I am sitting here, thinking. Thinking about anger, pain, bitterness and forgiveness. I am one of those people who is my own inner psychologist. When I am upset, frustrated, irritable, angry, or sad I have this inner conversation with myself, (I know, I’m totally making myself sound psycho right about now…) but I really do! I will start to ask myself questions about how I am feeling, why I am feeling that way, what made me feel that way, is it ok to feel that way, am I just letting myself become a victim etc. You get the picture. Anyway, this usually helps me work through what is going on and figure out if I am being irrational, completely emotional, plain crazy, or justified. And I need time. Time to go through this process with myself. If I don’t stop and take the quite time I need to go on this journey with myself, I will not understand or know why I am feeling the emotions I am. If asked in the heat of a moment what I am feeling or why…..I will honestly not know. I’m serious. I will have no answer. I have experienced this before where I will honestly say that I have no idea, and the person asking will proceed to become angrier and even more frustrated, and will continue to pester me because I don’t have an answer. Sometimes, when I explain that I need the time to figure it out, they get even MORE mad. They simply cannot understand why I would need to go sit and think, that I should just know right then and there. But that is not the way I work. My mind, heart, soul and being just cannot comprehend the emotions until I walk myself through it.
That being said, I have been faced with something difficult today. I’m not sure I can even begin to explain it, or that I even want to. I am not someone who gets genuinely mad very easily. I tend to be quick to understand, see things from someone else’s perspective, give grace and the benefit of the doubt, and forgive. That being said, however, when someone has crossed the line and done things that are extremely hurtful, disrespectful, mean and degrading, and have reached a point where these things are not just a one instance circumstance…..I mean I can be understanding, accidents happen, mistakes are made, there is forgiveness and grace. I will be the first to understand and be empathetic. However, there comes a time when enough is enough. I will not stand to be walked on, to let those I love be walked on, become a victim or let those I love become a victim. Enough is enough. If I have reached the point where I am genuinely mad about something, you can bet that there is no confusion as to why. It will have been made clear and made known long before it reaches the point of genuine anger.
Then there’s forgiveness. I know we are all called to forgive. And to forgive seventy times seven, (in other words, endlessly…) and that everyone needs forgiveness. I know that I am supposed to forgive even when I haven’t been apologized to or asked of forgiveness. But there are times when I just don’t feel like I can. There are times where there has been hurricane after hurricane of damage done, and I look at the rubble left behind and see nothing but a desolate land. Nothing but destruction, pain, anguish, hurt, deceit, and a lack of passion. Do I want to have hope and believe that it can be restored? Yes. Do I believe that it could happen someday? Yes. However, if I can’t see even a sign of life from underneath the rubble, how am I to actually believe it? Especially when there has been a pattern of destruction and deceit? There have been times when I have gone back and started to search through the damage and look for hope. Searching for that tiny glimpse of life within, and reached out in tears trying to find it…only to be let down again, to continue the pattern of emptiness and pain. How can I allow that to happen and continue to happen to those I love? Right now, I am not sure I am at a place of forgiveness. I would hope that if presented the opportunity I would take it and forgive with no looking back. But with my experiences, I’m not sure I can. I know I’m supposed to forgive and “forget,” but I don’t know that I can.
There’s a quote I heard back in my senior year of high school that resonated with me then, and now at times. “Relationships are like glass. Sometimes its better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together.” I remember a drawing I did back then with this quote, of a picture frame of a couple, that was shattered on the ground. I am not a pessimist. I try to see the best in people and be understanding. But there are times when it just isn’t worth it to try to fix things when it will only lead to more pain. There are patterns sometimes. People create patterns for themselves and not always good ones. When there is a continuous pattern of destruction, I’m not sure I want to put myself back in the line of the hurricane. Maybe its fear? Maybe it’s bitterness? Maybe it’s both? But you can be sure it’s for a reason.
I guess life really is a journey. Sometimes it seems easier to just forget, and move on. Not necessarily forgiving. Maybe that’s fear that puts the shield up that makes me feel that way? I have my own story. My own past and history of pains and living in a land that felt pretty similar to the description of Mordor ;) and I know that I don’t ever want to go back. Maybe I feel as though if I open the door to this, that I’ll land right back there. I don’t know. What I do know, is that I haven’t truly forgiven. And right now, it sure feels like forgetting has been working out fine for me. Keeping that desolate land at a far far distance. Because, well, I don’t want to go back there. Ever.
Some might argue that harboring bitterness and anger is like living in Mordor (let’s just call this desolate land Mordor.) And I guess it is, but only if you choose to stay there. Why can’t it stay in this far corner? I don’t go there, I hardly have to deal with it, as it doesn’t really involve me except for the pain I felt by watching a hurricane go through someone else’s life. I just choose to walk away and not look back. Maybe if someday it gets resolved on its own and rebuilt, then I’ll be willing to cautiously return. But, I don’t really want to be involved. I’ve had my share of attempting to rebuild a desolate land and it’s not pretty or fun, and it’s just filled with pain. I don’t want to be on a rebuilding team again. I’m done with that. So I would much rather prefer to keep everything at a far distance.
I don’t know. I’m not ready.