If you’ve ever been to dinner with Scott and I, you know the conversation doesn’t stay surface for long. We need to know how you’re really doing. And we want to hear it all.
Lately, we’ve been getting a taste of our own medicine.
Every time we go to dinner with our friends Jim and Elizabeth, they ask us how ‘we’ are doing. They’re not asking about our pets, the kid’s ball games and our new paint colors. They want to know how things are really going between the two of us. And so, of course, we go there.
Inevitably, they help us with something we’ve been struggling with.
We recently spent more time than usual talking about forgiveness. Because of me. I’ve been carrying around some hurts from the past, that I truly believed I’d forgiven. I mean like FORGIVEN. I don’t want to be mad anymore. I don’t want to be hurt anymore.
I don’t want to remember anymore.
I’ve worked on it in therapy. I’ve written letters and burned them – literally. I’ve recounted every event. I’ve journaled for days on end. I’ve been angry and I’ve been sad. And please believe me. . . it’s been ENOUGH time. So I asked them to help me with forgiveness.
And oh my gosh, they did.
Jim gave an example that was so simple and yet so profoundly freeing for me. If we walked out and keyed his car, he’d be angry. He would probably sue us to get it paid for, but he would choose to forgive us, for him. When he walked out and saw his car again the next morning, he’d feel hurt and mad again. So he’d have to forgive again. Then again when he had to take time out of his life to take it to the body shop. Then again when he got the estimate for the paint job. Then again while he waited in the ridiculous line at the rental car shop.
Do you see a theme?
As simple as it is, it was so incredibly profound for me. I thought I’d chosen to forgive from such a pure place, but every time I was reminded, I felt hurt again and my defenses reared their ugly heads. It helped me to see forgiveness, not as a “forgive and move on” type of moment. But as a “forgive and keep forgiving” way of life.
Forgiveness isn’t a one time thing.
It isn’t just a big, teary moment, a burning of the letter, an “I forgive you” spoken in tears and trembling. It’s not a track you get to shuffle once it’s over. Nope. If you really want to be set free, forgiveness must be played on repeat.
It doesn’t have to be about the other person at all.
Forgiving isn’t about giving in to someone who hurt you in the past. Forgiveness is about not allowing them to hurt you, over and over again in the present. It’s about letting yourself heal, by letting go. By not drinking the poison of resentment.
I’ve been consciously choosing to forgive again. . . and sister, it’s hard.
It’s so much easier to go back to my old patterns. But I can see the path to freedom in forgiving on repeat and I don’t want to keep drinking the poison. I don’t want you to either.
So why don’t you give it a try today?
Every time you remember, set yourself free . . . forgive again.
I’d love to hear how it goes.
to more love (& forgiveness),