I have undoubtedly been having a difficult time as of late.
It is a lot of things, truthfully. Relationships are hard. I am at this point where I am so cognizant of the things that I do automatically (like talking to myself negatively) and yet, I cannot quite get to a point where I can stop doing that.
For example–I know I shouldn’t rely on other people for my worth. I know that can lead to a lot of emptiness and that it subjects me to the whims of other people. Yet, I still feel a lot. I worry about my relationships. I internalize negative beliefs about myself in my marriage (for example, I am not sexy enough. I am fat. I can’t turn my husband on because I am gross). I worry about abandonment and the inevitable moment when people that I love will see me the way that I see me…and then I will lose them.
I worry about being alone.
And yet…I also know that, to be healthy, I shouldn’t worry about any of these things.
It. Is. Frustrating.
Thursday evening I was feeling emotional and vulnerable. I went to a strength training class and then popped into my church’s bible study. For once, I decided to go ahead and share some of my more vulnerable feelings.
I heard the often recommended statement, “It helps to forgive. Forgive the people who hurt you. It isn’t for THEM. It is for you.”
For some reason, I have a HUGE problem with this. I think, in fact, that it is complete and utter bullshit. And, I told them that.
Three older women, all with their own mother/family-of-origin problems looked at me sadly, knowingly.
Like I am wrong.
And so, naturally, I wonder, Am I wrong?
You see, I would rather learn how to let it go. Does letting it go mean that forgiveness has to happen?
Are these mutually exclusive?
Here is my problem with forgiveness: It feels like it places the burden of absolution on ME. It feels like it is yet ANOTHER thing that I am responsible for.
And, it feels wrong when I know that these people are not looking for my forgiveness, nor are they asking for it.
Why is it my JOB, my DUTY, to let them off of the hook and forgive them?
I have heard the arguments. I have heard people tell me, “But they don’t even think of it anymore. The only person on the hook is YOU.”
And…well, I suppose that is true.
But, if they do not even know, or even care how much pain they have brought me…then WHY do they deserve my forgiveness?
I don’t care if it is what Jesus would have done.
I am human. I am not divine. I do not have the strength to give my abusers one more ounce of my heart and soul and grace.
I have kept quiet. I have pleased. I have remained loyal. I have tried and tried and tried to be who I they told me I was supposed to be.
And I don’t have the energy to do one more thing for them.
I just DON’T.
Does that mean, necessarily, that I will be stuck here forever?
Does that mean that I will never be allowed to LET IT GO?
Seriously…you tell me. What is your story? Can I move on without forgiving? I do not have any hate in my heart. I just have injustice and exhaustion.
Can I turn that around?