Forgive, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace. ~Author Unknown
For a moment think of how lonely you’d be on your life’s journey if you stayed mad at and held a grudge towards anyone who has ever hurt your feelings, disappointed you, made you angry or broke a promise…yes, indeed, wouldn’t we all be floating, isolated satellites never speaking to any one at any time. So what makes it so that we do have a strong desire to salvage relationships and friendships? What finally happens inside of us that we acquiesce and offer some sign that we are seeking a reunion as a way to reestablish peace?
We are not meant to be alone. We need our people. Our tribes and communities matter to us. But within these gathered groups of people whether roommates or family members or colleagues there are bound to be misunderstandings and battles. Those we care for the most can actually bring us the highest level of angst and disappointment. And what we don’t understand or have facts for, we can and easily do infuse our own fiction into the matter at hand.
Spending time apart with no communication is one way to create a much needed distance. A time to reflect on what the relationship really is, what it once was and what it can be if repaired. In the fury of a heated debate words and emotions fly. We say things not intended to be spoken aloud. We hash out old wounds which were best to be addressed years ago. Pride stands in the way of offering peace earlier. And time goes and goes. And time even runs out.
Sadly, the offer of peace and forgiveness may be realized too late. Both are best offered to a living and breathing person who can be talked to and held and hugged. Yet even for some of us offering forgiveness to someone departed can still bring peace. Just saying or writing or singing the words I forgive you in some form is the beginning to seeking peace and finding freedom.
Some relationships mend. Some relationships end. In the very process of forgiving are the keys required to make an important choice. To fight for this and stay. Or to let it go and leave. Either way, arriving at and coming to terms with whatever it is that happened and offering forgiveness moves us forward. Frees us. The act of forgiveness is so very personal and cannot be contrived or done for or by anyone else. Sometimes forgiveness never comes.
We tend to pride ourselves on living a moral life with ethical standards. But perhaps we set the bar too high? Are people disappointing us because we simply expect too much of their time and attention and caring? Do we not consider their worlds and circumstances enough to stop and wonder is everything ok? Maybe we are not being ignored after all. Maybe that person is going through a rough patch, a dark time and needs help rather than criticism for seeming to disappear. The abyss to reconciliation is wide, impossible it seems. Reach out. Check in. Understand.
Into a mountain wind ask for the strength to forgive and to come to a place of peace and clarity. Into a mountain wind the answers swirl around us and are eager to be heard. Listen closely. Watch closely. We are not meant to be alone. We need our people. Our tribes and communities matter to us.