Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Forgiveness (I might be preaching a little)

If you've read here for a while, you know this word has been a common thorn for me. I pretend to let things go and try to move forward but then I hear myself say things like, "except for them" and "I guess I deserve that". I remind myself daily that I can feel whatever I feel but that holding on to what ails me, dampens my spirit and keeps me from feeling whole. But then I give myself permission to keep holding on to it. It's a vicious cycle.

I've thought a lot lately about things I count as "unforgivable". - certain people who made it their priority to separate me from my daughter, certain people who will punish me until the end of time for something I can no longer say I'm sorry for, myself for a million little things that weigh so heavy in my heart. 'Tis the season for forgiveness and I still can't grasp what I wish for most - to begin again without holding or placing blame.

Like a twelve year old, I look at myself in the mirror some days and see an internal tantrum. I'm still mad. I still have thoughts that cling to my shoulder muscles and wake me from my sleep. I'll hear someones name and I'm angry in an instant as though I'm back in the courtroom, listening to hateful words and lies - even people I've already "forgiven" can bring me right back there.

I'm reminded every time I turn on the radio that what we wish for will be granted by simply saying it out loud. Not in a "click your heels" sort of way but by prayer. Whomever you pray to or wish to, if you do and once you do, you're forgiven. If I made a mistake and I'm sorry, I say I'm sorry. I let it go and "it's as far as the East is from the West". & if I don't, the bible says I'm insulting God by asking for forgiveness twice. - that I'm not trusting in Him to forgive me the first time I asked. In God's eyes, I am perfect. He would know, right? :) My mistakes are part of my free agency. He asks that I do my best and be my best. I try to keep a positive spirit - live my life in a way that makes me proud to repeat it.

So why can't I do this? What are they rules around how long it takes? Because I actually feel pretty good until I realize that the result after my "ask" still leaves me without her. & then I go back to punishing myself & grabbing back all the "forgiveness" I've doled out - because it starts over and it's a vicious, endless cycle. And maybe it doesn't start all the way over but you get it.

It's almost been a year. And a year ago I thought this day would never be. I thought I'd see her every Christmas, every New Years, every "all the time" - forever. & I get stuck with knowing where to start living differently. Or maybe I've already begun but I don't like it. Maybe that's why I can't let the bad stuff go - because at least it's part of her. It's just big and I'd like to give it all away. Maybe I'll send it to one of those people I haven't forgiven - for Christmas. :) See, I can still be funny.

But this I know:

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and then discover the prisoner was you."

I'll still work on it.