Thursday, August 5, 2010

Forgiving the Hurt

"Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head."-- Ann Landers

Last night when I arrived  home, there was a message on my answering machine.  (Yes, I still have one of those old-fashioned gadgets and a wall phone).  The message was from one of my hubby's sisters, and the message was in Spanish.  Immediately, I felt a knot in my stomach and felt my face redden in anger.  In a flash, my lovely evening was ruined.  Now I was tense...stressed...angry.  

Hubby comes from a large family...19 brothers and sisters, no twins. Can you imagine being pregnant all those years?  Yikes!!!  Well, some of his family I have never met.  Out of the some that I have met, most are  wonderful,warm people...but there are two of whom left that message...who are the most miserable of people on this earth. The speaking in Spanish is nothing new.  It's actually done on is her way of letting me know that I am not accepted, that I am not a part of...even though hubby and I have been together for 19 years. Is there a reason for this?  No.  Did I do anything offensive to them?  No.  In fact, I bent over backwards to make them like me..but, because I have befriended one of the sisters that they can't stand, I've shunned ever since. 

I find it ironic that she should call on a day when I posted about letting go. Perhaps it is the universe's way of telling me I had to forgive and let go.  You see, I actually thought I had let go many years, but as the anger anger continued to build up it suddenly hit me.  I haven't really let it go; all I had done was to put distance between us, not forgiven.  The anger had gone underground, Out of sight, out of mind, but the anger was still there...still inside festering...ready to erupt at a moment's notice as it did last night.  Gosh, I wonder, is it even possible to forgive?

We all sometimes need to let go of people.  During the course of our lives, relationships come and go.  Hey, that's the natural flow of life, and for some people, it is easy to move on.  But for others, like me, it can be so difficult.  I hate to let matter how much someone has hurt me.  Perhaps it's because I literally grew up with no family to suddenly find myself in an enormous family...that I wanted all to except me.  Is it because of the loneliness I experienced as a child?  Is my desire for a family, for sisters so great that I allow others, who obviously don't feel my need, to walk all over me and cause pain.  Why is it that I cannot let go?

Have you ever noticed how, whenever we have been hurt by someone, we relive the interaction over and over again and again, all the time only fanning the flames of anger.  Sometimes we may resist forgiving because we feel that, in a way, if we do we are condoning the hurtful actions or behaviors of others.  What we forget is that forgiving is something we do for ourselves, not for the other. When we lack forgiveness, it is derived from resentment, and resenting a person does nothing to the person we resent, but it always damages us. When you look at the big picture, the person whom you have not forgiven owns you, you are bound to that person by an emotional link.  This held true for me last night when I allowed this person to take control of my evening. I allowed her into my space. Forgiving and forgetting are two different situations.  What is important is how we release ourselves from a situation that is no longer working for us.   By forgiving, we reclaim energy that we had been pouring into keeping alive an old issue.  Will I ever learn to forgive her?  I don't know.  Will I forget?  In all honesty, I have to say, "I don't think so." 

"Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions."-- Gerald Jampolsky


  1. Are you a Scorpio? (laughing, a little)
    I have great trouble forgetting too, and while I do try very hard to let things go and move forward, with some success, I remember...

    Good post. Sorry it has to come from your own pain. But then our growth always does come from our pain.

  2. Wow, your post hit home with me. I have been building up resentment towards someone for a long time and it has been eating away at me.

    Thank you for posting this. I think I am going to work on forgiving and forgetting this person.

  3. Actually, I am on the cusp of Aries...mostly a Pisces.

  4. I'm an Aries.
    I never forget,nor do I wish to.
    Forgive transgressions..........some, but not all.... although I might be short changing myself in doing so.
    It's hard to forget when it's right in your face all the time.
    It is what it is.
    I live by; do unto others as you would want done unto yourself. Expect the same!

