Where does he take a broken heart
Shouldn’t there be some small exemption
If he does all that it takes
To admit to his mistakes
Til the truth batters and breaks his world apart
I could ask for my forgiveness
From the heavens high above
Tell myself my prayers are gonna somehow be enough
-Kenny Chesney “Always Gonna Be You”
Where does true forgiveness lie? Etched in the pews of a modest country road church? Locked within the heart of the wronged? Hidden in the subtext of a love song, just waiting to strike out like an epiphany? In the hands of the divine, ready and always wanting to be given (if only we accept)? Buried somewhere beneath our guilt and Sacred Lies and ambivalence?
The answer comes in pieces.
Forgiveness from another is nice. It’s comfort. It’s catharsis. It can be closure. It is not, however, necessary to move on – in spite of what we tell ourselves. I’ve learned that often the best you can do is sincerely apologize (justifications can taint the sincerity), make amends (if possible), and then move it along. They’ll come around or they won’t.
Forgiveness from the divine is wholly attainable and, for me, wholly necessary. Simply ask, simply be ready to receive and it is ours. I believe in a great many things, a benevolent divining force is high on that list.
You could stop here, many do, but then you’re stopping short on that road to true peace of mind. Yes, apologize to the wronged and seek forgiveness from the divine, but ultimately this missing peace comes from somewhere a little closer to home.
So often we keep ourselves plied with guilt. Self-flagellation is an unfortunate hobby – and a popular one. We literally drive ourselves crazy holding onto guilt. We internalize OR side-step OR project and transform the issue at hand until barely recognizable OR disguise it as a never-ending grand quest to win the approval of God. Maybe it’s some amalgamation of all of the above. Everyone is different.
You may never get the forgiveness you seek wrapped in a neat little bow (or at all). You may never receive the final word from above that you’re good to go (trust me, you are). What you can do is take control of the person keeping you up nights, browbeating you, infringing upon (and projecting in) other relationships, because it’s you.
Forgive and forgive again. Forgive everyone and everything like it’s going out of style. Forgive hard and often until day by day (and then moment by moment) you begin to feel the weight of fear, guilt, regret, and ill-wishes slide off your shoulders and into the Earth to be neutralized and left behind.
This is the one ‘F’ word that will always end in joy. It may hurt at first, but remember…
“Being genuinely happy means you’re okay being unhappy”-Gabby B