The Topic This Morning was Forgiveness.
For a few weeks now, H. and I have spent a significant portion of the first waking hours of each day in conversation together, prompted by an emotional wellness course we decided to take together. Each morning there’s a topic accompanied by a reading and an exercise. I suppose such is life in modern coupledom — we know enough about relationships to know that what we know about making them work could fill a thimble and not much more.
The topic this morning was forgiveness.
Though I had a full day today, and one which involved some pretty intense work and presence, my mind has hardly veered from it. It sat down on me this morning like a toddler — legs and arms wrapped around me monkey-like and its face right in my face — and demanded my attention.
For me, forgiving is not letting go. Letting go of something is a much lighter process — one in which I can decide that what first upset me now really isn’t such a big deal or that the person who messed with me didn’t mean to — than forgiveness. Forgiveness demands that I admit my hurt. Forgiveness means that I look who hurt me in the eye. Forgiving demands of me a reckoning. It requires that I square up what was before and what is after.
There are a few things in my life with which I have not done that. And I wasn’t in full comprehension of just how deep the not doing it was and how badly I need to get to doing it as soon as possible until today, until the conversation H. and I had after the prompt appeared on the iPad.
How? How to extend forgiveness and compassion when the hurt feels like what looking into a volcano might? I’ve thought about it all day.
Then I thought, a little while ago, about something I wrote down not too long ago in reference to my son and how I try so hard to keep myself from being too invested in how his school work and therapy is going.
There’s a difference between having a relationship with who someone is and what someone does.
Maybe, for me, that’s what unconditional love is. Maybe, for me, that’s how I get to forgiveness, for true forgiveness requires true love for everyone involved. Not only do I have to extend it outward, I must also do the reverse, in abundance.
Sending love everywhere today,