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Monday

Granting Clemency


I'm a deeply spiritual woman. In the way that church pews are unnecessary, religious text doesn't guide me, because I'm always in touch with those who walk with me and guide me. I "see" and "hear" when it's necessary, but that responsibility to can be heavy. and like the next person, I am guilty of turning up the volume on external noise to keep from hearing the message within. You may sit with your pastor, or your priest, every now and then I'll get a reading. Since I was a child I've been hearing the word "forgiveness." I've worked hard at this concept, since I was old enough to comprehend what I thought it meant. It's still coming up though, making me question whether I've ever achieved forgiveness. Like any good nerd, I looked the word up.

for-give (verb)
stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake.
used in polite expressions as a request to excuse or regard indulgently one's foibles, ignorance, or impoliteness.

I identify with anger, and thought I knew resentful, but I was looking for the word "hurt" in there somewhere. Naturally, I had to look up resentful and make sure I hadn't misunderstood.

re-sent-ful (adjective)
feeling or expressing bitterness or indignation at having been treated unfairly.

Ok, got that, but still didn't see the word "hurt." I had to question if maybe I was using that word incorrectly too. You know what I did...

hurt (noun)
physical injury; harm.
mental pain or distress.

My take on this is that resentment is perhaps what describes the mental pain or distress felt when someone has treated us unfairly. Resentment is deep to me, and I don't identify with feeling that for too many people or too many situations, though I admittedly resent a few people, places, things. Resentment is a feeling I think is difficult to move past, while hurt can easily be healed from. Remember when you were little? Somebody hurt your feelings, they apologized on their own or by force (lol) and you forgave them. Simple, right?

Sounds like it. But it can't be. I'm not livin' bitter, but should certain things come up in a conversation, I can still feel them. I've been told that means I haven't forgiven. I just think it means that I haven't forgotten. Somehow forgive and forget always go hand in hand when people are advising you. I just don't see how it's possible to forget things that affected your life. I might forget the dude's name I met Friday night because he hasn't--and probably never will--become important. On the other hand, I remember the moment I noticed the shoe garden growing on Monica's office floor because it opened the way for our friendship. If I forget, especially the things that caused me "hurt," aren't I destined to fall into similar traps again and repeat my mistakes?

I'm beginning to think that forgiving others is a pointless exercise. I believe that eventually the pain lessens and you can deal with each other again, though in a new and altered reality. The pain that may still be carried in relation to what you and another went through is self-directed.

I have to forgive myself. Why doesn't that feel like it'll be any easier?
All I can do is give it a shot.

Watch me move.

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