I was in Wal-Mart this morning before work picking up a few things and I saw this book by Joyce Meyers called: Do Yourself a Favor…Forgive. I bought it and plan to read it this weekend.
Here’s the thing: in my life forgiveness has come in 2 forms.
1. Forgiving someone you are still in relationship with.
2. Forgiving someone you have broken contact with.
The first of these, is far far easier than the second for me.
When the relationship is ongoing, the forgiveness process is just that…it is a process. You put away the feelings temporarily and you move on…basically you “fake it till you make it” and, if the friendship or relationship is strong enough, you work through the issues. You may have to make the choice to forgive day after day but you keep making it because the alternative is the end of the relationship. In these cases, ending the relationship is the last alternative you can imagine….you fight to keep what you have.
It is the times when you have severed contact with someone, it is much harder to forgive. Well, at least for me. In part it is more difficult because they are not there working on the relationship with you. Partly it is the fact that by severing the relationship you have acknowledged that it is not worth keeping and it is easy to put off the forgiveness part because you don’t ever have to see them again. And partly it is more difficult because if the crime was so bad to warrant the severing of the relationship altogether, there is a lot to forgive.
And so I find myself at a place I can’t yet handle. I need to forgive him and move on.
I know I have been blogging about my journey after this breakup but there is one thing I have not really talked a lot about. I have tried to focus on my feelings and the generalized things he did and not spell out the terrible acts in writing. If you knew all that I know, you would be appalled that I stayed as long as I did. In fact, if some of you knew all that I know, you would try to hunt him down. Some of you would be astounded with how much I put up with…and how much I enabled some of his behaviors. How eager I was to be all that he needed and wanted and was willing to accept so little in return.
In my head on a daily basis is all of the things that I should have done, said, been while we were together…not to save the relationship but to save myself from falling for a man capable of the deception he pulled off. When he did XX, I should have YY. When he said ZZ, I should have known then. I have been beating myself up for not taking action sooner. Not knowing. Not recognizing the behaviors.
I know that beating myself up is futile. And really it was not the point in my telling you. I say that because I have been spending a lot of time focusing on the time we were together. Good and bad. And really I need to spend my time on forgiving him for all of it. And forgiving me.
And moving forward.