Forgiveness has never been my strong point. I am a grudge holder. I believe in punishment, retribution, and revenge. My grudges are my protection against future damage, and unwillingness to make myself vulnerable to more hurt.
But today I read a quote (and I love quotes, let me tell ya!) that made me think of things a little differently.
"Forgiveness is the release of all hope for a better past."
- Alexa Young
I have no idea who Alexa Young is, so I decided to find out more. She's an author. Most of my favorite people are authors. Wether it be for a local weekly newspaper covering a bean festival, or a famous novelist, or self-help writer. I love me some authors. And I love me some books.
Alexa Young is the author of the Frenemies book series, one of which I've never heard. Clearly, though, this woman is insightful and brilliant. She writes for the teen crowd and that isn't going to stop me from slurping up her books one after another. After all, I have to have something to do while I wait for Mockingjay to be released next month. Besides, I've already read all of the Harry Potter and Wimpy Kid series.
So, back to this forgiveness bit, and yes, Ms. Roth talks about this too. My childhood right and young adult life STUNK. There ARE people I could hold directly responsible for that other than myself. I was a kid, I had to rely on these people. I had survival strategies that mostly involved denial and avoidance. I ran around alot avoiding being home, I pretended nothing was wrong, I begged God to send somebody to save me. To avoid more hurt and damage, I continued to hold onto these strategies and to the anger at these people.
I'm letting go of that right this minute. What happened, happened as they say. No anger or grudge will change that. It's over. I can continue to do my best to make sure it doesn't happen to others without holding onto that negativity that pulls me back. There will always be things that remind me and tempt me back into that mindset, but I have to make a conscious decision to deal with those occurences in a healthy, mature way. Not by stuffing myself with food or avoiding chores, or trying to manipulate somebody else into taking care of me because I wasn't taken care of properly as a child. I have to take care of me now. I have to take care of my own child, and not the inner one.
I can't let myself feel lousy about my crappy support network because in all reality it's pretty damn good. My friends don't have to be there for me every available moment of crisis - I need to work things through for myself. I'm not a kid anymore. I have the ability to change things, primarily my attitude and this is going to be a "changing day in my life." Every day has that potential. I need only have my eyes open to recognize it, instead of wallowing in the past.