I forgive…

You know how I said on Thursday that I was going to do everything? Yeah, well… I can’t. This shouldn’t surprise most of you… but I knew that I was setting out for a huge endeavor to try to do NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo at the same time. And add in finishing up reading the Bible in 90 days and working out? I’m exhausted. Yeah. There’s no way I can do it all. Never.

Not to mention I haven’t been sleeping well again. But that’s a whole different thing… {And let’s just say it’s a good thing I have therapy this week again.} :)

But today, I have to tell you about something that I have been avoiding acknowledging in my life.

Forgiveness. Or lack thereof.

About a month ago – right around my birthday, someone I had known for years growing up had stumbled upon my blog after I had posted a link on Facebook. She then was touched by some of the things I had written and wrote a note of apology for how she had treated me during some of these years. She then asked me to forgive her.

And I’ll admit, here and now, this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. My school years were a hugely painful time in my life. I was never one of the “popular” kids. I was teased from elementary school all the way to high school. Some of it was weight related, some of it was other things. All of it dealt with my outward appearance. And yes, it made me who I am today for the most part.

While some actions that happened about 17 years ago now that hurt me to my core don’t necessarily reside at the forefront of my brain everyday, until I received that message, I had no idea how much I was still holding onto everything. EVERYTHING. Every word. Every look. Every bit of laughter.

It took me a month to respond. It was probably too long to wait, but I had to come up with my thoughts… and really, truly mean the words I was saying. I couldn’t speak empty words and have my soul hold on to the hurt any longer. So last night – as I was reading the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant in Matthew – I had an urge to finally write what my heart was finally ready to say.

This is part of the response to the school friend… I don’t know if I said everything the “right” way, but it came from my heart.

I wonder – Did any of “my friends” really want me around those years… or was I just an annoyance? Why suddenly did the group of people that I thought were my friends no longer want anything to do with me in our senior year? Did you know what happened that prompted the mean words to be said?

I can honestly say there were many times throughout our school years where I was a bad friend as well. I never knew it until it was too late… and by that time I had lost everyone that I thought cared about me. I’m so sorry if I ever hurt you.

All I wanted was to be cared about… to be needed. Still do actually. Funny how that goes and doesn’t really ever change.

I want to tell you I forgive you. I don’t want to know any of the reasons why the hurtful words were said nearly 17 years ago and the group no longer wanted me around. I want to… no I need to… release this hurt that I’ve held onto for far too long.

After writing this, I finally do feel like I have forgiven these people. These friends. I don’t want to know anymore what happened. Because I don’t want to relive the hurt again and again.

But what I didn’t think about, until just a bit ago, was that there is one more thing that I have to do that will be harder.

I have to forgive myself.

Once I do this, I believe I will be able to love myself. I will be able to believe in myself. I will be able to live. I will be able to be happy.

Comments

  1. Julie, I’ve often wondered what went through “my friends” minds way back then, too. Heck, still today I wonder what prompts “friends” to all of a sudden change their colors like a chameleon and become more of a frenemey.

    I’ve found that forgiving myself is so much harder than forgiving others. It’s easier to unshackle ourselves from their bonds than to unshackle our heart from our ever-questioning mind. We know that if we step outside the situation and look at it as a spectator that holding on to those words and feelings is absurd. How many times have we told our friends that they’re not those negative things they think of themselves? Yet, we look in the mirror and can’t say those same words to ourselves.

    But it’s like a trickle of water. Slowly, slowly, with constant little drips of kindness, love and self-appreciation we create a path to freedom and forgiveness and set our heart free to love us like we love others.

    It’s work, but keep at it! You’re worth it!
    Sara at Saving For Someday recently posted..Safeway Deals 11/7-11/13My Profile

  2. So, so beautifully written.

    Sometimes I agonize about the “whys” of various events in my life. But when it was things that happened as a child or teenager or even a young adult, I don’t think there’s a good why anyway- we were all young and not thinking things through. And while age isn’t an excuse for anyone being cruel to anyone else, I’ve realized that even if I heard those why’s, they wouldn’t make any sense to me, especially now, as an adult.
    Shell recently posted..Pour Your Heart Out: Four DressesMy Profile

    • My heart is SO warm this morning as I stumbled across your post, Julie — and Shell’s response! I’ve been OUT of the loop for 2 years (exactly) this month — well, blogging and connecting w/my blogging buddies. I hope you forgiveme!

      Julie – Wow. I know for a fact the lack of sleep lately has EVERYTHING to do with this situation weighing heavy on your heart. Not sure if I’ve ever told you this, but I’m sorta obsessed with you — and have been– since the day we virtually met — and then the day we ‘actually’ met. And our breakfast that morning, THREE (3!) years ago (is that possible)?

      You are like the walking Holy Spirit. You have a light inside of you that brings a sense of giddyness and peace to all you meet. It’s so obvious — and I believe only THROUGH the struggles you endured (I HATE this is the way it happens, sigh)in HS could you NOW be that light for so many others.

      I hate that you’ve been struggling for forgiveness. That breaks my heart. I’m still not100% sure you’ve forgiven — are you sure? Only thencan you be released of that monkey on your back. Listen, sister — I don’t have any advice about how to fully forgive. But I do know that that’s what we’re called to do.

      What hopefully WILL come of this is that this person from HS will share this experience of HOW her actions affected you for 2 decades — so the next generation of num-nuts that go through HS won’t repeat the same actions… if eventhis message gets out to a few girls. xoxox
      Kat Fotheringham (former Today’s Cliche chick;-) recently posted..Nauseous.My Profile

  3. You’re an amazing lady, Julie! Keep following the Christ and he will continue to take you to places you could never imagine. Hugs!

  4. Krystal Knoll says:

    Thank you Julie, that hit home for me on many levels. I am so thankful for this post. I realize that I need to do the same things as you mentioned. But I know this will be extremly hard. Krystal

  5. Laura Hagen says:

    Julie,
    I have no idea how I just stumbled up on your blog today but it was very moving. I commend you for being so brave and honest.. You have an incredible story to tell and I will keep checking the blog. Give yourself a big hug just for being awesome (cheesy I know).

  6. Lindsey Headley says:

    I too had a lot of anger toward my self. It was bc I let myself gain all the weight back. I think I have forgiven myself so I can move on. The problem last time I lost the wt I think my eyes were far from Jesus. They were on myself the numbers on the scale, the sizes I was wearing…After a gain of 5 lbs when I was 2 lbs away from my goal and some one’s comment to me at WW as I weighed in…it was not Lisa!! But anyway the devil got a hold of me and told me I was a failure and a terrible person…I don’t believe that anymore, and honestly I really don’t care about what people think or say about me and my wt anymore…It’s between God and me now, and hopefully success will follow:) God bless you Julie:)!!!!!