I had another vivid weird dream last night. This one has me up at 2am checking the peep-hole in our hotel room because I became convinced there was an intruder. I’m currently tapering off of Zoloft and everyday feels like a strange hangover that doesn’t get better as the day progresses – I feel stagnant and weak and it doesn’t help that I’m constantly feeling my pulse, imaging it plummeting, racing to the ER. Of course, this is why I was on the Zoloft to begin with: because I’d categorize myself as a hypochondriac and unlike addict, have zero issues with embracing the label and even wearing it slightly proudly.
This morning, while my fiancé snores next to me, I pull up my friend Laura’s blog to read her newest blog post. This post is on forgiveness. Forgiveness. Damn it even feels heavy to say. It’s a weighted word, but I word, I feel, we throw around casually. “Please forgive me?” “Do you forgive me now?” “What can I do for you to forgive me?” Often I’ve found myself eager to get it and eager to give it away. But, I had an internal battle brewing as I read through her post: I’m forgiven already. I don’t need it. Right? Self-doubt always popping up, making sure I’ll never be 100% satisfied. Right. Actually, yes. I’m forgiven and what I’m starting to learn is it matters less and less of person A utters that sentence or if person actually means what he or she says. They don’t dictate that, I do.
There’s something inside of me that’s always fought against my better judgement. I think some would call it, a self-destructive streak. I’m going to call it Mr. Nice Guy. My Mr. Nice Guy just wants everyone to get along. I mean EVERYONE. Years of carpet sweeping & carefully filing away hurts, only to be looked into deeper later…whenever that is. I’ve allowed him to ruin countless friendships, conversations, DAYS, vacations (yup he doesn’t discriminate). I’m so desperate for the back and forth of apology followed by forgiveness. I’m so eager to just move past it. I’m so determined to wrench any life out of what’s left. I have a friend who has no interest in having me in her life. She’s got bigger burdens to battle, but I couldn’t sit with that. I needed to be forgiven for my actions. I’d hurt her. Intentionally, she felt. That warranted some sort of closure, right?
I wish someone had told me weeks ago, no. I wish someone had sat me down and asked me, “did you account for your part? Did you pray? Have you told another human about this?” I wish they’d reiterated what I already know to be true, but have trouble remembering when I need to most, I am forgiven again and again. Because it’s really not about this disagreement, it’s really got nothing to do with this other person. My street is mine for a reason. Keeping it clean, ain’t her job. It’s mine. Maybe this is a selfish view. I’m not saying don’t seek closure, what I’m saying is running out of options doesn’t mean you don’t get to feel better. Running out of options often means you get what you needed: external confirmation that only you can do the inside work. Forgiveness: that’s an inside job. I have another friend who’s a little obsessed about what I have and she doesn’t. She’s resentful. She’s uncomfortable.
I’m determined to apologize for my wealth and any moments where it becomes obvious. Today, not so much. Today I woke up and saw the RADICAL difference in what I did and what I need to do: accept that this is her way of thinking, but my path leads to forgiveness. I forgive her, not because I think her actions aren’t odd and weird and make me uncomfortable, I forgive her because of all that. I forgive the piece of me that utters “I’m sorry” when I bump into a wall or scrape against a corner.
Forgiveness has more to do with me than it does the other person or persons. Cheryl Strayed writes this:
Forgiveness doesn’t just sit there like the pretty boy at the bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up the hill.
He takes work. He takes healing. He doesn’t take another person. I’ve read and reread that quote so many times over the years…but never did it make so much sense to me as it did right now. The way we treat apologizes and forgiveness are with an ease and cyclical feeling that unnerves me given any time to truly look. Are we that needy? Are we that unsure of our own selves? How much self-assurance not from us does it take us to see the word SELF? How much is too much? Personally, I need forgiveness on both those situations, but I’m only going to get it if I accept myself for who I am: a flawed person who makes mistakes (because who isn’t), but a person who knows she’s already forgiven. Forgiveness doesn’t run out. Time does. Don’t spend the time you’ve got left lamenting forgiveness. I forgive you. Today.