I’ll be the first to admit that I have a hard time forgiving. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I must have been absent from the catechism class where we were preached to “turn the other cheek”. That, my friends, is not me.
I hold a grudge.
Recently, I have found myself in a position that I am highly uncomfortable being in. I am facing the decision of whether or not to forgive a person. I have given multiple opportunities for redemption, expressed my concern and disdain for their conduct and straight out said “stop doing that”, yet this individual continues to act in a manner that I cannot condone. They have said that they would change and they do not. This has put me in the position of determining whether or not I am even capable of forgiving.
I don’t know if I am.
I’m not talking about “forgiving” and then bringing it up later. I’m talking about true forgiveness. I’m talking about taking all of the things that have happened in the past and saying they are over, and done with. I’m saying I won’t dredge up the past and put their failures in the forefront. I’m saying that I will clean the slate and never look back. I’m saying that I will completely, totally and without doubt forgive a person who has hurt me. Over and over again.
My fear, terrifying fear, is that nothing will change. I will open myself up to continue being hurt, all because I decided to forgive and forget.
On the other hand, this person could care less about being forgiven. Maybe their behavior is their true character and they will never change, nor do they want to. Maybe, as I’ve heard before, they’re happy behaving the way they have been and can’t see anything wrong with it. Maybe it is just a sign I need to follow my own path.
Forgiveness. It may not even be what I mean to do. Maybe I just need to forget what happened and come to terms with the fact that nothing will change. That is no way to live though.
That’s one too many maybes. The fact that I even have to ask myself this question shows that there is something amiss in my world. I shouldn’t have to feel like this is a never-ending cycle of pain and frustration.
Sometimes the hardest thing is to walk away and move on.
No. Actually the hardest thing is caring and having to ask yourself the same question over and over. Is it even worth it anymore?