forgiveness

What does forgiveness mean? Here’s what the online dictionary says:


for·give·ness/ˌfərˈɡivnəs/Learn to pronounce noun: forgiveness; plural noun: forgivenesses

  1. the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven.”she is quick to ask forgiveness when she has overstepped the line”

Origin

Use of the word FORGIVENESS over time


I hate it when a definition uses itself or a form of itself in the definition… Not helpful. So I looked up forgive and here’s what I found:


for·give/fərˈɡiv/Learn to pronounce verb: forgive; 3rd person present: forgives; past tense: forgave; gerund or present participle: forgiving; past participle: forgiven

  1. stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake.”I don’t think I’ll ever forgive David for the way he treated her”
  2. stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for (an offense, flaw, or mistake).”he was not a man who found it easy to forgive and forget
  3. cancel (a debt).”he proposed that their debts should be forgiven”
  4. used in polite expressions as a request to excuse or regard indulgently one’s foibles, ignorance, or impoliteness.”you will have to forgive my suspicious mind”

Phrasesone could be forgiven — it would be understandable (if one mistakenly did a particular thing).”the arrangements are so complex that you could be forgiven for feeling confused”Origin


Spending this time by myself, I am purposefully looking inward and discovering who I am as an individual. Now, at 50 years old, you would think I would know who I am. I do not. I have always, happily, been a part of someone else my entire life.

I was my parent’s daughter. I was born and lived with my parent until I became…

My friend’s roommate. I went off to college and we had the best of times sharing a dorm room until I became…

My husband’s wife. I, after all, went to college to get my MRS. And I did. I just didn’t pick a very good mate. I’m thankful I picked who I did, as because of that relationship I learned empathy for abused and battered women. I also became…

My children’s mother. I found myself, after divorcing that abusive man, a single mom and doing the best I could. Comparatively, I did really well. Though most days I didn’t feel like it. My children have grown up and become amazing humans that I am so proud to call my children. They are married and have beautiful lives. That gave me the freedom to go and find a new love of my life and I became…

Someone’s girlfriend. And I loved every second of that. I truly thought I had finally met my match. We were so happy. We have such similar likes and dislikes. We rarely argued, let alone had a fight. It was bliss. But then one day he decided to tell me he had been lying and pretending all that time. And in the blink of an eye, I became…

Just me. For the first time in my life, living all alone. After a few months of grieving the loss of that wonderful image of a life, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I still have my mom and my children and their families in my life. I am just not living with any of them. For the first time in my life, I can be selfish and do exactly what I want to do when I want to do it, exactly how I want to do it. Within reason. And it’s so strange. And I like it.

Given this time to look at my behavior over the span of 50 years gives me good memories and bad memories. Some of the bad memories I created myself. No, let me rephrase that, nearly all of the bad memories I have created myself. I only have myself to blame. I’m not ready to share all the details. I can share that I have some forgiving to do. To myself.

Forgiving is hard. Period. But it’s the right thing to do. Always. It says so in the Bible.


Proverbs 17:9 (RSV)
He who forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter alienates a friend.

Matthew 6:12 (RSV)
And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors;

Matthew 6:1415 RSV)
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.


I need to forgive others. God forgives me. All anyone has to do is just ask, right?

Then why is it so hard to forgive myself? I mean, for the most part, I am pretty quick to forgive others. And with my memory as terrible as it is these days, it’s super easy to forget what someone did to begin with.

I always remember what I did.

So that should make it easy for me to forgive myself. Right? Not so much.

One of the things I am going to forgive myself for is picking bad husbands. Each time, yes there were 2, they were completely different. One a little better than the other in some ways. Even my last boyfriend was a huge improvement from my husbands. Thus thinking he was “the one” that I would spend “the rest of my life” with. Well, had he been honest about who he was, he would have been. Now, good for me for making better decisions. Good for me for not repeating the same mistake more than once. I cannot control the bad character on my last boyfriend. However, I would like to figure out how to see that coming next time so I don’t repeat that same mistake again.

Another thing I am going to forgive myself for is hurting other people’s feelings. Now, when I realize I have done this, I usually try to say I’m sorry to the person I have wronged. You know, kinda like one of those 12 step things. It makes sense that I should admit that I have done wrong. Sometimes it takes a while for me to realize what I did was wrong. Which means sometimes I can’t find the person to say I’m sorry. Sometimes I can.

