Yes I am still upon the journey, struggling with the concept of forgiveness for an action that is ongoing and continues. Each day I find a little kernel of self knowledge that will help me choose the path that is right for me in the end. And every day I find the resistance as well, the unkind part of me that wants to kick and scream and protest "this is so unfair!"
Day 27 of 40 days of Forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a hard journey. Every day I face this forgiveness challenge I find myself on two sides of the fence.
There is a part of me that truly wants to forgive, to open the door to life beyond being stuck here with rememberances of the past and what you have done to me. You are the one that put me in this place of facing the most difficult struggle / trauma of my life. You did this on purpose! That is the part that hurts the most. You selected this as your way of punishing me, and every day is one more day of you saying "I won’t forgive you!"
And that is when the childish me kicks up her heels and says, “I want to hurt you back”.
Then the grown up self in me says, "it is enough that you are acting childish and holding on to your grudge, what does me stooping to that same grudge holding level do to improve the situation?"
I realize the answer is “nothing”. It contributes nothing. It does not make anything better.
But then forgiving will not make it better either, for you still hold on to your grudge like a life line and the estrangement trauma continues. I still feel the effects of your shunning every day.
I especially feel the rejection of having my apologies rejected. I feel that I have reached out to you willing to open the doors to communication and you slam them in my face with your silence and rejection.
And I am left with apology egg on my face and you prove your point yet again that you still have a grudge against me and that my willingness to forgive and my willingness to apologize is not enough! That is part of the problem then isn't it.
My forgiving you for your actions in creating this estrangement is not enough to heal the wound you have inflicted upon this relationship. There is nothing that I can say or do to bring working towards reconciliation to the table because you do not want reconciliation. It is almost like you find joy in punishing me. You find joy in hanging on to all of your grudges against me. You find comfort in laying out all my faults and punishing me for them. And in doing so you never even see how wrong a choice you have made by following the advice of a certain other. You don’t even realize how many things I have to forgive you for! You don’t realize how much wrong you have done against me, because you are blinded by your anger and your hurt and your desire to exact revenge upon me.
Yet still I love what we once had so much that I am still willing to struggle with forgiving you all this hurt that I am experiencing. They say that forgiving requires strength. And in facing this 40 day challenge I am starting to realize just how much strength is required of me to do this.
The hardest part of the challenge is coming to terms with the fact that I may have to walk away from this challenge accepting that forgiving without any reciprocal atonement, and atoning without any reciprocal forgiveness spells an ending of a different sort. It will require an acceptance on my part that you will never give up your grudge because for some reason that gives you a feeling of power.
And I can only regain my power by forgiving and walking away.
Renate Dundys Marrello
photo credits as marked or unknown