Over the years I have noticed this shift in myself. This inability to handle people who are manipulative, mean or passive aggressive. Chalk it up to age or experience or just shear exhaustion of living life the other way... living with an emotionally abusive parent for years will do that to you.
I think I have always tended on the side of transparency and maybe even bordered on brutal honesty. Although, I'm sure if you asked Chris about my communication skills, he would tell you that I have my fair share of "shut down" moments where I am a horrible communicator. I hate that about myself and it is something I have actively tried to work on these past few years.
Still, I would like to believe that I try to give people the benefit of the doubt and even though I'm not perfect, I try to be gracious with other people's feelings. I'm not perfect but I try.
For some reason, this week has been a complete barrage of people being insensitive to just down right malicious. One day in particular was filled with back to back cry worthy moments.... and these incidences were from people I love dearly to complete strangers. It hurt... a lot.
Over the course of the night I became more and more angry that I was being treated this way. I let it stew inside and it began to fester like mold taking over rotten fruit.
I just couldn't let it go. I mean... It's not like I'm perfect. I hurt people all of the time and I say things carelessly too... not realizing how it might be perceived. I really do try to be gracious with others. Especially when you just never know what is going on with the other person. Again.... giving benefit of the doubt here is so key. So, why was I the brunt of so much animosity? Why were my feelings not being considered? By the end of the day I felt defeated and utterly exhausted from it all.
I came home and curled up in the arms of my husband and I cried and vented and cried some more... until I eventually fell asleep.
This week has been long and it has taken a toll on me. Most of today I have been thinking about why I just couldn't let it all go. Even after people said their apologies and validation was given... I still felt this anger simmering beneath the surface. I was still hurt. I hadn't forgiven them.
Even if there was no "I'm sorry" or validation or redemption. I still need to forgive. I know all too well that holding on to that type of resentment does no good. It harms no one but myself and the festering will only get worse and more caustic as time goes on. I still haven't sat down long enough to really sort it all out and I probably need to just pray for the grace to let go.
Such a simple concept that is so difficult to execute. The road to forgiveness is humbling and difficult to traverse. It is a two way road. The ability to give the benefit of the doubt even in the midst of mistake. The choice to let it go for your own sake. Trusting that justice will prevail in the end.
I need to forgive for the sake of others.... but also for me too. Cause one day, soon I'm sure, I will need someone to do the same for me. And to be honest... I think our world can use a little bit more forgiveness... don't you?