I read a blog article today that made me contemplate once again this...word which is so much more than a word. I actually read the entire blog. I won't specify where because I don't want this individual to feel as though I am judging them. I'm not. Not even a little bit because like I said, I struggle with forgiveness as well. In this particular blog, I could feel the weight that this individual, this family, carries around for the wrongs against them. The losses they have experienced overshadow their entire existence and it makes my heart ache in an unbelievable way. Their path to forgiveness is so different than mine and yet they both start with that same word.
There once was a time I was hurt by someone I trusted. My gut would twist every time I thought about the experience and I would literally become sick to my stomach every time I even thought about the individual that had hurt me. The thought of seeing them was more than I could endure; my head would begin to ache, I would start to sweat, and nearly hyperventilate. And I would cry. And cry and cry and cry. I was so confused. I knew that through what I have been taught that I needed to forgive. There it was again, that word.
But how? How do you forgive someone who you had trusted, loved? I couldn't find the answer. I searched and searched and some days I still search. This experience had rocked me. I had never felt anything like this; I had never felt so much hurt. It was more than the hurt though, it was anger. Anger coursed through my veins like a snake slithering through me and wrapping around my heart. Being raised the way I was, my natural reaction was to turn to prayer and scriptures to move past this hurt. I read every story about forgiveness I could find. And yet...I couldn't do it. I read the definition of it, I googled the crap out of it and yet none of that helped. I talked about it to no end with all of my close friends and family. I tried to see the other person's point of view and took a walk in their shoes and still, nothing.
It haunted me. I wanted so much to move past this. I was angry with them but worse, I was angry with myself. How could I not move past these words. If I were to take them apart and dissect them they would mean absolutely nothing. Strung together they were like a bullet through my heart. I was angry that I let someone else affect the way I see myself. That I would allow someone to define me. And then one day, I read a quote.
"Keep a place in your heart for forgiveness, and when it comes, welcome it in."
I hate feeling like I have no control. I have agency. I choose. I choose what to wear, how to do my hair, when to shower, what to eat, what to listen to, and how I will react to something. I choose how I will react to the feelings I feel in my gut and my heart. I'm choosing to leave that spot in my heart for forgiveness.
And you know what? Today, it's pretty dang full.