It’s a word that weighs heavily on my mind. It’s something that I struggle with day in and day out. There is great power in forgiveness. There is freedom in forgiveness.
Rachel A. Sussman, LCSW recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post titled, “Consider Some Forgiveness with Your New Year Cleanse“. I read it and I let it resonate with me. I want to be in the place to forgive but I can’t seem to find the path. I search for the path daily, weekly and monthly but it is covered in debris. The debris keeps piling up and the path is harder and harder to find.
Ironically, my church has started a five-part series called, “Total Forgiveness”. I attended today’s sermon and I was present…body, mind and soul. I listened. I absorbed it. The pastor said, “Bitterness and anger is like a cancer that will eat away at you“. I know this to be true. I am not an angry person by nature. I am not a bitter person by any definition of the word. I am struggling with feelings that I can’t process. I want so badly to be free of the anger that I live with. I know it isn’t healthy. I know the stress from this custody battle is affecting me and its affecting my health.
A couple of things stuck with me from today’s lesson:
1. Understand that the other person may not have the ability to meet your expectations.
To move forward, I believe that I have to accept some truths. My X is not healthy and I do not believe that he has the ability to meet my expectations on his own. He does not have the ability to meet the court’s expectations and he doesn’t have the ability to be a healthy, loving role model to my daughters because he is simply not healthy. If I expect this from him, I am setting myself up for failure.
2. Your heart has to be healed to get to a place of forgivness.
Here is where my main struggle lies. How does my heart heal when the wounds keep coming? Every story I hear from my daughters breaks my heart- over and over. Every week there is a new wound. How does a wound heal when it is repeatedly injured? You can bandage a wound and you can apply healing ointments but if something keeps striking the wound then it simply can’t heal. It is impossible.
3. You will know that you’ve completely forgiven when you can pray that God will bless the other person.
This one, I can do to some extend. I pray that God will work in my X’s life and that he will see what he has in front of him: two little girls who want to be loved. Two little girls who need a healthy father.
Is it possible to forgive completely? I don’t know the answer. For selfish reasons, I want to be in the place of total forgiveness. I want to be free of the feelings of anger, resentment and hostility.
I just don’t know how. I feel stuck.