Forgiveness

The Word that Follows me, like a Black Cloud

“grayscale photography of woman standing near white cross signage” by KEEM IBARRA on Unsplash

I haven’t been writing.

I’ve been thinking….. or more accurately, I’ve been ignoring my thoughts…. or thought….the thought….

There is this huge word following me around; demanding to be confronted. I would rather ignore it and move on with my life, but life doesn’t work that way, does it? Everyone else’s life will go on and I could walk along with them, pretending to keep living, but it all stops until I confront that which is screaming to be explored.

….

So here it goes…. because…. if I don’t confront it, years will slip by…. Years of nothing…. It’s amazing how much nothing we can cram into a lifetime just to ignore that one word we don’t want to face.

I can hear my ancestors yell, “Forget-about-it.”

But I can’t run away from who I am ….. it follows me around….lately, in the shape of this foreboding word…..

Forgiveness.

A word I was so comfortable with….. almost to a fault.

But how can you forgive someone who was an instrument to your downfall?

I know there is this theory out there, that we are all responsible for our own lives and that victimhood is somehow a choice and we could somehow embrace our power by refusing to be a victim….it all sounds so wonderful, doesn’t it? We can have a choice on how our life turns out. It really does sound absolutely wonderful….

I’m just so tired…..

Because, to be human means to be in connection with the people around you and to be in connection, in a relationship, means accepting influence. Connection, real connection, the type I look for and have always looked for means being influenced by each other. It means your choice affects my life and vice versa. In a relationship, in a family, everyone is important and has their part to play.

And he took us all down.

He will never admit this because he’s not capable of that kind of insight. And he holds on so tightly to his cloak of defensiveness. To remove it would mean facing the truth about what he did to us and how can a man live with himself after facing such a thing?

But I can stand up and move on…..away from victimhood….

Nadia Bolz-Weber describes forgiveness as, “An evil-combatting campaign.” It is the way to “break the chain that links you to your enemy.” It’s about admitting that what they did was not okay and you refuse be connected to it.

“Forgiveness is about being a freedom-fighter.

Free people aren’t controlled by the past.

Free people are unafraid to speak truth to stupid.

Free people are not chained to resentments.”

Yes, I want to be free from the past, from resentments.

But….

Forgiveness?

I just don’t know what to say to that.