Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Forgiveness...

This week Mama Kat is back with her weekly writing assignment!

The prompts this week were:

1.) The last time I laughed really hard...

2.) Forgive and forget...I think.

3.) I remember when...

4.) Write about something that bothered you this week.

5.) Write a poem about a favorite color.

I thought long and hard about which one I would choose - I could actually do them all. Okay...maybe not the last one. But...I chose number 2! :)

Finding forgiveness is NOT an easy thing to do. When we have been wronged, our first, and I must say natural, instinct is to put a wall, remove that person from your life in whatever capacity they hurt you, and protect yourself. Easier said than done.

To find a place in your heart where true forgiveness has taken place is not an easy task! I have learned that when you CAN forgive someone...part of your heart tends to feel a little less heavy...a little more healthy....and a lot more relaxed!

Once my pregnancy lead me to bed rest, a lot of things for me just stopped. Friends didn't visit as much. Family didn't visit as much. Friends stopped emailing, calling and IMing. I was now the pregnant lady with extremely swollen feet, stuck in bed (or for me - it was the couch), watching tv all day. It became depressing really fast.

Then...my daughter arrived. It was amazing. SHE was amazing. But...I had even more friends take a step back from my life. I wasn't around in the capacity I was...even before she was born and I was stuck on bed rest. I now had a daughter, who had some medical issues for the first 3 months, that took A LOT of my time. I was no longer available via IM or email, barely by phone, and only in person if people made their way to my house.

I assume it felt neglectful to my friends. I mean, they stopped calling, they stopped emailing, they stopped IMing and they stopped coming over. They could have been in the same town I live in, but not take 10 minutes to come by and meet my daughter. It was VERY hurtful. Just as I think it must have been very hurtful to them that I was no longer around the way I was.

I had other friends that pulled away, making a billion assumptions that just WERE NOT true. They formed opinions and started collaborating with one another about what I was REALLY up to, instead of just taking the time to come and talk to ME about what they were feeling. I wasn't up to anything other than being a mommy. A daughter with special needs during her first few months of life took most of my time, most of my effort and I was EXTREMELY exhausted. I didn't have the time to give to people like I once had. My priorities changed. It didn't mean I didn't love them and didn't miss them and didn't need them. I just needed to take care of Emily.

The assumptions grew bigger, they collaborated more, making up lies and stories with one another about me behind my back. It was VERY hurtful at the time. They probably don't even realize the things I found out that were said...but I found them out. I then knew I had to cut them out of my life. I can't have friends that can't be just that...A FRIEND.

I was devestated to have lost some of my closest friends. It was downright depressing. It hurt me deeply and it was something I vowed to never forgive. Never to forget.

But what did that get me? Nothing but MORE anger, more frustration, more sadness, more depression, more negative thoughts, less sleep, and a crappy attitude.

So I took some time, and I forgave. I forgave them for how they hurt me. I forgave them for the things said behind my back. I forgave them for not being true friends. I realized they were human and although I was hurting, perhaps they were hurting too. I also forgave myself.

All the secrets and things we shared with one another were done for a reason. We were friends for a reason. I know inside what those reasons are. I doubt they do. But I do. I forgive what happened. Forgetting is another story...but I am working on it.

I am a VERY happy person now. It's amazing the new friends I have made, the closeness I have experienced with other friends, and just the overall amazing turn my life has taken.

I realized that each person comes into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

I will leave you with some words that I always hold dear to my heart:

A Reason, A Season Or A Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a reason, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a god-send, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, your desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered, and now it is time to move on.

When people come into your life for a season, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

Lifetime relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Regardless of whether the people in your life are here for a reason, a season or a lifetime, go show them that you love them!

7 comments:

jenn3 said...

This was a really great post. And I love how you ended it on a positive note. I've been through some things in the last three years that made some of my friends pull away. It hurt me to not have the support when I needed it, but I've learned that I can't dwell on that because it only hurts me, not them.

Diane said...

What a great post. I'm struggling with forgiving someone now... I'm not sure I can do it... and I know I don't want the person in my life regardless of whether or not am able to forgive, so it makes it easier to put off. But you've made me think about it in a different way. Thanks for that :)

jori-o said...

Greeat words to live by (even if they are hard to out into practice!) I've been hurt by friends before too...I feel like I am often giving way more than I am receiving, especially when I need a little TLC. It's hard. So I feel your pain! I'm impressed you have gotten past so much of the hurt.

Kimmy said...

What a great post Denise!! I am someone that has a hard time forgiving people. VERY hard time! I am working on it. I know it'll take me a long time though.

That is wonderful that you were able to forgive them! You are a much better person for that!! :o)

Los said...

Yep - I've dealt with this ... frome your friends' side ... I had a few close friends go through having a child, and initially, I pulled away, thinking they were too busy to do things ... which was a bad assumption on my part ... it took a while to get back to being friends, and it all could've been avoided with communication.

Minxy Mimi said...

Wonderful post! I know the feeling too. I am sorry you were hurt. I know that I would never stop being friends with you!!! You are too cool for school!

I am glad you are working on the forgetting part. Its best to try to let things go, Its hard though.

Mama Kat said...

It's so true. Having kids and moving forward with your life, when your friends aren't there yet totally divides. It shouldn't. But it does. I was stunned when many of my friends did not take the time to meet my babies. My FLESH and BLOOD. Now they are all getting married and pregnant and I wonder if they notice the huge difference between how they treated me at that time vs. how I treat them.