Once I spent a good bit of time hunting down an old boyfriend to tell him I was sorry I broke up with him and that I hoped he could forgive me. I was in a really weird and bad place and it’s a super long story but honestly, I look back and don’t even feel like I was living my actual life at the time. I feel like I was possessed for something. I was completely out of character and not just for a day or a week it was for months. My behavior at that time completely altered my life. My ego wants to think that everything was supposed to happen that way so I could be on the path I am on now. Truth of the matter is, I don’t know what I was doing. And I really hurt him in the process. So a number of years later, the internet became a thing and I was able to find him and send him a letter apologizing for what I did. He actually called me and basically told me he forgave me. It made me feel really good that he accepted my apology.

There was another time that a friend, who is, let’s just say, on the codependent side and super long story short, I had to end the friendship because she was causing way too much stress in my life and all of my subtle hints just weren’t working. I ended up writing her a letter letting her know how neurotic and selfish she was being and how it was interfering with my life. Of course that friendship ended. Truth be told, I don’t remember the details of the original letter I sent her. I just remember I told her my opinion of her overall behavior and not in a sugar coated way. Years later, I ran across her old number and text messaging was a thing now. I sent her a long text apologizing for my behavior and asked if she could forgive me. She ended up calling me and saying she could. We started a friendship up again. However, she holds that letter over my head all the time. My ego thinks the letter is still on the forefront of her mind because she knows what I said are things she knows she does but doesn’t like about herself and isn’t willing to work on on her own. But that’s her issue, not mine. The fact that she would even bring that old letter up once makes me question our friendships authenticity. To me, saying you forgive someone, but you really don’t, is worse than not actually forgiving someone at all.

And that’s what I find myself doing to myself. Often.

Over all, I think I can forgive myself for those bad choices. I am going to write down in my goal list, “I have forgiven myself for the bad choices in men I have made in the past.” and remind myself of this daily. Some day I will feel it. Even if I don’t feel it right now. I’m not saying that I shouldn’t continue to own the behavior. I should. And when I do, I work on making decisions that will help me not to do that same behavior again. I am also going to remind myself, when I doubt my worthiness of forgiving myself, that I made those choices in that moment because I am human, and my human side was showing. I can’t go back and do any of it over, I can only move forward with better choices today.

In case anyone else is struggling with this issue as well, here are some sources I found on the web that you might enjoy reading as well:

Food, Food, Food.

I am an emotional eater. I eat when I’m sad. I eat when I’m bored. I eat to celebrate. I eat to keep myself awake when I think it’s too early to go to sleep. I eat no matter what emotion I am feeling.

Being on furlough, I have plenty of emotions to eat through. I am trying really hard to decide if I am actually hungry or just not wanting to deal with an emotion. And it’s hard for me, because most of the time I am not sure WHAT my emotion actually is to know what to do instead.

If I’m bored, I have started a list of things to do. Trouble is, sometimes I just don’t feel like DOING anything. That’s a whole other thing to work on.

If I’m happy, I’m working on Savoring the Moment. There will be a whole other post about those efforts.

If I’m sad, I’m trying to lean into what ever has made me sad and deal with that. That’s where some of these posts come from.

And truth be told, if I’m tired, I’ve just been going to bed. Because I can. I have nothing going on right now, so my schedule is completely my own.

I did a little digging on the internet, and here’s some articles I found that I found interstig.

Emotional Eating: What You Should Know

This does a great job of giving a high end explication of what emotional eating is. It made me think of something. Eating is comforting to me. There’s really no wrong way to eat. So when I’ve having a negative moment, it is comforting. Eating is a way my family celebrates. We spent all our holidays traveling – or having family travel to us – to celebrate over a big meal. When most of us lived in the same general area, we got together each month to celebrate our birthdays over a potluck meal. Eating was a social inclusion event growing up. After church, our family and other families that were part of our “in crowd”, we would go out to eat lunch, socializing during a meal. Eating, taking a meal in together, for me, has had many positive emotions tied to it. So it make sense that when I am feeling down, even just a little, I turn to food to reminisce about those good ol’ days subconsciously emotionally.

Emotional Eating: 9 Ways to Stop It and Lose Weight

Did I ever tell you about the time I thought I was a food addict? Yes, it’s true. I don’t know if I ever told anyone. I snuck off to Overeaters Anonymous meetings. Bought a book that we read during our meetings. It was 12 step based. It didn’t change my relationship with food even just a little. There were NO snacks at the meeting AND we couldn’t go out to lunch after the meeting to be social!? What do you do to spend time with strangers to get to know them?!!

