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:

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!

One last leg…

I got to sleep in Aimee’s old room last night. It’s so cutely decorated!! It was so comfortable! When I get my own place I do have to buy a bed and THAT mattress on that bed is what I am going to buy! I felt like Goldie Locks in the Three Bears story and that bed was “just right”. I slept so good! I didn’t want to wake up when my alarm went off. I was tied from all the excitement the last 2 days getting here! I was excited last night and couldn’t fall asleep right away when I went to bed. But none of that mattered. Kelly and Randy were still going into work and I needed to get on the road and on to my final stop – my friend Jill’s house in St Charles, MO.

I tried to stay behind, but Michele came back for me!

I got all my stuff gathered up, asked Randy about where to get gas, plugged in Jill’s address and was off! Because of the direction I parked the truck last night, I had to circle the neighborhood a little bit. Boy was I glad I did! I realized I forgot Tyson!! He was up on the mantle in Kelly and Randy’s living room. Good thing I remember or I would have been super sad!! I circled back around and pick up my little buddy and THEN I was on the road again!!

Randy said the QuikTrips seemed to have the best fuel prices right now. Randy and Kelly both work for FedEx. I trust their knowledge of fuel prices around town! I stopped for gas and a new diet pepsi at the QuikTrip in Tulsa OK. It was still over cast, and it made me a little sleepy. But I was excited to get on the road and on to Jill’s house.

Half a tank of gas later, a few phone calls to my friends and it was time to stop again.

It seems like all I did was get gas, listen to books on Audible and snack. I brought so much food I didn’t even make a dent in everything!! Anyway, I stopped at the I got the TA Truck Service and got the cutest toys for the grandkids!! If you see them, don’t tell them, but while I was in there I found the cutest Hillbilly Cell Phones. It was the cutest little thing and Bentli, my grandson is just convinced that at the ripe old age of 8, he needs a cell phone. Mind you, this child has been Facetiming me in the middle of the night, when he wakes up from a bad dream on his iPad since he was 2. Yes, I said 2. Sweetest calls ever. And I cherish those. Anyway, I think they will make fun birthday presents so I get one for him and one for Brooklynn, my granddaughter, who is also 8. More on them later.

Love’s Travel Plaza Rolla, MO. mcDonald’s

I was starting to not feel so great. I thought maybe it was because I hadn’t really had any meat for nearly 3 days. I did have my peanut butter sandwiches yesterday and the day before, but no meat, like beef or chicken or fish. So I thought I would try to find somewhere that I could get a burger or chicken nuggets. The drive throughs were open, but I couldn’t pull my 10′ truck with a car in tow through the drive through.

It’s a real concern for these truck drivers too. Even the “restaurants” in these truck stops were at bare minimum. I felt bad ordering a meal from there for fear what if they ran out for the truck drivers. Anyway, I was thrilled that the Loves in Rolla had a McDonald’s that had a lobby open. I went in and got a burger. Of course, with my dumb stomach, I could only eat about 1/2 the burger and then I felt like throwing up. I’ll tell you more about my dumb stomach another time.

I was back on the road and I was just sooooo tired. I didn’t want to stop because I wanted to just get to Jill’s. So I called my mom to talk to her and try to stay awake. It just wasn’t working. I had to stop at Dottie’s Family Restaurant and park over in the truck rest area there and nap for about an hour.

I initially thought it was because my siblings had kept me up late the last 2 nights and I was up so early to get on the road and continue my journey. But in reality, it was that I was coming down with pneumonia. I had this sharp pain in my left lung when I breathed in. I get it about every year. Usually with a nasty cough. And I get a chest x-ray and am told I have pneumonia and bronchitis. With all this COVID-19 stuff going around, I didn’t want to bother anyone with my ailment.

Anyway, I took about an hour nap and felt so much better and was able to get back on the road again. Did I mention it was POURING down rain! Like so bad there were times I couldn’t really see the road all that well either. I was hoping the rain would let up while I slept, but it didn’t. It always seems to rain when I move.

Made it!

I continued to listen to my books, snack on my snacks and before I knew it, I was finally to Jill’s house!! Yay!!

I have known Jill since about 7th grade. I am so thankful to be at her house for this brief time so I can find an apartment of my own and start my new leg of this journey I call life.

It’s the first day of the rest of my life!!