Wednesday, November 25, 2009

FORGIVENESS

What does it mean to forgive?  The dictionary says: FORGIVE- REGARD WITHOUT ILL WILL DESPITE AN OFFENSE.  Thats a very simple definition, but how do you actually do that?  Roget's Thesaurus uses these words: PARDON, EXCUSE, EXONERATION, RECONCILIATION, UNRESENTED, ABSOLUTION, THINK NO MORE OF.  Wow!  We've all heard the saying, "forgive, but never forget" right?  Well according to these definitions, that is so not true. It's funny that this thought is on my mind during the beginning of this holiday season.
Last month, I recieved a call from my father who stated that he wanted to come visit for Thanksgiving.  He said he wanted to spend time with his grandson, and drive to visit his sister during his time here.  Of course, I couldn't say no, but deep in my heart I was a little disturbed.  Why, you ask?  Well, for starters, my father and I don't have a very close relationship.  From what I'm told he left when I was about 3.  I've always known him, because during some summers I went to visit him.  Until the age of around 13 or so, I told my mom I no longer wanted to go. From that time on, we corresponded by mail or occasional phone calls, and at times I would meet him and other family members in North Carolina for a few days.  With that said, I definitely know who he is.  However, he was still absent for the most part.
He and I have talked about my issues, and I told him how I felt.  He told me some things about his life and why he made the choice to leave.  He also asked me for forgiveness.  Yep, there goes that word again.  During that conversation, I thought that I was free, and able to forgive.  I felt so free, when I got off my chest the things that I've been holding in for years.  I also thought that I had forgiven him.  We kept in touch more now, through phone calls, and there was actually a two way conversation.  Big step.  So, of course I thought I had done the ultimate, I was able to forgive.
Well, the time came for him to make his appearance, and I can't lie, I was full of anxiety. So much so, that every time I thought about it, I would cry.  What was that about?  I don't think I feel anger, I'm no longer angry at him, but I do feel a void.  I feel like I don't know him.  There is still an uncomfortable feeling when I'm around him.  I feel like a little girl again.  And being alive for 36 years, this is the very first time that I've ever spent a holiday with my father. 
Is this a test for me to see if I've really forgiven him?  Is this an opportunity for me to get to know who he is as a person?  Whatever it is, it's making me put my forgiveness in action so to speak.  If I really have forgiven, I need to prove it.  I have to put what the dictionary and the thesaurus says into action.  I don't want to have a hard heart, and I don't want to go through life wondering "what if". 
So with that said, I guess over this holiday I will be practicing the act of forgiveness.  Wish me luck ya'll.  I need all the help I can get.  If I make it though this challenge, that will be one more thing that I can be thankful for.

3 comments:

Blaque Diamond said...

I think many people toss out the word forgive, but never take into account the emotions that comes along with that forgiveness. I'm a person who can forgive when that person is truly sorry and never try to make excuses over and over again for their actions. With that being said, I'm not talking about the reasons that lead up to the situation, I'm not talking about the changes that needed to happen so that they are able to stand on their own and be strong for themselves before they can be strong for others. When the truth shows its ugly head and they can stand strong and face the demons that are bound to surface then and only then you know they truly seek your forgiveness and in return you are able to give it.

In your case your father was able to listen and understand your feelings and never pushed them to the side to make you feel small, insensitive, or mean. In time things will get better between the two of you, you will be soon calling him to come up for the holidays....you know minus Thanksgiving unless he plans to stay local :-), or you may even find yourself going to visit him, who knows!

Happy Holidays!

NewbieNaturalDiva said...

Excellent! I had father issues also, but I have since come to grips with them. Your forum was just what the doctor ordered. I have put you back on my blog list on the main page. I don't know what happen, but I could only see you from the dashboard. Now everyone can see your great posts. You should keep it up because you are a very good writer.

Love ya!

Sole~Bound said...

mmhh....forgiveness can sometimes release you or hold you captive..release you from the past pain, looking towards the future..yeet hold you captive cause it forces you to head into a new direction once you forgive, you cant keep holding on to the same old hurt,you cant use the past as a crutch, so it holds you captive mentally, as much as you let go it forces you to look back.Being grown and feeling like a small child full of emotion just shows how much you still and should always love him, and maybe you just subconciously still seek his approval???... hey , at least your dad is still here , so say all you need and set boundaries so J wont be disapointed and /or left behind.. Funny you posted this, and this my my first holiday in TEN years that I finally began separating myself from MY past as part of my forgiveness,,, yes girl, ten holidays, and the kids dont need to be around FAKE FORGIVENESS.... I made my choice.. and the fact that most dont understand cant hold ME captive, because it is what I, each of us has to do. Forgive and let go. Even if it means letting go to the point of letting distance feel a gap that really, was always there...
smooches cousin :) We do love you.

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