A few weeks ago I posted the article, “Ten Lessons I wish I’d known as a Teen.”
It led to a few scattered apologies to former people I’ve come reacquainted with. It also led to an apology I never expected. A former boyfriend stumbled on my site and the article, and it led him to apologize to ME!
I have to say, that felt really good. It was a healing and ended with us becoming Facebook friends…cause you know once you are friends on Facebook it’s a real friendship :).
That led me to reflect about the other side of things. It’s easy to apologize and let go when you are the transgressor, but how about those hurts that we hang on to ourselves. How about the people that have hurt us and try as we might, we can’t forgive them.
Unforgiveness forces us to hold on to things and that weigh us down. As I told Avery, normally the people who have hurt us don’t even realize that they have done so. So we travel through life with these weights and the person who has placed these on us goes about their way carefree.
I came face-to-face with one of these hurts this past week. A girl who I had contact with in my late teens in a negative way came into my life by chance. I found that even though 15 years have passed, when forced into a room with her, my hurt paralyzed me. I wasn’t comfortable and couldn’t even carry on conversations with other people in the room.
Fifteen years ago a girl stole my boyfriend. Big deal. But then the two of them decided to do a bit of e-mail harassing, mainly bullying me about my eating disorder. That was the hurt I had not been able to get over. That was such a dark and lonely place in my life. Having people tease me about it at the same time is something I could not let go of. I still remember the words that hurt most in that e-mail, “She is so great she can eat three Big Macs and not throw them up.” Those memories still could instill a pang in my heart. I even had listened to some sermons about forgiveness and tried hard to pray to release this, but it was something I was having a hard time getting past.
So, here I am with said girl. We are working on a joint venture and I have to encounter her for the next few months. I decided I need to look this hurt in the face, put my big girl panties on, and get over it. It was time to Let Go!
So at our next practice together, heart racing, I decided to face my past. I asked her to step in the hall with me for a chat. Apparently Elsa has nothing on my icy demeanor in our contact over the past years because she apologized right away. However, as I suspected, she said she didn’t even remember what had happened. She mentioned she wasn’t the same person (neither am I), but it felt really good to get it off my chest. I was able to let her know how hurt I was, and she was able to profusely apologize. I wasn’t expecting that, and to be honest, I’m not sure that even mattered. It just felt good to relieve that baggage, to let her know how much those words had hurt. It ended with a truce-like hug and I was able to feel comfortable at this event.
Emotionally and mentally, I feel like I can finally compartmentalize this part of my life and let go of the hurt. I can make peace with this part of my past (yeah…baby steps towards my 2017 theme!)
What hurts are holding you back or weighing you down? Can you do some forgiving? Can you step out of your comfort zone and confront something of your past? What can you finally let go in 2017 to achieve greater happiness? Take it from me, I’m feeling LOTS lighter today!