How do we forgive?
I’ve been wondering about this a lot recently and, for me at least, I think that being able to forgive is tied to not being angry about the act that needs forgiving.
In a conversation with a friend a while ago I asked her;
“What do we do with the anger?”
The anger, which can range between mild irritation to blazing red heat, is the anger of being left. How do we deal with anger? How do we let it go or get past it? What are we supposed to do?
Because for some time now I’ve realised that I feel less angry at my ex, and that’s a good thing. But I wanted to not be angry for much longer than that. All I could do was put those emotions away in a box and not think about them. Not think about the act and not talk about them too much because that made me angry and sad all over again.
Of course I’d say;
“Oh it’s okay, it’s done and can’t be changed”
“Well I didn’t like how it happened but it was the correct thing to happen”
Some kind of almost truth that was easier to tell because people don’t really want to deal with the fury that is your whole truth. But I really am curious – is putting it away and not thinking about it the right thing to do?
I didn’t have any other answers so I did that and it worried me that it didn’t seem to diminish, but now, later on it seems to finally have decreased, or perhaps I’ve moved further away from the box in both time and my own happiness so its impact is less strongly felt.
More recently I had a conversation with a friend who is a life coach and asked that same question – what are we supposed to do with anger?
And she told me that it was just an emotion attached to a thought and I could untie the two. I could think to myself;
“Oh that happened, hmmm so it did, it made me angry then, hmm but I don’t have to hold on to it, look, there it goes, floating away.”
The act was his, the emotions are mine – it really is up to me how long I hold onto them.
As to forgiveness, it seems easier and more honest when there is less anger. After all what are we really forgiving? The fact that someone is human, is flawed and showed those flaws. Was lost and confused and instead of asking for help lashed out in fear and hurt us.
Aren’t we all human and flawed? Don’t we all make mistakes? Aren’t we all due a little bit of forgiveness?