How She Thinks

Forgiveness, Anger, Changing

Dear Son,

It’s admirable that you think your current issues are not due to your childhood/me/your Dad, however truth be told, they are. You didn’t just catch these issues, like you catch a ball. The issues of the last 26 years between us, stems from issues from your childhood/teenage-hood.

We are like oil and water. I wanted to be a PTA mom and having a child that was hyperactive made that impossible. That child acted out because his mother didn’t take care of her issues and his father didn’t take care of his issues.
It’s all in the DNA of spiritual and physical issues and are passed down. If each person doesn’t take care of their issues.

I have had issues where I have forgiven the person and not myself. But here’s the deal. Yeah, I know your faith has not kicked back in yet, but, if you can forgive others and not yourself, you are saying you are above everyone. Opposite side, if others forgive you, who are you to set yourself higher than everyone else? There is nothing more special in you than there is in anyone else you know.

I have recently been dealing with that. Just like I extend forgiveness to others, I need to do it for myself. As do you. I forgive myself. I’m human. I am not better than others. I am not any better in any way, than anyone else. We are all human. Which flows into the policing of others’ behavior.

example. email interaction with a ‘senior sales mgr’ in a company that sends out samples. He has been very rude in his emails. Saying he won’t send a sample to a residential address. I gave him all the proof he would need to know I have a home based business. He wrote back saying, ‘oh well, too bad’. It was all I could do not to write back.

I called the company, told a short sample of what’s going on, was sent to the sample person who is also the chemist. Upon hearing this person’s name, both gals groaned slightly. The sample was sent. During these interactions, I was very nice, not yelling, just calm and nice.

Years ago someone I am acquainted with said she figured I was so rude and angry because something must have happened in my life. Most of the time, we all, as people, don’t give a rude, angry person a second chance. We figure they are this way and they’ll always be this way. Which means we have set ourselves above another. We think we know all there is to know about someone, even years later.

We also may think we learned enough about them back then, to realize we have nothing in common. Sometimes that’s true, even when the person has changed. But even our core values change over time.

But lots of times, we don’t really forgive.

We say we do, but if we do, we also need to turn loose of the anger and the hurt. Which we usually don’t. Forgiveness isn’t just words, it’s also actions and conscious decisions to ‘let go’, ‘give away’ things that have hurt. Words and actions and feelings.

So, in the bathroom, I remembered this person had said that about me and realized this man must be a very angry person, so instead of getting MY feelings hurt because he was disrespectful to me, someone he doesn’t know, someone he should have been nice too, I prayed for him. Without anger. Which was easier to do because someone had extended that understanding to me at one time.

Customer service means we are nice to people we don’t know. It means we offer them respect and deference. We do this because we don’t know them.

So if we honor and respect and are nice too those we don’t know, isn’t it more important to be nice to ourselves? To respect and honor our feelings and what we think? How we feel? How in the world can we really love someone else, when we disrespect ourself?

I think the way of showing oneself as having ‘arrived’ at being mature, adult and honorable is showing love and respect to ourselves, thereby we are able to give it to others.

The ultimate gift we can give, is being unoffendable. If we can be unoffendable, there is no need to police someone else’s behavior because they didn’t measure up to what ‘we’ consider even nominal ‘acceptable’ behavior.

If we can be unoffendable, then we live and let live. We don’t hold someone’s feet to the fire as-it-were in order to ‘get back’ at them. We do need to stand up for ourselves and what we need, but we need to do it in love, not in anger. Not in policing someone else’s behavior. We can only change ourselves. We can be examples to others. Unless they ask for our opinion or advice.

It’s a tall order my son and it can be done. But first, forgive yourself, because you are like the rest of us, human. Let go of the hurt, the anger. Decide that whatever you write on a piece of paper and set a match too, you will release and not take back. No matter how many times anger or frustration starts to well up inside you, don’t take it back. It no longer belongs to you. We don’t steal, we don’t take what doesn’t belong to us.

It takes work and perseverance and it’s doable.

You are loved. You are forgiven. Now that you are married, hopefully you will ask for forgiveness many, many times and you will get forgiveness. I hope you will also give forgiveness many times. 

I love you. I have forgiven you. ‘They’ say the past can’t be changed. I disagree. When we forgive someone, that changes our past. When our thoughts are healed, when our emotions are healed – and some of it can be done without being a follower of Jesus – then what affected us in the past is changed. When we forgive ourselves, not only is our past changed, our future is too.