first: raging PMS! I'm not sure why having a baby has changed this, but I just notice that a few days, or up to a week before my monthly party, I get incredibly depressed. It is NOT a fun time to be me! It's like being a 'sad-drunk' because all I want to do is cry and 'drunk' text everyone about my misery. Then the monthly vag party starts, the fog lifts, and I'm as jolly as a rabbit on ecstasy. Being a woman is crazy.

And I even get anxious on normal days too. It's just part of life when you let your thoughts run rampant. I've been doing my best to be present and enjoy the amazing beauty of my everyday life; my baby, my friends, my family, potential romance. I've got a great life and great people in it. I don't know where my life will take me or what will happen, but my present life is lovely and my future is sure to knock my socks off; it always does.

Who do you need to forgive?

1 comment:

  1. Tessonja, again you have amazed me with your writing style and insights. Some day, write a book on your life's lessons, so that others will learn what you already know.