“I never knew how strong I was until I had to forgive someone who wasn’t sorry and accept an apology I never received.”
noun 1. stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake
Forgiveness is a narrow road. I find it often and journey along it and then something happens and I find myself veering off the path into the forest of bitterness and rage and frustration. Shaking my fist at the universe for choosing me for such difficulties. Wondering if I somehow brought it down on myself. Wondering how long I’m expected to suffer. Questioning how much one woman is really supposed to take.
I do not like that dark place in the forest of rage. It’s taxing and endless and lonely and makes my bones ache. But every so often I like to dig deep into the foliage and lash out. I take comfort in digging myself into the hole of hatred. Of depression. Of not giving a single f*ck. And I pull the canopy of loathing and wallowing in self pity over my head and hunker down. It’s an easy place to take refuge and get lost in. It would be an easy place to live in. But then I remind myself that I do not like it. I do not want to be that person. I cannot be that person.
And so I go in search of the road of forgiveness again. Pulling myself out of bed when I’d rather get lost in the sheets and sadness. Reaching out to someone to talk me out of the pit. Running a mile or more to get the ick out. Holding on to a scripture like a mantra. Sometimes it just comes in the form of saying, “Jesus, you’re gonna have to love him because I don’t” and just letting go. And I shirk off the canopy with its weirdly welcome discomfort. I push away the ugly thoughts and the disgust I feel. I square my shoulders, step back on that thin road, and navigate it by choosing love. If not for him then for me.
Living in the forest of rage is only dangerous for myself. It hardens me. Burdens me. Builds up walls. Blocks my ability to open up to light, life, and positive. Without the choice to forgive constantly, I would get lost in the darkness. I’d let him win. I’d lose myself all over again. And I refuse to let that become my story.
So without any apology. Without an ounce of regret. Without deserving it, I choose to forgive. I forgive my monster over and over and over. I may fall off that narrow road when I see my child crying or frightened or hurting because of his selfish choices but I climb back on. I may dive off when I see what he is doing to my daughter but I crawl back on. I may go running into the forest of darkness with hateful thoughts and evil hopes that I should never utter but I resolutely get back on. It does take strength. Resounding strength. An undeniable amount of gumption and resolve and being intentional. And it is exhausting. He does not deserve it but I do. It is my necessary. It gives me back my freedom. It gives me back my peace.
I have to continuously forgive a man that is not sorry. But that is okay, I’m up to the task.
“It is not an easy journey, to get to the place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you.” -Tyler Perry