10.29.2011

when fates are linked...

Have you ever sat down and really thought about why you should forgive somebody...
You say things like "It's for you, not them."
or
Don't let things like that eat you up...
or
Forgiving allows you to let go...
So, I have forgiven for those reasons...
But quite frankly, it felt hollow and incomplete.
I have been having serious thoughts about forgiveness lately...
and sometimes I think God links people through a series of actions to teach them about  life.
Or about a truth in life.
My abusive step father and I are linked in  ways I can't quite figure.
But I know forgiveness is a big part of it.
Not just for me, but for him.
I once saw something pretty amazing.
I was watching the green river killer...I don't think you know that guy...or if you do, you are a big follower of the news like I am.
He murdered a lot of young women.
And as one person after another got up and condemned him you couldn't see a thing on that guys face.
Not a flinch.
Nothing but words like killer, scumbag...it didn't make a dent.
Then a man stood up and said "I forgive you, just like Jesus forgave me..not only do I forgive you..but I love you."
The killer started crying.
And I started thinking about why forgiveness would make him cry.
Those people probably didn't say anything he hadn't said to himself...he had probably called himself all sorts of names...or at least had heard it enough so that it wasn't surprising.
But love...
undeserved love...
I doubt that guy had ever had someone give him unconditional love.
Just like you can take anything but kindness when you are right on the knife's edge when it comes to stress....You can take people being a holes...people cutting you off...people bailing.
But have some lady pull you aside while your toddler is screaming her head off and you are trying to mail a package to your husband who has been deployed for 9 months..and instead of her saying something like:
"Could you get your screaming brat out of here?"
Instead she says "Oh hon, thank you for your sacrifice...why don't I take her over here and play while you send your package"...
and you get so overcome you have to leave and cry...
Because it allows you to feel, instead of put up a wall.
So maybe forgiveness is the beginning, and compassion and love is the key that unlocks the ability to feel...and when that person feels forgiven they can forgive.
Maybe that is what Jesus meant when he said
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
the forgiveness is an act of the will...a sacrifice of your feelings of vengeance.
To have compassion and love means to have mercy.

Because the pain that was visited on me didn't originate with him...or even his father's father.
There is a reason it's called a cycle of violence.
The only way to break the cycle of anger and hate is to counter it with love, not a void.
What it takes is It's opposite...
To stop at sacrifice...and not extend to mercy...
I think it's good...
but it's not enough.
not for me.
It's the extra mile.
Which is why, even after I had called and told him I forgave him....he was defensive. 
He could sense the judgement within the forgiveness...
But if you could reach out to someone with love....
What then?
I just need to figure out how.
Those are my thoughts for the day.
Chris out.

 

11 comments:

Deb Willbefree said...

And they are profound thoughts...that will impact a lifetime,not just today.

It is touching to read something that blesses God. It blessed me, too. Thanks.

Hugs.

Deb

Karen Butler Ogle said...

Chris, this is a great post and it has me thinking about the unforgiveness I have been feeling toward some of my family. You have given me much to think about. I know about the Green River Killer as my hobby is forensic psychology and he is not the only person who has committed violence who was brought to tears by forgiveness. There is power in loving the unlovable. It sets them free and sets you free as well. Thank you for this post. I really needed to read this today.

Putz said...

wow, my teacher chris<>><i have never been hurt that bad by anyone, i guess i have lived a pretty sheltered life, but my wife's father was an abusive father and drank and yelled and hit occasionally and later divorced and died in a drunked stupor but you know i and my wife both showed him our love, and i hugged him several times

Me said...

Hi Chris, just a FYI, Google Chrome gives me a red screen warning when I want to open your blog, saying that you're linking to savingmylife-kim.blogspotxxx.com which contains malware. I've added x's to prevent accidental opening.

Christine said...

@me
Thank you..I am going to inform Kim.

Christine said...

I no longer link to Kim....

Christine said...

@ mr. putz..somehow you lovin on someone who was not that loveable does not surprise me. You are a kind man. Hugs to you too.

Rettakat said...

I read this last night, and it was so... deep... that I wanted to think about it. You can't make it 60 years without having reasons to forgive and to ask for it...

But I've never thought about this part:
"Because it allows you to feel, instead of put up a wall."

That opens up whole new areas of understanding. Thank you for sharing this, Chris. It touched me.

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Yes, loving as we can even from afar is the best thing for everyone. Especially those who are deemed unlovable. As long as true safety is kept in mind, the real harm is in never being able to actually feel.
That's what we're forgiving for after all- isn't it? The damage that was done to our souls. With true forgiveness we learn those life lessons that might not have ever been bestowed upon us as they were meant to be.
It all goes back to the idea that sometimes we have to give ourselves what we never got. No wonder those who receive this kind of love are humbled.

~Karen C.L. Anderson~ said...

I'm stopping by after seeing you mentioned on Fixing Myself Thinner. Obviously I don't know your whole story, but this really stood out to me. I can so relate.

"Which is why, even after I had called and told him I forgave him....he was defensive. He could sense the judgement within the forgiveness...But if you could reach out to someone with love....What then? I just need to figure out how."

This is EXACTLY where I am with my mother. And I am getting to the point where I believe that my love for her will just have to be from afar and that it will have to be okay.

I've spent SO much time and energy and angst trying to figure out how to make it right and I think that's been part of the problem. *I* can't make it right for her by myself...I can only make it right for myself. And in doing that, I am a model for what I want it to look like, versus trying to fix it.

I've had 10 months with no contact from her and it's been such a gift because it has allowed me to see things from my own perspective without her filter over how she thinks I should see and feel things.

I hope this makes sense? I wrote a long-ass blog post that I password protected because I just needed to be able to let it all out without worry about her seeing it...

I love what Yellow Rose has to say about it too...I am learning to give myself what I never got from my mother, and which I now understand SHE never got, and that is unconditional love. And as I said before, if I can do it for me I hope to God that somehow she will see that she can do it for herself too.

Sheesh...what a ramble!

Christine said...

That's cool....I hope and have hoped that as I work this crap out, other people would see it and know they aren't alone with the same problems. Here's the thing...I like myself. It took me a long time to get here. I am very solid mentally. I have the love of good people...and I look at him and realize that he has NEVER had unconditional love...ever. Maybe it is too late, but I think that if you have never had that kind of love, you don't know how to give it. He didn't recieve it from his parents, or from his kids because he damaged the relationship....he doesn't have a relationship with God or with his family or with anybody really....I have seen him slide back and forth between trying and retreating. It just makes me wonder. I am thinking and praying about it. I hope at some point you and your mom can get to a better place...or that your mom can as you seem to have gotten there already. I am just wondering at what point is it good to reach back and try to inject some love into a void and how is it done. I know the only way it will work is if I have no expectations on my side...and I think I am there with that..that I won't need anything from him. Just to give emotional support which is one sided...as If I am the parent and he the child. But figuring out how is the issue. Which is why I am still thinking.