I've been wrestling with some issues lately that have prevented me from following my own advice of "spreading the love." It finally dawned on me that I need to let go of some things. I tend to hang onto anger and frustration far longer than I should, therefore empowering people I don't like when, after it all boils down, those people don't deserve the attention they've been given. So in a grand gesture of moving on, I'm writing out a list of wrongs that I'm forgiving people for. Some of these may be to more than one person. I think some who read it will immediately identify themselves, but if you don't, then you don't have anything to worry about because it probably means I wasn't talking to you anyway.
1. I forgive you for not reaching out to me and making efforts to have a relationship with me. I forgive you for showing your love for me through gifts rather than time spent together. I forgive you for choosing to ignore my grief during a time when I had no one else to look up to or turn to. I forgive you for still treating me like an outcast in my own family.
2. I forgive you for being manipulative and twisting my words and actions to suit your own selfish needs. I forgive you for telling my children inappropriate things about me and my personal life that has nothing to do with them. I forgive you for continually putting fun at the top of your priorities thereby teaching your children that you don't have to take responsibility when there's fun to be had.
3. I forgive you for second-guessing me as a parent from the time my children were born. I forgive you for meddling in my marriage to the point of its demise. I forgive you for continuing to prove you're not trustworthy. I forgive you for enabling my children in their desire to never have to learn responsibility.
4. I forgive you for convincing her she wasn't good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, talented enough. I forgive you for raising doubts in your children's heads about who loves them and who doesn't. I forgive you for your harassment and your constant presence in my life despite your physical absence.
5. I forgive you for not telling me her cancer was terminal. I forgive you for not stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility for her care, instead pushing that responsibility onto a twelve-year-old child. I forgive you for not accepting me, flaws and all, but instead judging me and choosing to condemn me for choices I've made in my life.
6. I forgive you for not saying goodbye when you left, but rather slinking away silently like a thief in the night. I forgive you for choosing not to be a part of my life. I forgive you for what you did to our family. I forgive you for not taking more initiative to have a relationship with me and my children.
7. I forgive you for abusing her the entire time you were married to her. I forgive you for trying to drive a wedge between us so that she had no outlet but you. I forgive you for the bruises - both emotionally and physically - that you left on her. I forgive you for leaving her homeless and penniless to fend for herself.
8. I forgive you for stabbing me in the back when you didn't get what you wanted from me. I forgive you for the sneaky phone calls and letters you made, which ultimately cost me precious time with my kids I can never get back. I forgive you for continuing to act like you've done nothing wrong.
9. I forgive you for talking trash about me behind my back in order to make yourself feel & look better. I forgive your jealousy and insecurity. I forgive your scrutiny and judgment. I even forgive the hateful lies you spread about those close to me.
10. I forgive you for taking sides and choosing to keep him in your life despite having called yourself my best friend. I forgive you for the things you did and said under the guise of "for your own good." I forgive you for not understanding why I don't want to still be "friends" with you. I forgive you for your assumptions that I live by the mantra "Forgive and forget."
Which brings me to the last of my thoughts tonight. "Forgive and forget."
While I'm giving forgiveness and relieving some people from the wrongs they've done to me and those close to me, I don't forget. By forgetting, I would be opening myself up to the ability to allow you to do it again and I'm not that foolish.
That being said...just as I'm moving on, I wish that you would, too. Stop doing what you're doing. Look at the people you're hurting, ask yourself what the point is...what you hope to gain from it. Move on and if you can't, then get help so you can. Seriously.