Thursday, June 18, 2009

Have You Forgiven All You Can Forgive?

Someone recently posed this question: "Have you forgiven all you can forgive?"


It appears to be such an innocent question, doesn't it? Harmless enough. Forgive and forget. That's what they say, right? But when you really ponder it, it's a very deep question with potentially disturbing answers that you might not want to consider.

Have you forgiven all you can forgive?

Boy, that got me to thinking. (Ruh-Roh. LOL!)

I pretty much always try to forgive those who have wronged me. Not necessarily because I think they deserve forgiveness, but usually because I'm trying to rid myself of the negativity that remains when you have someone in your life you continue to hold resentment towards. Don't get me wrong, I often forgive people out of compassion and because I try to see their side and give the benefit of the doubt. But, I admit that there are people I have forgiven merely for the sake of dispelling the negativity out of my life. Basically, there are one or two whom I have deemed unworthy of even my resentment. I realize this doesn't seem to mesh with my belief that we are all one and we do need to love each other, have compassion for everyone and spread love, compassion and only positive energy to make the world a better place. I mean, really, how can you love someone that you don't hold in high enough esteem to be worthy of your negative feelings, much less your positive ones? So, yeah, I see the contradiction. And no, I don't have the answer to that question. I am hopeful, however, that one day I'll figure it out.

So, as I contemplated whether there was anyone in my life I had not forgiven the following, more disturbing, question came to mind: "How do you forgive someone who has committed the unforgivable?" I don't ask this merely as a philosophical question, I really do have one person in my life that I have been unable to forgive, even though I have tried. And I would truly love to know the answer to that question. There are friends and family of mine who would probably ask me why I would even want to forgive in this instance. But, there is one beautiful, innocent voice that has forgiven and once said to me me: "...that was a long time ago." 3 years. A long time ago? For some, perhaps, I guess. I envy her ability to forgive and still love this person. I wish I could, too. Right now my wish to forgive is purely selfish. I would like relief from the pain, anger and resentment that arises when I remember. Sometimes I think I have forgiven and moved on, but then there are times, like now, when a simple question brings back all the feelings of betrayal and the tears that inevitibly come with it. Yes, these are the times when I realize I have not forgiven and I wish I could so I didn't have to feel this way anymore.

I don't know, maybe I'm wrong in thinking that forgiveness will release the pain and hurt. The anger and resentment, perhaps, but the pain, too? I wonder. I truly hope so, because if not, I will be very disappointed when I finally am able to forgive.

As I sit here and ponder these things, a deeper, darker question of blame begins to arise back there in the dark recesses of my mind. You know the kind of blame I mean. The type of blame that is unwarranted and unreasonable but remains there nagging you anyway. The 'should haves' and 'what ifs.' The type of blame a parent dumps upon themself, as if parents are omniscient. Even though I know it's illogical, I have a sneaky suspicion there is some blame lurking in the back of my mind. Knowing that blame is there, perhaps the biggest question I must consider in order to resolve the pain and my inability to forgive is this: "Have I forgiven myself?" Perhaps that is where I'll finally find the answer.