Forgiving - Not Losing

I think of this quite a bit.  I was so angry and hurt by several people, thinking "how could they this or that to me? how can be that way?", feeling so angry towards them.  I would have even described them as my "#1 enemy or something of that sort.

Who likes feeling that way?  I am not good at forgiving at all.  I probably hold grudges way too long and in the past it has been pretty much impossible for me to let go.

I think a chain reaction began one morning when we were attending church.  The whole morning was about "Forgiveness" - the message, the music, there was a very moving video and heartbreaking testimony.  That is why I say an entire morning - they really tried to bring the message home.

For me, it did.  I could not hold my tears back, and actually sobbed through most of it.  I was so tired of holding on to hate and anger, and what was it doing for me?

There is a song I found (or was it sung that day?) that described EXACTLY how I felt.  If I forgave, or said that *I* was sorry, then I would feel like I was the one who was losing...again.  It really had not been in me to forgive.

We left church, and although I did not exactly try to shake the feeling, it stayed with me but I was not quite sure what to do with it.

I had several people I was carrying anger towards.  Of course my mother, and I struggled with that one.  I *think* I have forgiven her, but it was a struggle.  I decided in the end that just because I forgave her did not mean I had to reach out and try to start a relationship.

There were two people that I did not get along with AT ALL.  I had been so angry and upset with them for YEARS.

I thought about both of them quite a bit, turning situations over and over in my mind.  I decided that I needed to own my part of the situations, regardless of what they did.  To each one, I apologized (via Facebook message), extremely, extremely sincerely about what I had done and asked for forgiveness

I think both of them were stunned.  Fast forward to today.  They are now two very good friends, and I highly value each of their friendships.  I do not for one second take either of them for granted, and take the time to nurture the relationships I have with them.  I realize now that both of them do not let people into their lives easily and feel fortunate that they do count me as a friend.

What changed?  I did, and I cannot explain why exactly.  Yes, I was extremely touched by a message at church, but for whatever reason, I had to be willing to accept it and change as well.

This is the song and video I watched OBSESSIVELY, trying to understand myself, and realizing I wasn't the only one who felt that forgiving would be like losing.

Losing - Tenth Avenue North

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