Of all of the things I learned this year, more on forgiveness was one of them. I don't know why. I think because I was cracked open and vulnerable. At the beginning of this year I was a shooed dog, sick, scared, almost out of my mind and a little afraid of each new day. Once I started getting better, stopped counting the days as "this month I didn't have a seizure" month. And just started having months. Started living rather than survival mode again. Started talking to people that didn't even know that Emma. That was scary, too. When do you tell someone? Do you? But, anyway.
Strong people don't necessarily feel like they have to forgive. We get to be right and push others out of our way for our benefit. Maybe we say sorry, but we don't really mean it. It is just a means to an end. Not an active conversation. Not humility. Well, both my parents did teach me about forgiveness when I was a kid. A LOT. I had to do it. But I grew up and I got mentally strong and I started thinking I was pretty much right all of the time.
Then I got weak and scared. I got cracked open. And when I got better, this time, I was ready, strong enough to be forgiving, when I wasn't being too stupid. Strong, and forgiving people are the kind of strong people we actually need in this world, I think. We don't need strong, cocky. We don't need strong, mean. We don't need strong, pretentious. We don't need strong, gym rat. We don't need strong, scared.
We need strong people who have empathy. And who know how to forgive.
"Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back. You're done. It doesn't necessarily mean that you want to have lunch with that person. If you keep hitting back, you stay trapped in the nightmare." - Anne Lamott
Honestly, it's a bit selfish when you figure out how to forgive someone or ask for forgiveness. Do you know how good it feels to admit you're wrong and apologize and ask for forgiveness? For that to be the end of the conversation that you never bring up again because you were an idiot? Cause then you're done! Or maybe a longstanding resentment you've got on someone. Let. That. Go. These things hurt us and prevent us from real relationships with people in our lives now. We're all busted up walking around until we learn how to forgive, actually. Get on it, so you can love well. Please. Please.
It is hard. It is our life work. I'm sure Anne Lamott has said that in everyone of her books, three times. She's the best.
My personal New Years Resolution is 1. to give back what was given to me and 2. to live an unafraid year in 2016, yet reminding myself of how precious the life I have been given is to me and those who love me. The one I will yell at everyone at a party tonight is that I want to learn how to sail a sailboat. It might actually happen this year.