Maybe I need to click my heels three times?

30 Oct

Lately I’ve been pondering on the disconnect between saying you forgive someone and actually forgiving someone. The topic of forgiveness seems to be following me around, popping up everywhere, metaphorically tapping me on the shoulder saying ‘Hey, there’s something you need to take care of.’

I know that it’s the right thing to do, the healthy thing to do. I know that lingering anger hurts me more than the other person. And I know that ‘time heals all wounds.’

But I can’t do it. I say to myself, “I forgive her,” but even as I say it, “her” is replaced by “the queen of the pig people,” an attitude not conducive towards forgiveness. (But thank you, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, for the epithet).

And it’s not in my nature to not forgive. You can say mean things to me, hurt my feelings, you can even get me pregnant with your child and abandon me, and I’ll still forgive you. Ex boyfriends who shattered my heart? We’re now friends on Facebook. Girls who were mean to me in high school? I don’t even remember your names. Friends who betrayed my trust? Eh, you’re just not my friend anymore.

I’m usually very good at turning the situation around and finding the positive. The relationship wasn’t meant to be. The friendship wasn’t healthy anyway. And I am downright relieved I never married Daniel’s original father – the second one is much better.

So I’m stumped as to why I can’t forgive on this one. It’s not that more time needs to pass – it’s been over three years. But just the thought of this person still makes my stomach hurt and makes me short of breath.

I know I need to forgive and move on, but I can’t figure out what’s stopping me from doing it. I say I forgive the person and even use their real name, I try to be the bigger person, but the forgiveness isn’t flowing.

It reminds me of the times I accompanied my brother to his church. He’s a born again Christian, and I’ve seen the power faith has had in his life. But when I say I believe, it’s just words – the faith doesn’t flow. Something – reason? fear? – stops me.

So what’s the stone blocking the river of forgiveness? And if I can’t figure it out, can I fake it til I make it? If I say “I forgive you” to the person in my head enough times, will it happen?

I listen to Spotify sometimes at work, and one day, based on my Iron and Wine selection, it played a Bon Iver cover of a John Prine song. The lyrics cut me right to the core and I started crying at my desk (don’t you love when that happens?). But man, I thought the song was written just for me:

You can gaze out the window get mad and get madder,
Throw your hands in the air, say “What does it matter?”
But it don’t do no good to get angry,
So help me I know

For a heart stained in anger grows weak and grows bitter.
You become your own prisoner as you watch yourself sit there
Wrapped up in a trap of your very own
Chain of sorrow.

So how do I break the chain? Can I assume time will take care of it? Is it ok to keep calling her the queen of the pig people?

How do I forgive?

Since I don’t like to post entries without a picture, and I don’t have a relevant one, here’s one of my cat. The internet always needs more cat pictures.

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