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Emergence (c) Jessica Galbreth, http://www.thevintageangel.com

This is day 4 of the 30 Days of Truth blog series.  Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone for.

Hmm.  This opens a whole can of worms for me.  The old adage of ‘forgive and forget’ being part of it.  Can you forgive someone and forget what they’ve done?  Or should you forgive and not forget so they can’t do it to you again?  Another adage comes to mind ‘fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me’.  And what constitutes forgiveness?  Is it the recommencing of a friendship/family relationship?  The stilted and cautious communications between friends/family?  The reconnection and then total ignoring of the problem that caused the hurt to begin with?

Forgiveness is something I’m not good at.  I won’t make excuses for it, I’m a bad-tempered bitch with a long memory for things that hurt.  As far as I’m concerned, forgiveness will be considered after the person causing the hurt says two magic words – “I’m sorry.”  It’s a great conversation starter when wanting forgiveness and yet there are a few within my immediate sphere of acquaintance who don’t understand the concept of apology leading to forgiveness.  I freely state, that forgiveness from me is conditional.  Conditional on a sincere apology, and a genuine remorse for the deed done that caused the hurt.  From that point, I’ll decide over a considerable time of cautious interaction if the person is actually contrite and has learned what they needed to from the situation before I set it on the shelf as a reminder to myself of what to be aware of  in future interactions with them so it doesn’t happen again.  If I can see the situation repeating, I can take steps to remove myself from it.

Yes, I’m a remover.  Hurt me more than once and I don’t come back.  Hurt me badly enough that first time I don’t come back.  It’s like when you beat up an animal – it’s wary of you the next time, and will be gone before the third if it gets the chance.  I also don’t pretend for the sake of relationship ‘harmony’.   No one is perfect, and I’m not going to playact and lie as if it is to keep someone else’s public image intact.  I don’t care about my public image, because I rarely go out in public anyway.  And if I do and people remember that I didn’t playact and lie to them, then as far as I’m concerned, that’s a good thing.

So, someone I have to forgive for something?  No one.  Those who have been forgiven are still around me.  Those who aren’t…means it’s quiet and my holiday card list is short.