torsdag 12. januar 2017

Contemplating forgiveness

Thought it'd be pretty straight forward writing this blog entry once I started writing. To open a new entry and just start writing about the things which has been on my mind for a while now. It is not easy, for where to begin? When one thinks about forgiveness, doing your best, moving on - and in short: the feelings related to is so not easy at all. It is so complicated.

Let's - for argument's sake - say that you have made some mistakes in your time, and may have hurt other people. Is it always straight forward to say sorry and be forgiven? Does it depend on the severity of the mistake? Is the context in which the mistake happened, essential? If you, at the time, did your very long should you pay for what you have done? And should you, really?
Let me put something into context for you. A young mother with two kids and a man who drinks quite a bit. Is she to blame for all her mistakes? Working with kids, I have seen how some can be traumatized by growing up under such conditions, and those feelings are definitely real and justified. But how to move on? Imagine you're the mother in this situation, what would you have done and how would you feel if you got grief from your own children for all time? Also, imagine you're the child and how you would feel. It isn't really easy, to either imagine or understand.
Then, imagine your own life and ask yourself if you've ever made mistakes, even if you did your best from what you had available of resources and knowledge. If you honestly can say that you could not have done anything different. And while thinking of this, remind yourself that you might not know in that situation, what you know now. Is it fair to even call it a mistake, at the time? Or is it easy to call it a mistake, knowing what you do now? Do you see the difference? I strongly believe that every action, everything that happens, happens in a context and that you cannot always see somthing that happens as an isolated incidence (even if if happened more than once). Maybe there was something that you're not aware of, that had a big impact on what happened; other traumas, financial situation...whatever...

So far, so good. Mistakes happen and you might have done your best. But what about the aftermath? What about the feelings one strive with as you grow older? Some get angry, and that may be justified, but how to deal with it, how to move on? For some it might be right to pull away from what is hurting in a sort of "out-of-sight-out-of-mind-kinda-way". But can you truly pull away, og will you always carry it inside, deep down? Is there a third party that in some way always will remind you of what has been? Is there a third party that could be caught in the middle? Is it fair to them or just collateral damage?

Maybe there will always be some anger and resentment towards someone who did you wrong (or is it only until later that you realized that you wished it was different?) Then there's age... Some things, and this I know myself, can have a greater impact on you than others, depending on how old you are, how experienced you are, how mature you are and so on. And I'm not saying that to belittle the situation, just to bring some perspective into the equation. Because how long, and how much are you supposed to pay for things that might have been different, had the whole situation been different? (reminder: Things happen in a context) A month? Forever?
So how do you move on from the trauma, how do you cope? Maybe you need and feel you are entitled to an apology from whoever you feel did you wrong. Maybe you have tried to talk things through, maybe you just don't have the energy to do so. How can you really be free of the conflicted feelings? If you're expecting an answer from me, you won't get it - because I don't know the situation you are in. But I will tell you something about my situation. As many others in society, I was bullied at school, I was the uncool girl in class, I was often left alone and I got many hurtful comments from the kids at school. Did they hurt? Absolutely. It doesn't exactly lift your spirits when kids make hurtful comments about the age of your dad, the shape of your fingernails, the clothes you wear, things you say and so on. I was angry for a long time and I pulled away, but I always carried it inside. I always frowned when I hear a name of someone that bullied me. Today, at the age of 38, I can say that I've moved on. I can never forget completely, but I CHOSE (writing in capital letters as I feel the ord is so powerful) to forgive them. Maybe they didn't know better, maybe they were simply cruel. Honestly, at this present moment, I don't care. But the power of forgiveness is so strong, I tell you. Of course I wish it never happened, of course I wish they could take it all back and say they're sorry for what they did. But you know what? I really don't need it anymore.
Whatever happened back then sure did shape me in a way. It made me more aware of "the golden rule", and that I shouldn't do to others what I don't want others to do to me. For that I am in fact thankful. It has been a long road to get to where I am today, and a difficult winding road at that. But no matter how I twist the Words, everything in my past has made me what I am today, good and bad. Today I am darn proud of who I've become, and what I've accomplished. Could this apply to you too? Can you forgive someone like that? Is it possible. Absolutely. Is it easy?  Absolutely not. Can it help to talk about it? Absolutely. Is it easy? Probably not, it might even hurt a great deal. Only you can anwswer that.

I can only hope to bring some perspective to someone out there.
Sometimes I wish I could travel back in time to change what's been. To have some sort of time-machine to go back in time. But I don't and I can't. No matter how hard I wish, I cannot change anything in the past, it is simply not within my powers to do so. I can only control myself, and I have somewhat control over how I respond to things around me. I can only whange what I do in the present moment and plan for the future.

(in the philosophical mood today)

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