Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Plastic Surgery for the Heart

A blogger friend of mine posted a(n assumed) rhetorical topic recently, regarding forgiveness and grudges. He discussed briefly how he had some offenses brought on to him in his life, of which he tells himself he’s forgiven, yet they remain open wounds on his feelings and even anger him when he thinks about them. He is concerned about holding grudges, not wanting them to jade him as a person and toxify his life – but didn’t know how to forgive if the wound never heals.

I think about this a lot myself – so much that I decided to go off on my own tangent here at my own blog. Some people have hurt me badly in my life:

~ The kids at school who made fun of my hair and skin and clothes and good grades, some of which were friends who turned on me in favor of being accepted.

~ My bulemic college roommate who ate all my food when money was scarce to buy it anyway, and habitually threw it back up in the toilet and didn’t clean up the oversplash and stole my clothes at the end of the year.

~ My rapist, who still walks the streets, somewhere.

~ The boss who fired me from the most fun job I ever had for something he had given me permission to do.

~ My ex-husband, who slyly and subtly sucked the very life force out of me before adding insult to injury with an affair of which I was the last to know.

And others …

I say I have forgiven, and usually truly think I have. Sometimes it doesn't bother me, other times it does. Sometimes very much. But does that mean I haven't forgiven them? Does it necessarily mean or prove I hold a grudge? Must the two states be joined so severely that the presence of one couldn't possibly mean the absence of the other? Or is it that even WITH forgiveness, you'll just bear sensitive scars that may very well continue to hurt ~ maybe forever ~ and that's that .

Maybe it comes down to the simple fact that while outward facades can be altered, there is no plastic surgery for the heart.


honkeie said...

The world is a stage and depending on the day will depend on the mask I ware. And sometimes the mask is not a forgiving one

Martie said...

I think that the two can be separated which doesn't mean that you have to forget what "hurts" have been done by someone. I truly believe that you can forgive without forgetting. It is good to remember because then you are forewarned of future hurts without being jaded. Forwarned is forearmed!

sidetrack said...

i see a book brewing here, clew ;). none of us are saints, so we probably do more harm by judging our inability to let go of hurt. maybe we have to learn to accept what is. even so, i've always loved these words: forgiveness is the scent of the violet on the heel of the one who crushed it.

Bougie Black Boy said...

psst Clew--I know who and what you're talking about! email me one-on-one!


nosthegametoo said...

There are only two people in my life who have not been forgiven. And I'm still working on those. I hope that one day, the number will be back to ZERO. But probably not anytime in the near future.

Very thought-provoking topic.

Emit-Flesti said...

I was thinking about you were saying, but probably you won't agree with me this time.
My mother used to say: "What you need to forgive is a bad memory"

I know I'll gonna have to write a lot more to explain myself.

Lori said...

Forgiveness is not letting someone "off the hook". I think it is making peace with the situation and no longer allowing that person to have the control in your life. It is letting go of the bitterness that otherwise eats away at you. Being unforgiving doesn't injure the one who did us harm, but it does hurt us. To withold forgiveness gives away the power to control and direct your own life.

Forgiving someone doesn't mean forgetting...or not holding him or her accountable. It's simply not allowing their wrongdoing to chart your course another moment longer.

A big hug to you, my friend...

DLAK said...

I forgive nothing.