“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different.”
Forgiving those that hurt us is such a complicated act.
At first I was unable to even think of forgiving my abusive father. And then I thought I had to forgive him, to feel better. But I also thought then that forgiveness was akin to a pardon, and let him and all of his toxicity back in my life. It took many painful years to understand that I could forgive him, but in order to close the road to the past I had to close the road to him as well. You can’t forgive and put it in the past if someone is still hurting you in the present. I understand this now.
It took me so many years to shake the guilt, shame, and sense of obligation. I put on a happy face and played the part of the good daughter, because I knew nothing else to do. I do now. I know what to do. No more playing parts or plastering on quiet smiles. I am always me now. Good or bad, happy or sad, whatever, I am authentic.
Now the most complicated part has actually been forgiving myself. Still working on this one, but see glimpses of that road closing too. The same theory applies here. I did terrible things, I hurt myself and my family in numerous ways through desperate acts of despair. I thought there was no way to pardon those acts. So my new idea fits with the quote on the top.
I have stopped hoping that the past could be different. I am no longer stuck. I forgive my parents, my brothers, my husband, myself, hell, I even forgive the world (and God? That’s another story I’m not sure I’ll ever tackle in this blog).
My hope to change the past has transformed into acceptance of my present and hope for my future. When I stopped looking back, and closed that road, I could finally see all the roads inviting me forward. Sometimes I still stumble, and look back and flood myself with fear and old familiar pain. Sometimes. Not all of the time. And when I do look back now, I can see that road closed sign is much, much farther away, vanishing behind me with each step forward I take.