Monday, January 28, 2013

Forgiving without Forgetting

I'm called to not only forgive, but to intercede for those who have wronged me. They are people, worthy of eternity. This is so easy to forget.

However, their past deeds do not fade from my mind. These things leave scars that never heal. I'm left with the seams that I trail my thoughts over, hating the feel but unable to help the obsession. How do I get past it? I'm stuck here in this circular pattern. I want out of this trap.

I am a network of ridges, dimples, and scabs. Infections lay underneath, waiting to boil up and fester. Is this the result of forgiveness or un-forgiveness? I think I'm asking the wrong questions. It's the outcome of unmended relationships that have trickled down to every arena of my life. I absolved my betrayers' responsibilities, while believing that I must take them over. No.

I must let them go. I cannot carry them for they are too heavy and too painful to hold. The scars are unsurprising.

Yet even as I move on from the hurts, the memory of them follows. Can I outrun them? No, that would be an unnecessary effort. I am to use them, empower myself. They are evidence of bestowed strength, and I would be foolish to escape that.

I must never forget that, although at times my focus skews inward and I wallow in my pain because I am thinking small. The meanness of my perceptions pushes out everyone who stands beside me until I convince myself that I am alone. My vision then grows smaller and smaller until I can no longer see. I've blinded myself.

Now when I try to open my eyes, I am still in the dark. Even if light comes near, I turn away. It hurts my eyes. But the deepness of my void scares me, and I begin searching for that light. It's a futile exercise with sightless eyes.

I want out so I finally decide to find help. By this point I'm broken and ashamed--all because someone wronged me. I'm led back into the world and startled to find people waiting for me. But I forget that I'm not helped yet. I'm still holding onto something, my hands spasming.

Somewhere down the road I get used to keeping my hands closed. But I slam against a wall and to protect myself I open my hands. I drop those debts that don't belong to me, still unpaid. Then, I ask for them to be taken away. The burden that lifts amazes me.

What do I do know? I move on and use those ghosts that don't quite recede to build myself up and to keep my eyes open for those who are in the same position I once was. But what about the betrayer in my life. I forgave, but do I have a right to demand change?

That I don't know.

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