Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Forgiveness: Letting it Go and Faking it Til You Make It

Well Lent is almost halfway over, and all the things I've wanted to do are about halfway being done.  I am only listening to Christian music in the car (and dare I say getting used to a couple of the songs they play on repeat), I have been cleaning out the litter box as seldom as possible (though I usually huff and puff my way through it, because I'm ornery like that), hugging the kids comes easy for me, I have been at least more observant of my picking-up-my-phone habit when I'm around people (though I tend to easily justify that one) and the not cheating on Weight Watchers, well that one is dying a slow death.  I really really tried in the beginning, but I was STARVING only eating 26 points and exercising hard.  So I had a couple cheat days, confessed it this past Saturday, and the priest told me it wasn't a sin.  What?!?!  Good to know :)

But my real Lenten journey this year has been one that started back in October.  You see, without going into details, I got into an argument with a friend that turned into a bigger deal than it should have.  Feelings were majorly hurt and it's been a long 5 months of having to see this person and trying to get over all the drama.  

I have always been someone prone to a quick temper, and a lack of filter.  If you do something that makes me upset, you will most likely know it right then and there.  But my saving grace is that I am also quick to forgive and move on.  Just give me a good night's sleep, and by morning I'm over it.  Grudges aren't worth the time or energy, but I couldn't seem to get over this incident.  I confessed this anger to the priest, but he unfortunately didn't cover it (I guess I had other sins that needed more attention!) and I left feeling even more confused as to what I should do.  I wanted this whole thing to be over, but I didn't know how to get over it.

I would alternate between feeling like I should fake it til I make it, and then feeling like that would be deceitful.  How could I smile and act normal to someone whom I can't see without holding back tears of anger and hurt?  But how could I go on with this eating me up inside, like a virus to my soul?  

Then I realized something...forgiveness is like love, it is an act of the will.  A choice, not a feeling.  I was getting too caught up in my feelings.  I could choose to forgive and it was OK not to have my feelings agree with that!  

As soon as I had this aha moment, it was like God gave me bunches of signs to reinforce the decision.  Our cat, whose litter box was way too dirty last night, instantly forgave me as soon as I started cleaning it...purring and showing me affection.  In the car this morning, forced to listen to Christian music, I heard a song about allowing forgiveness that spoke straight to my heart.  The prompt over on Blessed is She's Instagram account is #mercy.  Then I went to morning Mass at our school's chapel and the gospel reading was the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant.  Um, timely much?  

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times....
Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.  Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’  In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Wowzers! So yeah, today my journey of anger ends.  I choose forgiveness, and I hope my feelings can catch up quickly to my will, but even if they don't, I will still have peace in my heart.


  1. Ah yes. Amen to everything in this post. Well said. Also if I hear "I don't need my name in lights..." One more time I'm going to break the radio. Thought it was cute the first twenty times I heard it.

  2. And it is all the more valuable to God that it's not coming easily for you, that you are really having to will it.

  3. I have been having some similar roadblocks with forgiveness and heard the parable at mass. Yes. Yes. Yes.

  4. A little over 2 years ago I had a huge falling out with a group of friends. They publicly humiliated me (Facebook) and it was one of the most painful things I've gone through in my life. I've since made up with most of them, at least enough to be in polite if not frequent contact. But there is one friend who refuses to try and work things out. She is also the main one who hurt me. I have struggled with this exact topic for all this time and I can say that you are right on. Also, forgiveness, sometimes at least, isn't just a one time thing. I've had to decide to to it over and over and over again until it started coming more or less easily.

    Praying for your intentions and the healing of that friendship.

  5. I love the "Keep Calm" sign -- I'm Irish too and my husband knows to run for cover if he ever pisses me off.


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