In order for forgiveness to happen, something has to die. If you make a choice to forgive, you have to face into the pain. You simply have to hurt. – Brene Brown
Thirty Days of Forgiveness, as explained by my post on Oct. 27th, is no longer a practice in identifying people to forgive (including myself). It is now a practice in asking and answering these questions:
- What must die in order for me to forgive Them + Me? Expectations? Victimhood? Dreams/demands? Blame? The way it is supposed to be? The need to be right? Awesome stories of how I was wronged? Awesome stories of how I screwed up?
- If to forgive is to love, am I ready to love Them + Me? I mean really, there are some people/things we have no interest in loving—ever! Am I right? You know I’m right. I know I’m right.
- What pain must I face in order for me to forgive Them + Me? I’m sure the first question will fill in that blank easily enough.
- Am I willing to write publicly about it?
What must die?
The notion that I am owed an apology (or many apologies).
Can I love without an apology?
Forgiveness doesn’t work with contingencies. If forgiveness is love, there cannot be prerequisites. It’s a choice. A decision. A commitment. Apologies that are given reflexively are likely not sincere anyway. I can appreciate them when they are offered but an apology should be considered exactly that–an offering–and not a debt.
What pain must I face?
If I was ever wronged by anyone, that really sucks, but I am not entitled to an award for being the victim of that wrong. No one owes me an apology. No one, not even the people who deliberately hurt me. Not the people who mocked me when I was in pain. Not even the people who stole from me or took advantage of my disadvantages. The Universe will balance itself without me holding up my multitude of insults and injuries as a perpetual prompt to make someone else feel shame.
Can I own this publicly?