Thursday, January 30, 2014


"Forgiveness doesn't excuse their behavior.
Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart."
Beyond Ordinary

Hard to believe it is Thursday already.  Another week almost over.  Another weekend upon us. I was surprised yesterday when I awoke to find the ground covered with snow. "Not again,"I muttered disappointedly. That one I wasn't expecting, but I chose to take it slow and go to the Center anyway.  I've already stayed in far too much this winter. 

So, this morning I really had nothing on my mind for my post today when I read the above quote on Facebook, and it set me to thinking about the subject of forgiveness and  something that occurred this week, and it reminded me of how far I have come.  I was one that could hold grudges forever. I was so super sensitive that I would allow every single slight to eat away at me, but the evil way my hubby's sisters treated me was not some meager slight.  They set out to hurt me and caused me tremendous pain throughout the years, but not anymore.  But, now I am getting ahead of myself.

The other night my hubby got a call from one of his sisters.  It seems that she and his other sister are going out to dinner tomorrow night, and they were inviting him to come along.  Notice that I said 'he' and not 'us'.  The fact is, they NEVER invite me.  This all started way back when hubby and I first began dating.  His youngest sister and I hit it off well and became fast friends....much to their chagrin.  Seems they don't get along with her, (jealousy I suppose because she has a wonderful husband and lovely home) and because she and I got along, I became their enemy despite the fact that I had never done anything but try to be friendly with them.  Total ignorance if you ask me.

Since that time, actually for 21 years now, they have done so many hateful things to me.....leaving messages in Spanish for my hubby on MY answering machine, mailing invitations to family affairs to hubby only, etc. When hubby was in the hospital in the early days of our relationship, I would work all day and then run to the hospital to see him, but usually only had a few minutes with him.  They'd be sure to get there before me and refuse to leave so I could go up.  And their words were so hateful.  "She can wait.  We're family.  She's not." Hubby was in very bad shape with a lung infection at the time, and we didn't expect him to pull through.  He'd gone to school to work on air conditioning and refrigeration, and on his first job, he had to pull ceiling tiles away to get at the AC.  His boss hadn't provided masks, and the doctor said he evidently breathed in some mouse droppings. 

So, as I was saying, the things they did really used to hurt me.  In time, that hurt turned to anger, and as the years passed, that anger continued to eat  away at me.  Whenever I came home from work and heard one of their voices on my answering machine, or found an invitation in the mail, I'd get a pain right in the pit of my stomach, and it would sit there like an open sore festering. My entire evening would be ruined.

Despite everything, I never tried to keep hubby away from his family and never tried to make him feel guilty for visiting them.  After all, they ARE family.  And, he was pretty much respectful.  He always turns down the invitations, but that doesn't stop them from trying.  He does visit them in their homes on occasion.  For years, this is the way it went until, about five years ago, I finally decided that I had to let go.  They weren't going to go away so I had a choice.  I could either continue to allow all this animosity to control my life, or I could forgive and let it go.

 I realized that I was ALLOWING them to rent space in my head because I had wanted them to LIKE me.  This all goes back to childhood when I was taunted by all the other kids.  I wanted everyone to like me. I still want to be liked.  We all do, but some of us take it to the extreme. Those who have followed me for awhile have seen how upsetting I find it to lose a follower.

I made the choice to learn how to let go and to no longer allow myself to be hurt by it. One doesn't have to forget to forgive.  And it doesn't mean that I condone or excuse their behavior. Forgiving allowed me to overcome my feelings of bitterness and revenge.  

Since that time, they continue to call and send invites, but it doesn't bother me anymore.  In fact, as the years have passed, I've actually begun to feel sorry for them.  Despite all their college degrees, and they both have several, they have NO people skills.  And I have to question if someone is filled with such hate, do  they ever feel true happiness? I wonder. 

Forgiveness is the healing of wounds caused by another. You choose to let go of a past wrong and no longer be hurt by it. Forgiveness is a strong move to make, like turning your shoulders sideways to walk quickly on a crowded sidewalk. It's your move. 

 Real Live Preacher



  1. Great post, Mary! That first quotation is right on. Many people do not understand that difference.

  2. What misery they must live in with so much hurtful actions that really come bouncing back to them. It takes a lot of heart to forgive another and your heart is large, Mary. Good for you!

  3. This is a wonderful post Mary, and right on! Your hubby's sisters remind me of my mother in law the way you speak of them here. But i realize she's a petty, hateful person, and her behavior has far more to do with her than it does with me. I decided quite a few years ago that she can stew in her own juices! :)

    Hugs and have a great day!

  4. You're a bigger woman than I am Mary! Good for you!