Sunday, February 5, 2012

Getting a Grip

Some days I wonder if every day is truly a clean slate. You can't really go back and erase the past and start each day afresh. So, what does that phrase really mean?  It's something I've had to really think about in the last couple of days. 

One of the hardest things I've had to deal with is remembering the stupid mistakes I've made in my life. Mistakes that have made people laugh with their ridiculousness. Mistakes that have embarassed me even though people didn't really notice.  Mistakes that hurt myself and those around me. Mistakes that led to the worst decisions anyone could ever choose to make. I've had to come to grips with the reality of a life poorly lived.
Now, admitedly noone's life is perfect.  Everyone makes mistakes and has to live with the consequences of those mistakes. My problem is that I'm living with the consequences of mistakes that someone else made. Not as in a different person, but as in a different personality. Someone I have no hope of ever truly understanding. Someone who was told over and over how worthless she was. Someone who was emotionally abused by a family member she trusted and then by the man she chose to try to live the rest of her life with. The person I am now doesn't remember those difficult circumstances. I live in dread of the day when those memories return, which probably have something to do with why I don't remember yet.  I'm not blaming my bad decisions on a bad past, just saying that I can't really get a grip on the thought processes behind them because I have no point of reference on an emotional level.

I'm still human and I still make very poor decisions. I still have to live with the consequences of those decisions, and at the same time I have to relive poor decision of the past and deal with the ongoing consequences of those. Worse still is the lack of forgiveness and love coming from some corners. I hear all the time that "I've forgiven you, but I will never forget." Well, noone would ask you to forget, me more so than most. Forgetting and letting go are two different things. Letting go is not throwing the past in a peron's face over and over and over and over again. Bringing up mistakes made in the past every time something upsets you because you can't let go of the bitterness is proving that your statement of forgiveness is an untruth.

I guess that a clean slate is not starting each day fresh with no mistakes in it. It's actually starting each day with a clean heart. A heart that isn't harboring anger and bitterness. A heart that is open to the truth behind very complex issues behind other people's mistakes. A heart full of love and determination that, as the day progresses, forgiveness will be granted over and over as many times as necessary. A heart that will show God's love of everyone, no matter how terrible the mistakes that they've made.

That's the only way for me to get a grip with all the bitterness being sent my way daily from people that I love more than my life.
"Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting." ~ William Arthur Ward
"Forgiveness is like faith. You have to keep reviving it." ~ Mason Cooley


  1. Unfortunately, part of the ugly truth is, a person can only interpret what he or she has seen, heard and experienced, and the less a person has experienced life, the more the more limited his or her ability is to do that. Those with little perspective have much to learn, but hopefully there will be time in which to learn it. I can only hope that those exercising this non-forgiving brand of so-called forgiveness will stop lashing out at you, throwing your humanness in your face as a means of hurting you--because that is not what Christ had in mind when He taught us to "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have tresspassed against us."

    "Forgiveness doesn't mean that we've forgotten the event that caused us the pain, but that we give up the right to get even with that person. The twang of pain may still hit from time to time. We can't control that. But we can control what we do or don't do about it."--Lisa Berry

    1. Sometimes the one doing the forgiving has to ask God to give them the ability to forgive, leave the matter with Him, and let Him do a work in their own heart.


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