Wednesday, August 19, 2015
My trail of forgiveness and grudges
Contrary to the beliefs I hold, spiritually, religiously in a savior and redeemer who forgave my sins, for much of my life I held the sins of others as grudges against them. I held them against them until I could barely hold on... keeping them until I could no longer keep track of the many I had. I am not writing this blog to redeem or save others, but rather, provide a profile and memoir of my life due to it being placed upon my heart to record it. Therefore I will assume people who are interested will look into Christianity and Jesus Christ for the particular lessons of forgiveness and redemption involved here.
I am by no means perfect as has been recounted in many of my previous entries. I am flawed beyond belief. But, I've reached a place in my journey as a person that knows who I am and I do intend to influence if not control how I express myself and how I hope to be perceived. People often place their attitudes towards a person into words, and then recall saying it and call it to be a fact. In some respects I've never cared how others view me in the way that, well, I am who I am, and I won't apologize for it. But, I do indeed care when some people judge me, often repeatedly and unfairly because of my outlook and refusal to conform to societal norms. Most people do not understand my journey, nor do they assume with any sort of generosity about my intentions or past motives. This is not to say I blame them, I think life is life, and no one owes me a fair judgment. But at the same time, there are things people say or do, that hurt me, because I care about them, and they did not give me the consideration of a fair or kind or even normal consideration before declarations.
People are not always wrong in their judgments towards me. I recognize that. I also know, that people, friends, family or not, are not always being ungenerous. Life can sometimes be harsh, so can truth. But also, sometimes no matter what you do, your intentions, results, and efforts cannot be seen.
In my life I have seen that the most utterly flawed are aware of their flaws. Judgment upon their unchanging flaws and their permanent issues is very unfair. But, how much in the end, how much judgment does an adult really want to hear? If you are even modestly intelligent, you likely think about what you do in life. If you are moral you have a conscience. Judgment from others isn't going to help you grow, or help you understand a situation more, except in the most rare of exceptions. The most hyper critical people in life are the most fatally flawed, and utterly, I think, personally without worth. They cannot see worth in others because they are so without esteem they pick apart others to give them some sort of sense of better, in the context. But they've simply ignored the grave absence of worth in their soul. They are ugly, soul inward, body outward.
One grudge began when a person endangered my son when he was 3 years old. The jerk never apologized, and, well, worse he acted the fool and tried to avoid any responsibility. Since my son is now 16, and my sole treasure in life outside of my cats, and wife, I hope you can understand, I do not trust nor like him. Sadly, since he is family, it has caused issues. I still have not forgiven the jerk, despite my stubborn but probably false belief that I am fully clear on the forgiveness front. I just find it impossible, no matter how often I pray for help to do so. This is a battle I fight, on a daily basis, against long odds, with me as both the defender, and the aggressor.
In another situation, a person took extreme displeasure with my opinion found in a work I wrote. I said in the preamble of the work that if the readers disagreed that I had no issue with them, but that the issue in question was one without wiggle room. I don't wish to revisit the debate, other than to say I was arguing that a certain use of a phrase was Anti-Semitic. It is/was. I have no doubt that it was. Moments into the person responding it was clear, he believed that I was calling HIM a racist for saying that a phrase was wrong, illogical and by the fact of its common mis-use, was Anti-Semitic. He called me a Fascist, an asshole, and many other things. I do not care for his work, nor he, now, mine, but, prior to this moment, he was full of phrase, constant seeking after my approval, and reassurance. A debate about poor word use, and my refusal to budge in this fashion, caused me to make a person who is probably not a racist feel backed into a corner, and come out swinging both fists, verbally so... I have no ongoing grudge against this person, but at the time I was unwilling to forgive anyone who might be an Anti-Semite. So I refuse to be as generous towards him as I wish others to be with me.
This isn't a great new discovery. It is an ongoing, ever gaping vacuum, that I have. I need to improve upon this area of personal development. However, I will say, I am a person who grew exponentially in terms of maturity when I forgave the person who hurt me the most in my life at the age of 25. I had nothing to "gain" by doing this. The person seemed to be able to "escape" his due for hurting me for so long. But, if you love in life, it does not matter what others do with the love you give, what matters with forgiveness is that you give the forgiveness and give up the debt. Life immediately changed.
So, as a matter of spiritual truth, I know the power of forgiveness and how it has helped me move forward in my existence. As a matter of personal confession and weakness, I can't forgive everyone who I have been wounded by. I cannot forgive the aforementioned person who endangered my son. I haven't forgiven the people involved in an incident that hurt a person I love 4 years ago. I cannot forgive myself for not continuing to attempt to keep in touch with my friend Cathy, who killed herself almost a year ago today. I hold a grudge against people who forgive others for doing the same thing I did, but not me, because I am supposedly more mature. We all have flaws, and I am flawed as much or more than others. I hold a grudge towards the people who caused my PTSD in grade school, and my first year of summer work during my college years. Living in fear is not fair. I realize this might seem a list of people who I might be angry towards, but I promise, it is my list of people who I need to work towards forgiving. A journey of a person interested in personal growth is not easy. I pray that I survive, the road is long, and the travails upon the path are dangerous.