  5. "Forgiving and forgetting are two different situations. What is important is how we release ourselves from a situation that is no longer working for us. By forgiving, we reclaim energy that we had been pouring into keeping alive an old issue."

    these words if you don't mind...will be printed out and act as a reminder to myself...i am guilty of such words and have tried throughout the years to forgive and forget...something i continually struggle with and as you said when it does come back we replay it over and to trying to put an end to this habit...thank you so for sharing this experience and words with us...whatever comes to be with it for you i hope it brings forth only peaceful feelings...warm wishes and brightest blessings~

  6. I can relate to this a lot. "HIS" family is Spanish, and "HIS" sister (now mind you they were born in Brooklyn and speak perfect English) loves to speak Spanish when she's around me any chance she gets. The excuse, we're practicing the language. Yea Right!!

    I guess I hold a lot of resentment towards some people, especially those that hurt me deeply. Even ones I've forgiven. It's just really hard to let go of the pain they've caused since it runs so deep sometimes, let alone forget it.

  7. good post , i can definitely relate

  8. I sincerely appreciated this post as I have found myself in a place where I find it hard to forgive those who do not ask for forgiveness. I thought I had come to a place of peace, but then this person wrote a blog about forgiving herself. I thought, wtf--you can forgive yourself and go on about your life, but what about the people who you hurt? I believe in asking for forgiveness. Only then can the offended forgive, or choose not too. But none the less, the offenders job is done. What the offended do with that is up to them. There is a very fine line between love and hate. It's only when we find ourselves in the " I don't care" place that we can truly find peace. I choose not to carry around anger or bitterness for this person, as she has been a controlling factor of my thoughts for years. However, she still owes those she hurt an apology. Maybe one of these days she will see that, but until is what it is and I refuse to let myself hold any negative feelings toward her. Those feelings only bring me down~
    I hope at sometime you can find yourself in the place where you "JUST DONT CARE"~ though it is hard, it is easier than all that pent up negative energy. What comes around goes around-right? You are a beautiful person and she must be a miserable sort to carry around such negative feelings for all those years. Bless you my sister and walk in the light. Angie

  9. what a wonderful post and such wisdom said. Resentment is a rotten thing. it is so hard to let go of it sometimes yet you are so true that it does nothing to the one you hold it for. Yet to one holding it, it can cause such damage. I also sympathize with the need or want to feel accepted. I think one of the biggest lessons I have learned in life is just being happy in being alone.

    It is something I do not want yet it is something that if it came I can now live with. That is why I cherish the few relationships that I do have as they are so precious. I am sorry for the pain that came your way via your incident, yet I know you dear and you are a strong woman. Yet pain hurts no matter how old you get or how strong you are doesn't it. blessings to you dear. Hope your weekend is a wonderful one.

  10. Something we do for ourselves. That's always the key idea, for me. Selfish person that I am. And if so, so be it. I know me. I know that I'm more motivated to do something, when I see a good-to-me, coming from it.

    Yikes! What am I doing here? True Confessions? -grinnnnnnnnn-

    Gentle hugs, with the "moon-bat" sis-in-law. :-)

  11. Wow, this is very personal for me right now. It is so hard to let go of hurt and I'm struggling with that right now. Forgiving is always the best thing to do...but it's hard to forget, I agree. Great post!!!

  12. Resentments are tough to deal with at times. And just when I think I've got rid of one it jumps up and smacks me in the face. I don't like giving anyone that much power over my well being. Fortunately my resentments are fewer than they used to be. X.

  13. Like X, my resentments are few and far between now. But I'm not above a little sass now and then. I suggest you learn Spanish and leave a message on her voice mail, speaking her language!

    I always said I'd never marry a man who was an only child because you'd never be good enough for his mother. But I see that even large families have their share of bitterness. Too sad.

  14. I guess at my age things just roll off, however don't mess with my kids or husband. I feel sorry for her that she is missing out on a wonderful friendship with you. Sounds like she is just an unhappy person to be doing something so silly. Don't let someone so unhappy make you hurt and unhappy too. Whatever you do don't let her consume your days, so not worth it. Wishing you a beautiful Sunday!