Okay, so here’s what I have learned lately about forgiveness. Sometimes, a person has to look at their responsibility in a hurtful situation. It does make the forgiveness process easier and more equitable. And I’m all about fairness.
Recently, something happened to me that blew me away…and not in a good way. Not necessary to go into details; it’s just suffice to say hurtful words were used towards me by a completely unexpected source. It cut hard and it cut deep. Of course, my first reaction was astonishment. My second was hurt and my third was complete and utter anger. The hours after it happened and into the next day, I convinced myself I would never forgive this person. I was way too angry. But never is a very long time and a grudge is a hard load to carry.
I spent some alone time thinking – – probably more like analyzing – – about the hurtful words and the person behind those words. I thought about the person’s perspective, the person’s place in his/her life’s journey, the meaning behind the words themselves, and most importantly, I faced my own responsibility. I knew through my actions towards this person, I may have pushed some of the words out of him/her. Whether it was intentionally or through complete ignorance on my part, it didn’t matter. All that did matter was I did have some responsibility in these hurtful words and with that recognition came freedom and the ability to soften up the other person. When the situation is softer, the outcome is kinder. And that is what happened to me.
Listen, I get it. Things happen in life that are so unforgiveable and unfathomable and there are no two responsible parties. Only one and that’s an entirely different conversation. But, in some cases, perhaps most cases where stupid anger gets the best of us, taking on our own responsibility is doable and necessary.
So, that’s what I learned lately… forgiveness is the process of letting go and gaining freedom. Sometimes it all starts with looking at ourselves.