Forgiveness tends to referred to as a “cure all”. Forgiveness is believed to be the first step to healing. The most important step of the healing process. Forgiveness. Forgiveness. Shove shove shove. Choke choke choke. Hearing about forgiveness exhausted me. Night after sleepless night I contemplated forgiveness. Deliberating how to embrace forgiveness. Wondering how saintly others must be in order to achieve this untouchable desire I had for myself.
Without forgiveness I had nothing. Inner peace would always be one step ahead of me. The object in my rear view mirror that may appear closer than it really was. Life would never have the right level of fulfillment with out forgiveness. Compassion must not be one of my strong points. Only the compassionate can forgive. Forgiveness had to be the only thing that could bring me to my perfect zen state. I was at war with myself. Yep. At war with myself about forgiveness.
Hold on. Isn’t forgiveness supposed to be some amazing gift from the heavens? A life altering experience??? YES? Then why am I continually berating myself about it? Why am I at my wits end over this aloof thought process? How is it I am WORSE of than before? Perspective. It all boils down perspective. The smallest adjustment to my perspective changed EVERYTHING for me.
You don’t have to forgive. Or so Chapter 9 of Toxic Parents (by Susan Foward )told me. Disbelief. Impossible. Improbable. Illogical. Oh wait. No, it’s actually very logical. Like choirs of cherubs releasing some heavenly tune, my heart began to sing the joys of this chapter. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not about holding a grudge. I just feel some atrocities are unforgivable. To look an abuser in the face and say I absolve you of all you did. Hey it’s ok we will pretend it never happened. I’ve never been in favor of that. This chapter, the five page, forever transformed how I look at forgiveness.
Forgiveness is earned. It is not something to be given away freely. Not everyone is entitled to our forgiveness. In comparison, forgiveness is much like love. Not all people will receive our love. Most of us are very selective about who does experience our love. So why is forgiveness any different? Guess what? It’s not. That’s right. WE decided who we forgive. WE decided. The guilt others may try to throw onto us should be thrown right back. Don’t tell me who I should forgive just like I shouldn’t tell you who to love.
Once that slight alteration was made to my conception of forgiveness, I became lighter. My burden was lifted. The guilt over “not being a good person” dissipated. I am a good person. I just had some pretty crappy experiences. I forgive myself for thinking I ever had to dismiss and pretend those experiences didn’t exist.