I consider myself a moderately intelligent woman, yet in concept and in practice I don't understand forgiveness.
It seems like a make-believe thing. Like if you believe in Santa, he will bring you presents. If you believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, he will touch you with his noodly appendage. Like if you wish upon a flying star.....
I can't wrap my brain around the concept so I can't practice it in life.
I'm suddenly wondering if it is even a real thing, or just another supernatural belief we made up years ago and cling to out of a misguided longing to be divine.
I'm embarrassed to admit that I did what any other confused novice would do in this situation: I Googled.
I still don't understand what it means.
Forgiveness:I think of the wrongs that have been done to me and I didn't intentionally or voluntarily let them go, per se. I just... kept moving on. Charging through life. I don't wish ill on anyone, but I certainly don't wish some of these people well. Most of them have just stopped existing. Ghosts of a previous life. Faceless beings that left me with a dark memory but otherwise never existed as I exist.
Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.
I'm still here. I'm strong. I get a little bit wiser every year.
I'm thankful for the people who have been here for me. The people who haven't, well, I don't know them and they don't mean anything to me. They were merely props. Background noise in a movie I refused to let anyone except me direct.
One day I woke up feeling like I was choking on my anger because I was. Everything was suffocating me. From small slights in school to parental neglect, sexual and emotional abuse, judgement, poverty, everything.
Everything made me angry and everything still hurt.
So I let it go.
I didn't want to be a slave to anger any more than I wanted to be a slave to poverty.
So I took a deep breath and moved on.
This may sound like forgiveness to some, and perhaps it is.
But I don't think that it is.
I am being asked for forgiveness from someone I love very much, and I refuse to grant it because I don't know what it is.
It isn't letting go of anger, because that is not enough.
It isn't acceptance of the things I cannot change, because that is not enough.
It isn't wishing someone well because that is not enough.
It isn't saying that I love you, but I won't allow your actions to change my life, because that is not enough.
I don't say the above passive-aggressively; I genuinely believe that none of it is enough.
I know that it's not because I know I have no forgiveness in my heart.
And that's the only reason I know that I don't know what forgiveness is.