I was thinking about forgiveness.
In this transactional world, almost everything I do is because I'll get something out of it. Zero sum game. I think most of us have become highly efficient machines at maximizing our pleasure, and fixing our pain. We give to the homeless because it makes us feel capable and like good citizens. We do nice things for our friends because we want to be good friends and we trust it will usually come back to us as equal favors from them.
But especially with those closest to me, I make sure they feel guilty if they have caused me pain. I don't want to teach them they can just hurt me, right?
But I started asking myself today, "in what relationships have I really left something on the table?" I mean, which people have I really let go of my losses on and decided to lavish love on anyway.
Has there been anyone that has taken and taken and taken from me and, outside of drawing healthy boundaries, I've set aside my hurt and required nothing else from them? Or even given goodness to them?
We hear so much about forgiveness, but I'm having a hard time thinking of a situation where I truly had to swallow my hurt and not exact something out of them to make me feel justified or properly paid back for.
My world feels balanced. Debts have been equalized in some manner with everyone. There is no one that cannot repay what I've asked of them in return.
So it makes me ask myself if I really know what forgiveness is. God, help me be on the lookout for a relationship in which you want to teach me what forgiveness is and teach me how to really swallow someone else's debt owed to me, and not require anything else of them.
Raw Spoon, December 29, 2021