This article talks about how science hasn’t been able to prove food is an addictive element, but they can show how people demonstrate addictive behavior toward food. That’s what I felt like I was doing. I was obsessed with food. When and what was I going to eat next? I felt like that was all I thought about. During this time I was VERY unhappy. My life was not where or what I wanted it to be. At all. And I was obsessed with getting that comfort from my food. I didn’t realize that until a number of years later.

What I find perplexing about this read is in one breath it says rate your hunger and only eat when you are really hungry and in another breath it says to schedule your meals to eat at certain times during the day. Now, I have to subscribe to the “eat when I’m hungry and only when I’m hungry, but not overly hungry, because I had surgery for my acid reflux in 2017. I’ll throw up. I also can’t eat too much or certain foods, like broccoli or dry rice, or I throw up. And I burp a lot!! It’s quite embarrassing. It has really changed how I view eating food socially. The good news is, if I go out to eat, I usually get 2 or 3 meals out of what ever I have ordered and I have lost about 40 pounds since the procedure.

The great advice from this article for me is balance is key and have a list of alternate activities to do instead of eat if you aren’t really hungry. I am working on the balance part and I have a list started (see earlier in this article).

Here are two more that have some really great ideas on helping curb the crave:

Do you have a healthy relationship with food? Have you experience any of these things? I’d love to hear your take on these matters.

I miss you much…

Why do we miss people?

I was driving around the other day (sorry, I didn’t have internet until yesterday and so I wasn’t able to work on my blog) and I saw a Harbor Freight store and started crying.

WHY??!!

INSIDE OUT, from left: Sadness (voice: Phyllis Smith), Joy (voice: Amy Poehler), 2015. © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

In that moment a flood of memories of Mark came rushing in and I missed him. And I hated that I missed him. He dumped me. Out of the blue with no explanation, no matter how many times I asked. I should have nothing but negative feelings and thoughts toward him. But I don’t. And I got really annoyed with myself because I don’t want to miss him. It hurts to miss him. I get sad. I’m tired of being sad. It’s been 2 months for crying out loud!!!

It got me to thinking about why do we miss people?

So let me just start off by saying that there are a lot of really great songs about missing people. The Rolling Stones did Miss You in 1978. John Waite sang Missing You in 1984. In 1989 Natalie Cole sang Miss You Like Crazy and Janet Jackson gave us Miss You Much. That’s just to name a few.

So I’m in good company, missing someone, right? But WHY??

I’ll also share I miss other people too. I miss my Grandma Carter on most holidays because it’s when I usually saw her. And truth be told, it was just about the only time my family in town got together – to see Grandma, or so Grandma could see us. I miss my dad every time I have issue with my car. Though sometimes he did really odd things to fix things in general, he always knew what to do with the car. And I do not. I miss my high school sweetheart, Darin.

It was in realizing I miss Darin that made me think, do I ACTUALLY miss the person, or do I miss the events and feelings that we created together?

I can’t actually miss Darin. I haven’t seen or heard from him for 20 years-ish. I don’t even KNOW him any more. I enjoyed the feeling of being loved in a high school/college kinda way. I savored the fun we had at Westport Plaza or driving around in his cute little Spitfire convertible. I miss those feelings and experiences.

I miss the feeling of my loving family gathering together for the holidays. I miss the way Grandma made me feel like I was the most important person in the world, when I was with her. She did that my entire life!! I miss baking cookies and washing the dishes at the sink with her. I miss her telling me I was her favorite grandchild – and the sweet little smile when she said, “but don’t tell the others.”

I miss knowing my dad knew how to physically fix everything if I needed help. I miss him coming in my room at night, after we had disagreed about something, me pretending to be asleep and him telling why he saw things the way he did and how he was sorry he upset me and that he loved me.

I miss the laughter I shared with Mark about the silly day to day happenings in our life. I miss snuggling up on the couch with him, his arm wrapped about me, feeling like my rough day just disappeared, never to be seen again. I miss traveling and seeing the great southwest in our RV. It was my dream life. I miss talking about and planning our future. I miss how beautiful he made me feel.

So maybe it’s not that I miss the person. What if I am afraid I won’t ever have those positive experiences again and I am sad about that? Maybe I’m afraid I won’t find those positive experiences again. Maybe I am afraid I won’t connect with someone like I connected with them.

I turned to the great Googles, and here are some other website I found that talk about why we miss people.

These are really great articles and have some interesting perspectives. And honestly, I kinda feel a little better about missing people.

You know what’s really weird… I don’t miss either of my ex-husbands.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter too. Leave me a comment!