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 belief that someone who truly loves me can’t/won’t lie to me or betray me. This is some of the most painful hogwash circling the globe. The presence of a lie or a betrayal of trust does not equal the absence of love. It is completely possible, probable, and likely to love someone and lie to him or her, or to betray the trust of someone dearly loved. Likewise, people who love us do lie to us, do betray our trust, do let us down. It hurts like hell but it doesn’t mean love was false or absent.
If to forgive is to love, can I love anyway?
Once again, it’s the only logical choice. Nearly everyone lies. Nearly everyone withholds the whole truth at times. And everyone is certainly capable of lying or committing some act of betrayal against me, even if they’ve pledged or vowed loyalty to me by use of the world Love. In most cases it is only a matter of time before human nature prevails and destroys the fantasy for both the betrayer and betrayee. Withholding love sets a twisted double standard, as in “I refuse to love (forgive) you because your lie implies that you don’t love me!” That’s childish and solves nothing. It certainly doesn’t take the sting out of being betrayed, nor does it prevent betrayals in the future.
What pain must I face?
People who love will hurt me. Period. Love is not enough to prevent anyone from hurting me. Sometimes it works out that way but most of the time it does not. People who know in advance that lying to me will break my heart will do it anyway and love me while they are doing it. I will be betrayed by people who love me while they are betraying me. Love and lies can and do coexist.
Can I own this publicly?