Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm not gonna pretend...

This has not been a good week for me. It's been a roller coaster. I've had a hard time emotionally- and I have cried until my eyes were swollen shut. I've been at times sad, angry, confused, shocked, and then sad again.

I laid at night, not able to sleep...thoughts running through my head. I heart hurt. I told God in no uncertain terms that I was angry with Him for encouraging me to trust. I laid it all before him, raised my voice in anger and disappointment. There was no room in my heart or head for my usual praise or gentle prayer. I expected anger in return, but all I got was a huge uplifting rush of grace. I was held, even when I was angry. I was forgiven for my harshness. I was loved even in the face of my rage. He also reminded me in his gentle way of all the wrongs I had committed against others, and that I was not immune to hurt.

All of this allowed me to forgive, and to feel good about it. To feel love and strength in forgiving. To feel love for the people who wronged me, on a deep level, as human beings. They love me, and they hurt me. They have sorrow over it. This allows me to love them even more. It is an amazing feeling.

I have read several of Clarissa Pinkola Estes works. All of them, in some way or another, touch on forgiveness, but her most humbling passage for me is one that is the most simple:

“How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to say about it all.” (Clarissa Pinkola Estes)

This struck such a chord with me when I first read it, mostly because I was not a forgiving person at the time. Now, I know and understand each word intimately.

I learned alot about myself in the past week. I am stronger than I think. I can forgive utterly and completely. I can love others even when they hurt me. I can choose to stand and fight for an important relationship even when I want to cut and run. I will be hurt by those that love me. I will probably hurt them at some point. But as long as there is true sorrow and compassion there is always forgiveness.