Writerly Things 8/17/2020: Forgiveness as We Age
Mistakes run the course of our lives. So does forgiveness, if we let it. God doesn’t just forgive you one time and if you backslide, that’s it. He does so infinitely. We can be disappointed in ourselves when we realize the error of our ways but there is always grace that will lead us back to him.
We find this in our fellow man. He is quick to anger. Quick to burn out when it’s all said and done. The problem in judging others is that Jesus gave us the commandment to love one another as we would our neighbors. If we constantly accuse others of wrong-course and don’t look to our own back door, trouble enters.
The thing is: we have a limited supply of time on earth. Forgiveness can help us hold on to our health. Believe me, I know how easy it is to hate and curse someone. I’m not saying I’ve never done it. Or that I won’t again. But I look to God and pray that all that is released from me. There was a darkness that surrounded me with my marriage. Even going through the divorce and custody battle, it was there.
It wasn’t until the kids and I went to counseling that I started to let all that drift away. Believe me, there was a lot to move on from. At times, some of that still boils up when one of his relatives or him tries to contact me. (I was awarded sole custody so the kids have not seen him since those dark days.) They are not even remotely interested in contacting him. To them, I was their mother as well as their father.
Not saying I was perfect or didn’t ever do anything wrong in my life. I floundered many times. Especially with my bipolar. That darkness I spoke of, swallowed me whole and I had a breakdown a few years after the divorce and the loss of the job that injured me. I was so convinced that I was right that I couldn’t see that I was hurting those around me that loved me. The paranoia of those days haunts me. I was ambushed daily with the idea that those around me were conspiring against me. I know this all stemmed from what I went through in those dark years.
I couldn’t see that though. My mind wouldn’t let me. It took many treatments before I stabilized. Do I have regrets from that time? Oh my God, yes. However, the strengths that came along with healing showed me that I had more going for me than I realized. For my children, I would endure all that pain and hell again. They are my true joys. They encourage me and help me as I struggle with bipolar. No, it doesn’t go away. But I’ve accepted it as part of who I am.
Did I atone for the hurt I caused? I hope, in the end. I hope others do as well. I don’t wish anyone that pain and misery holed up inside them. It might not be easy. Maybe the person has moved or died. They don’t necessarily have to be there for you to release that burden from your life. And it is a burden. Do it for yourself and your loved ones. They deserve all of you. Not whatever has you hanging onto the past. Have a great week, take care, and God bless!
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