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