The process of forgiveness is a strange one. Much like grief, I believe, there are phases we go through.
First we’re angry, silently replaying the scene in our heads, imagining the stinging retorts we should’ve made.
Then, you feel like crap, the reality of what they said sinking in.
Then rationalization – “well, they didn’t really mean it.”
Once we’ve rationalized it, we’re now on the slippery downward slope to imagining ourselves magnanimously forgiving the person with some God like grace.
But what if that person doesn’t feel remorse for what they’ve done? What if they think what they’ve done is funny? What if they gloat about it? What if they simply don’t believe what they’ve done is wrong, and simply expect you to move past the experience (please refer to previous post to gather what I’m referencing) as if it never happened?
The truth is that forgiveness goes without question…but I still feel like I’m holding onto something from the experience that I can’t quite put my finger on. I suppose I want to draw something from it, learn a lesson of some sort. But maybe the lesson is simply the forgiveness.
We’ve heard so many wonderful people liken forgiveness to freedom, but what the hell does that really mean? Freedom from what? I can’t help but think this has something to do with wanting to hold on to the experience, or rather the sense that I’m holding on to something.
Forgiving my cousin isn’t, really, for him – if I’m following this idea of freedom – it’s for me. Forgiving him means that I’m now allowed to be bitter, or angry. I’m not allowed to continue to ruminate and stew on the event. I’m not allowed to continue the cycle of abuse and violence . Most importantly… I’m not allowed to carrying this forward into the future.
I’ve forgiven him, no?
Then let’s move on.
That’s what’s meant by freedom.