Let It Be

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Forgiveness. It was a concept I struggled with for a long time. Maybe it was that playing the victim card was just easier. Maybe I believed that forgiveness meant I was saying the person who wronged me was in the clear as far as their actions or attitude. Maybe indignation played a major role in that. The selfish way of seeing life as if you deserve only good, right and positive and how dare anyone tread upon the sacristy of that belief process. For a longtime I carried on my shoulders the weight of a thousand worlds. It was a heavy burden, one filled with a history I was insisting on dragging along with me, keeping me from whatever the potential future had to offer.
It began in small steps. Tentative determination. (An oxy-moron if there ever was one.) A fire in my spirit to make things better….though the possibilities were pretty damn uncertain. It began with a letter written to my ex who is currently serving time in prison. A letter extending forgiveness for something he had done for a solid 18 months of my life. Forgiveness for a journey through violence and rage and fear tactics. Forgiveness for not only the physical scars he left on my body, but also the emotional ones. And not only my own, but my sons who also had tread that storm on the ocean with me. It wasn’t an easy letter to write. I probably ripped up a good half dozen drafts before finally coming to that ultimate peace within myself on it all and mailing it out. He extended back his apology and I accepted it, graciously. Even though the point wasn’t really to gain his apology. It was more about me. More than I first realized.
Recently it was my first husband. I could sit and list all the ways he caused hurt to my sons and myself through his selfishness. But inevitably you must come to a place where you realize every single one of us acts in sheer selfishness at times through this journey. No matter how much we desire to act in utter selflessness, there are moments the flesh is stronger than our spirit. Times the flame dwindles. Times we forget. Forget what grace is all about and how many times we ourselves have been extended that hand of grace and mercy, usually when we truly least deserved it.
So, I stood yesterday on my porch. My eldest son with the phone pressed to his ear talking to the man who had walked out of his life over six years ago. For the first time in 6 years he spoke with him. And honestly , a part of me wanted to yank that phone right out of his hand. As I stood there recalling the struggles and pain my son went through at age 5. The rage he lashed out at me simply because I was the only parent there. I wanted to be indignant. But that isn’t true forgiveness. True, deep, unsurpassable peace doesn’t come from holding on to hurt, but from releasing that which may still rub the wounds raw.
So, I continue this pathway of letting go. Like the Beatles song I want a lyric of on my flesh someday. “Let It Be.” Some things are simply not yours to hold on to anymore. Maybe you were never meant to in the first place.

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