Forgiveness is mine

Thanksgiving is coming up soon and it always gets me to thinking about what I’m truly thankful for:  This week I am thankful for forgiveness.

I’m not a perfect person as my children like to tell me regularly.  They tease me about my foibles, the eccentricities of their mother, and my outright mistakes.  (Only they are allowed to do this though, they would set anyone else straight who criticized me.) I have had to ask for their forgiveness and I am so thankful that they have given it to me.  I can’t imagine living with the guilt for the rest of my life, if they said, “No, we can’t forgive you, you are unforgiveable.”  Their father and I made mistakes in our marriage, ending it in divorce, and today respect each other and have given forgiveness.  Our children have benefitted from that and learned from it.  We are a family who believes in forgiveness.

I had coffee today with a classmate from my high school days.  We talked about forgiveness and how it correlates in today’s society.  I shared with her that it upsets me that our entire society seems to have a chip on their shoulder and is unable to give forgiveness.  What we have is a society of victims who can’t give forgiveness, choose not to move forward, and are unable to be healthy survivors.  Here I am on my high horse, I know.  There are wonderful examples of groups of peoples who were treated horribly in history and have moved on: the Italians, the Irish and the Chinese were treated as slaves, they mined and built our railroads receiving little or nothing for pay.  They were spit on, beat up and called names.   They are survivors.

When you act like a victim; people treat you like a victim; you are perceived as weak and unable to take care of yourself.  Look around you.  Some of you will think I am talking about a particular race, or culture, but I’m not.  You see victims everywhere, regardless of whatever stereotype you want to name.  I’m reading a book right now about coal miners in the Appalachians who were treated horribly..  Many moved on and survived; many didn’t.

I understand forgiveness, because I have had to ask for it and I have given it; both are tough. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget, as my children example shows, but forgiveness means you get peace.  The negative energy it takes to not forgive, becomes positive energy, you get to move forward.

My Dad is in assisted living and I stopped up an visited with him the other night for an hour or so.  When I left, I said, “Dad, I’m going to be gone for a couple of weeks, but will see you when I get back.  He said, “Ok, well I will miss you.”  “I love you Dad.”  “I love you too Wanny.”  Our family knows forgiveness.  I know forgiveness.  I wish it for you, with all of my heart.

Peace….

I’m the Winner

A family member, who had also been sexually abused said to me once, “Why are you doing ok and I’m not?”  I said to her, “I refuse to let him win.”  It seems like a flippant remark for me to make; I understand that, but that’s my answer. I don’t want to, I refuse to be beat.  Does that mean i always come in first, second or third?  No it sure doesn’t, but it means that’s what I’m shooting for.  You know I’m talking metaphorically..  I get beat many times, I’ve been married three times….divorce certainly isn’t any form of winning.  🙂  I have moments when I call my sister, or a daughter, or a son and talk through the latest crack in my heart.  I’m still in training maybe?

I can’t say that I don’t think about it much, because writing the blog, talking to other survivors, and reading the news keeps it on my mind almost every day.  My daughter said, “You know you can stop writing your blog any time you want?”  I know I can, it would be easier, than I could almost be one of those people who puts it safely away, and never thinks about it again.  But, for now, writing about surviving is part of my purpose; It’s how I win.  Maybe someday…….

I don’t know why some people survive easier than others; I just don’t know.  I spend a lot of time thinking about it.  I look at all survivors of abuse, racism, etc. and wonder how we can all move past it.  How do we forgive and move on?  There is so much hate in the world right now; maybe it’s always been there and social media exaggerates and abuses it.  I look at bullies and wonder, “What happened to you?”  I read horrible, spiteful things on Facebook and wonder the same thing.  This sense of helplessness and hopelessness that permeates our culture, with no relief in sight.  People who have been victimized, who just can’t seem to move away from being “the victim.”  I wonder how to help them, and have tried to help others almost until my own survival was compromised.

Why am I doing OK?, because I refuse to let him win.  I refuse….no one makes me feel this way…I’m in control of my feelings and I refuse.  I give you the right of refusal too.. 🙂 Take it and refuse to let him/her/them win.  Train to be a winner!!

Peace…