My greatest act of forgiveness
Today as I strolled along the beach alone talking to myself or more accurately talking to someone who wasn’t there, it occurred to me that I may have finally well and truly lost my marbles. Slightly embarrassed by my actions I would bring my conversation to a low murmur when walking past other people. This conversation was one I had been putting off for a good 18 months. It was part of the reason I chose to wander the earth in the first place. It was a conversation I knew I would have one day, eventually, when the time was right and I had been eagerly awaiting its arrival. It was a conversation that I needed to have with a certain person and sadly never got the chance. Today I had a conversation with the person who will receive my greatest forgiveness … and this person is dead.
“Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner”
I believe strongly in forgiving those who have done wrong by you, and unfortunately I have had plenty of practice. It took me a long time to see that the only person you hurt by holding onto anger is yourself. That forgiveness is a way to set yourself free. That it is not the person and their actions that hold you captive, it is in fact yourself. This ability to forgive is one of the qualities I feel a great sense of pride in ownership however there has been one person of whom I have not been able to forgive prior to today. In I guess what they call denial, I would tell myself I wasn’t angry with this person instead that their actions were unforgivable and that they did not require my forgiveness. But the only person I was hurting by holding on was myself.
Today as I walked along the beach I finally found the strength and honesty within myself to ask this person, this man, the questions that have plagued me for the past 18 months. Of course, when anyone hurts you the real question you want an answer to is why? However dead or alive you will never fully understand why someone chose to treat you in a hurtful manner. So despite my subject not being able to answer the question, it was far more important for me to learn how obtain closure without any sort of an explanation. To find peace without an apology … something I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to do.
I often wonder what it is that compels us to hold on the negative rather than the positive. You could receive a thousand compliments but I bet you won’t forget those few negative comments that are said to you or you can receive great feedback for something and the only thing you will hear is the few things you could slightly work on. It seems to be in our nature to hold on to things that went wrong instead of embracing and owning what went right. One of my favourite quotes is
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” – Charles R. Swindoll
And today more than ever I have embraced that.
So today as I strolled along the beach, talking out loud to a man who passed away some 18 months ago I came to a point where I had said what I needed to say and forgave the person of whom has hurt me the most in my life. A person of whom when I reflected on, all I saw was 27 years of pain. A person I assumed would explain themselves to me before their passing and never did. The person who more than anyone on this earth I wanted to love me and it appears was not capable of expressing that. Today I forgave my father.
And I have to say, I am feeling 10kg lighter right now!