The Art of Forgiveness

1 Mar

Anyone who says forgiveness is anything less than an art has never had to forgive someone of something monumental.

Forgiveness. It comes in many forms, and sometimes comes with “forgetting”, though I don’t know if that part is every truly enacted. Acceptance is probably better to do than forget, because if you accept you no longer have to feel the pain or frustration or whatever emotion is tied to the forgiveness.

Sometimes, we will forgive someone almost instantly. Say someone accidentally trips me, or smashes my hand in something…acceptance is almost immediate, and forgiveness isn’t even questioned.

Then, you find yourself in a situation similar to myself.

A very long, long time ago I had a friend, who I cut out of my life. It was partially intentional, and partially just the course of life. There weren’t any single events that caused my decision to do this, but rather a series of events that showed me how unhealthy our relationship was. No matter how many times I would forgive her, I could never fully accept the state of things. Thus, they kept piling on one another, as did the emotions tied to these events.

It was almost sudden, how our friendship ended. And I know that I made the right choice, because the time following were wonderful and amazing, and I didn’t have any of that toxicity in my life.

But now, older as I find myself, acceptance has brightened my past. I no longer feel the emotions that were once tied to all the things I kept forgiving. When and how that happened, I am unsure. What I am sure of, is that while I can look back to that point in my life and no longer feel pain, frustration, and guilt, I can still look back and feel the pleasure of when times were good. We shared some really good moments, and I know that I owe part of who I am to this former friend.

With this almost rose-colored view of our friendship comes a subtle desire to re-connect. I don’t know if she would be interested, and I don’t know how similar we are to our former, high school selves. Without her in my life, I do lack the ability to reminisce on what happened to be so many nights with just the two of us. But opening that door is scary, too. Obviously, there was a problem with our relationship, as I never forget. It’s hard to say if that problem would still exist and if having her back in my life would be healthy.

I just want to open the door slightly, and peek inside, but I don’t know if there is a way to do that. Something tells me this is either all or nothing.

Do you say “forgive and forget” or another variation? If you’ve cut someone out of your life, do you ever let them back in? Why? What do you think of the saying “if there was a problem then, there will be a problem now”?

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3 Responses to “The Art of Forgiveness”

  1. April March 2, 2015 at 1:55 am #

    I side more with, “If there was a problem then, there will be a problem now,” from my personal experience. I wanted my mother and my aunts do this dizzying dance for the first 20 years of my life; they would fight, they would dick each other over, they would disown each other for a while, then they would make up and be “sisters!” (with the “i” dotted with a heart and all) again…rinse, lather, repeat. Nothing ever changed; they spent two decades doing this and a couple of them STILL do it. (Though I think my youngest aunt is finally done with my biological mother and, possibly, the second oldest of the four sisters.) Watching it was painful.

    I stayed friends with my daughter’s dad, but hadn’t really with my first long-term-ex-boyfriend. He tried to reconnect. I took the bait at first; he was being nice. But the moment I didn’t do exactly what he what he wanted me to do, I was reminded as to why I’d KO’ed all contact with him – he was and always will be an abusive jerk. The type of relationship with him doesn’t matter; he can’t even keep friends for just that reason. Some people don’t change. Ever.

    More over, I have a problem trusting someone once they’ve dicked me over. And if I can’t trust someone, there’s always going to be a line in the sand in regards to how much I let them into my life. So…I don’t tend to look back.

    ALL of that said; a high school relationship MIGHT be different. Some people (not all) leave high school, grow up, and grow into better people. I don’t completely know where you live now in relation to where you went to HS and where this girl lives now, but if it’s far enough away…you might be able to peek and duck back out quietly if it doesn’t seem that things have changed. I’ve sort of done that with an old co-worker; she’s still in Florida and has a cloud of drama that follows her like Linus’ dirt cloud… She friend-requested my new FB account last year and…I accepted. I’d hoped that she’d gotten her shit together. … She hasn’t. I left her on my friends list and just removed her stuff from showing up in my news feed. *pulls the door closed* It doesn’t hurt anything and I’m far enough away now that I can’t be sucked into any of her drama llama circuses!

  2. April March 2, 2015 at 1:56 am #

    watched* not “wanted”…holy gawd, all I wanted was for that drama carousel to stahp for most of my life! … I can’t even blame autocorrect this time. *sigh*

  3. M March 5, 2015 at 9:51 pm #

    Interesting thoughts, Ive only intentionally cut a few people out (the rest we just kind of drifted apart). Of those few… I didn’t just burn the bridges, a better descriptor would be a nuclear blast. So yeah… there’s no repairing it when once cut out. I don’t hate those few anymore, there’s just no going back.

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