I have forgiven. I have moved on and moved past so many things. I am proud of how much light I have in my life and how much happier I have become.
But I will never be a turn the other cheek kind of woman.
Some of my most philosophical conversations have happened driving down the road. Either running errands, heading to some random destination or just out for a drive. If I am lucky there is someone else in the truck with me and I am not just talking to myself. Though to be honest that happens too. I don't know if it is the open road in front of us, the sense of freedom that being in a vehicle can give you or the fact that for at least the time you are moving- you are kinda trapped.
My husband and I got into a pretty deep conversation the other day driving down the road concerning a comment one of my followers had made on the Random Thoughts Facebook page. This particular comment had stuck with me all morning long and I had been rolling it around in my mind. The comment said- "One of the hardest things in life is learning to love those that have wronged you. To find a place in your heart for them." The comment went on a bit but it was these lines that had me thinking and questioning some truths that I hold pretty close. If someone hurts me, wrongs me or someone I love- why in the hell would I want space for them in my heart? Why should I have to learn to love them? I know the whole turn the other cheek thing- but honestly have never bought into it. So driving down the road I asked my husband a simple (or so I thought) question; "Is there anyone in your world that you hate? Really hate. Not strongly dislike or could do without ever seeing again. But someone who has wronged you or hurt you so bad that you can't help but have hate for them?" I explained the comment and how it had me thinking about the roles various people have taken during the course of my lifetime. There have been many angels at one point or another. But there had been a few villains too.
He thought for a while before answering and as the truck was eating up the miles he finally said; no. There wasn't really anyone he hated- really hated. That there was a handful that he strongly disliked. A few that he would be ok never seeing again. That for the most part if any of them were to come to him and apologize for whatever they did that hurt him; he would probably just let it go. So I went a bit deeper and asked him if he thought he could find a place in his heart and love for the ones that he "strongly disliked?" He kinda looked at me a bit and said; "As with anything in life there are limits."
At this point he turned the question back on me and asked me why this particular comment had my thoughts turning. To be honest all morning long I had asked myself the same thing. I think it was because it kick-started a self inventory of where I was at this point in my life. How much I had come to let go, make peace with and move on from? And how much anger and hurt was I still grasping a hold of?
Did I believe that I could come to have love in my heart for those that had wronged me? Did I even want to, need to or have to? Did turning the other cheek make me a better person?
My conclusion- No, I don't and no, it doesn't.
I spent some time lost in my thoughts before answering him. I thought about the concept of hate. Of how too much can consume and eat away at you. I thought about the very few people that topped my list of "strongly dislike" and what brought them there. I found that, like my husband, if any of the few that made my list were to come to me and talk about what had happened I would probably be apt to let it go and just move on from it. All except for one.
It was "the one" that had me thinking.
I do not have room in my life for hate and for the longest time I really only felt pity for "the one". That because of the miserable life they had created for themselves, they felt the need to tarnish the lives and happiness of others. Even after countless lines and boundaries had been crossed; it still took me a long time to get to the point of openly admitting that I actually hated “the one”. But once that line was crossed I had to be honest with myself. I could find no love, no acceptance for this person. They had caused too much damage, too much destruction and caused too much loss. I am human after all and my hate is a valid emotion. It is also an emotion that can consume you if you let it. I refuse to let it take over my life. Instead choosing to honor it. Because it is an authentic feeling and deserved of attention- just as love is.
Who honors hate?
A person who understands that there will be people in our lives that hurt us, bully us and push us beyond limits we didn't even know that we had. But they can only break us if we allow it. If we constantly swallow the anger, the hurt and the negative emotions that these people cause and let them build and build; we are giving them too much room in our heads. We will eventually break and in a rush of built up anger that will serve no purpose. But if we honor the hate we have. Understand it. Make peace with it and grasp that it is a valid emotion; an emotion that we do not need to hide or be ashamed of- we in turn release its power.
See where I am going with this?
Stop and ask yourself the same question that I asked my husband. "Is there anyone in your world that you hate? Really hate. Not strongly dislike or could do without ever seeing again. But someone who has wronged you or hurt you so bad that you can't help but have hate for them?" Be honest with yourself. If you are like him and have just a list of "strongly dislikes"- then awesome. But if you are like me and you have your "the one", the time to confront it is now.
But confront it within yourself. Identify all that led up to causing you to feel this way. Spend some time examining everything this person has done to you. When you feel that rush of anger; let it come. Then- Let.It.Go. You are not a bad person, you are not a negative person and you are not wrong. If in your gut you feel this, then for you it is truth. Honor it. But at the same time, see it for what it is. An emotion that eventually you may or may not let go of. But you will not swallow it any more. Because by letting it out into the light you diminish its power. Make peace with it and then move on from it.
I have let go of so much in the past few years. I have forgiven. I have moved on and I have moved past so many things. I have made peace with the past. I am proud of how much light I have in my life and how much happier I have become. But I will never be a turn the other cheek kind of woman. I know that. I am ok with that. Simply because I value myself enough to know and value my limits and my boundaries. I call it self-respect.
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