Many of my posts will center around memories, but I do anticipate using this space to process feelings too. Here it goes.
If there are people in the world who can manage a wounded heart and provide immediate acceptance to the person who caused it, if not forgiveness...simultaneously...I would like to hug them, and ask them for guidance. As I flipped through an ancient mailbox this evening, my catalog of experiences was most easily measured by being hurt and then hurting in return. It is as though my heart was a slingshot, bending and stretching with every human interaction, and launching stones whenever the tension levied upon me relaxed.
So instead of digging out a nest in my warm and safe bed, cuddling my inner child while cursing the people who have hurt me and ignoring those I've hurt, I pushed myself to think of ways to resolve this heartache. I thought of the people in my life who have surely faced pain generated by someone else and imagined how they processed through it. In the case of my closest family, my parents, the longevity of their relationship is, essentially, marked by their ability to forgive. I can remember fights between Mom and Dad when I was growing up but somehow, despite the horrific heart-wrenching intensity of the disputes, they've worked through them. And with experiences involving people close to me, but not directly affecting me, I consider how they handle the pain and move through it. What makes some relationships last and others fall apart?
Most people are probably comfortable saying that they did the best they could with what they had, especially where interpersonal relationships are concerned. Forcing myself to reflect on my own past helps me process through my future. The past six months have been emotionally intense for me. Balancing the opinions of others with a very intense separation, that cost much more emotionally than it did in any other way, was something for which I was incredibly ill-prepared. While I'm not necessarily in a place where I could see any of these challenging people at a distant point in a bright, sun-soaked field and engage the instinct to run towards them with open arms, I am trying hard to forgive. I'm confident that when I reach a place in my head and heart where I can engage forgiveness quickly, my inclination to react by releasing heartache will ease.
There are few people on this planet who meticulously plan ways in which to hurt other people. We are generally tender and soft at some level of our being. Is this where forgiveness hides? I imagine that it is akin to a well-worn trampoline...bouncing and scooping harsh words and unkind sentiments that are sprung forth from careless, wounded hearts and minds. In all my years of living, I have very VERY rarely sought to hurt another human being, but as my mailbox told me tonight, I most certainly have been the root of pain. Conversely, the circumstances in which I have felt the most hurt must be moments of weakness, wherein the villains-within come out to protect something sad and sweet inside one's soul. Viewing the challenges of the past six months through this lense despite all the frustration and separation I've experienced and bracing myself with this perspective for the future, makes the seemingly bitter pill of forgiving so much easier to swallow.