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Archive for the tag “forgiveness”

Walk By Faith, Not By Sight

I’ve been listening to a lot of Mary J. Blige, India.Arie, Emili Sande and a song by Chrisette Michele called I don’t know why, but I do.

After extending the invite for my ex-fiance to come and visit to help him clear his head and possibly start the defunkedified process (that he needs to complete solo), a few things crossed my mind.

1. What the hell did I do?

2. Am I really this strong? Or am I nuts?

3. Why does this feel like the right thing to do?

4. Why am I actually calm?

Then came the response email from him.

He said he didn’t know what to think and that of all of the people in the world to show that kind of love and care, it’s difficult for him to accept it from me. ESPECIALLY me. (He put that in all caps.)

He proceeded to shock me even further when he said that he is open to coming and will start looking into flights.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll still show up, but the fact that he says he’s open to it, leads me to believe that is progress. He said he’d been running from this for too long, and that he wanted to come and see me in April, but decided against it. He said he imagined over and over the various ways our reunion would go.

So, it appears he may just take me up on my offer.

I decided to keep my response short and sweet.

I told him that I was glad he was open to the visit and that I am not going to take back my invite at any point and that he was welcome. I told him to not second guess or talk himself out of it, but to simply come.

We’ll have good food, catch up and go and have a good time.

No expectations.

I told him I really didn’t know why I felt so strongly about this at this moment in time, but I do and that our encounter would be equally as risky for me as it is for him.

I told him to keep me posted on the flights and closed it out.

From a spiritual standpoint, I feel like this is a real test of my faith and all of the things I’ve been saying that I’ve been learning about myself and personal growth.

It is about taking a huge emotional leap, which is something I have not done.

Is this potentially dangerous?

Most certainly.

But my gut is saying that I am safe. I have enough in me to deal with him coming, seeing him face-to-face, showing him love and concern and support and then dealing with the aftermath.

I have no clue what is going to happen. But I know that if at any point, I have the right to and can simply say ok, this is enough, I’m not comfortable and we can cut it short.

You, my blog family know about this. I’ve decided not to really tell folks, because clearly, everyone in my life isn’t a fan of this guy. And I don’t blame them. If I wasn’t me, I would lovingly say, you need to leave this alone, or I don’t agree, but you have to do what you have to do.

The thing I keep thinking about is, what I’m doing isn’t even about forgiveness. I forgave him a very long time ago. Forgiveness isn’t even on my mind. He still needs to do the work to forgive himself and shake his feelings of unworthiness and self-loathing. I’ma need him to listen to Anthony Hamilton’s “Life Has a Way” on repeat.

Anyway, when I prayed for my own healing, when I’ve been seeking to better myself, a chance to prove what I’ve really learned and if I’m the woman I think I’m trying to be has presented itself.

Be that chick, chick.

It’s not easy. On one level, it seemed to be an impulsive act rooted in my wanting to help people I love, on another it was a direct challenge that said, if you are thinking on another level, if you are loving people on another level, then here is the person who has hurt you like no other.

Can you see his humanity? Yes. Have you distanced yourself and strengthened yourself enough to be there for him as a friend without taking on his burden for him and losing yourself?

Can you be an instrument of God, and show him that love is real and strong and forgiving and that forgiveness is a gift that we are all allowed to be shown? Totally.

I feel like this is beyond our history. This is deeper than me proving something to myself about my healing and growth.

I had a previous moment like this when dealing with a rival at work. The more hateful she became, I took myself out of the equation and decided this person has been hurt and hurt to such a point it’s destroyed her self-esteem and self-worth and has tried to stamp out whatever good may be in her. She sees something in me and it bothers her. It’s not about me.

Keep in mind, it took me a few years. This chick was trying to ruin my life, but when I started to see it from that point of view, it changed me and how I dealt with her. I still get irritated by her, but I have sympathy. I could not say that a few years ago. But making the conscious choice to see her humanity, I had to stop letting my hate for her build up inside of me. She has to be carrying around some painful stuff, to feel the need to treat others the way she does.

I’ve said before that my ex has a lot of pain and has programmed himself to feel like the only way to deal with it is to deal with it alone and for some reason feel like he deserves this non-stop pain and self-punishment.

It is not my responsibility to fix it. But if I have a chance to show God’s love, because His love is far greater than mine will ever be, and if my ex can see that God in me, then maybe things can change for him.

It does seem extreme that the person he hurt the most is rallying for him, but God’s love is extreme and huge and inexplicable. And that’s part of the reason that I feel so strongly about doing this and not knowing why. Maybe I’m not supposed to until God’s work in this situation is finished. And when it’s done, it’s done.

I’ve never been here before. And I don’t know anyone else who has been here before. That’s what makes this particularly daunting, and that’s what let’s me know this is the path I’ve got to walk.

I’m not afraid of him hurting me again.

I’m doing this for the right, albiet unknown reasons.

I’m going to walk by faith.

Confessions of A Mushball

Chaiwat/freedigitalphotos.net

My older gentleman friend has a term called a “mushball.” He informed me a long time ago that while he can be very nice, and kind, he by no means is a “mushball.”
Meaning he won’t be manipulated or taken advantage of, and is not afraid to speak up.

Well, I on the other hand, have been struggling with my mushballness over the years.

One area where it seems I can’t shake it is with the long time friend who have had numerous fallings out with. It’s well-documented on this blog how I’ve struggled with this relationship and after I sent her an email about life being too short and that while I recognize our relationship may not be as close as we once were, I still love her and want only the best for her.

She agreed.

Her birthday is this month, and somehow in all my mushyness, as a gift, she and I will be going rock climbing.

I kind of see a symbolism in choosing this adventure as my birthday gift to her.

Rock climbing takes patience, determination, concentration, and trust in the person below holding that rope. You see a goal at the top, it’s not going to be easy. You may slip, or fall, or have to start all over again, but you know it’s worth it when you get to the top and look down at where you started. There, you see what you’re really made of.

Some friendships are the same way.

I know. I go from one extreme to another. I was going off on how selfish she could be in other posts, but I did mention that for some reason of all the people in the world, I wouldn’t necessarily recant my negative statements about her, but I would eventually swing back to the other side of the pendulum.

I think we’ve missed each other because now she wants me to travel with her next year on the great journeys she plans to take. I’d actually like that. As much as we may get on each other’s nerves, we actually can travel together.

So I confess, I’m a mushball. For certain people in my life, my heart allows second, fourth and eighth chances.

I hope that this time around, we understand each other better, and she understands how to better navigate my sensibilities, whether she gets it or not.

Here we go again.

Breakups and Makeups: Not as Juvenile as I Thought

There was one thing in relationships I never did.

When I broke up with someone, that was it. Even if the person was really cool, we did not return to give it the old college try.

Maybe in those particular relationships, both parties somehow knew we weren’t going to last forever and took the experience for what it was. Besides, I’m only 30, how seriously was I supposed to take my relationships in my early 20s? Maybe no one had ever gotten under my skin enough to compel me to take another swing at it.

In every scenario we face in life, wise people know you can never say never.

I’ve seen people do the complicated dance of we’re together, we’re not together, we’re back together, now I remember why you suck, we are broken up again.

I have rarely seen yo-yo couples stand the test of time. I know there are some who are out there, I just can’t recall if I know them personally.

So early on, I was staunchly against the emotional Russian Roulette game of the breakups to makeups. Besides, of the relationships I’ve observed, these periods of separation were usually just as long as Kim Kardashian’s first marriage and even shorter. I couldn’t take these folks seriously.There was no growth, no time to change or contemplate. So naturally, you both were coming back to the same person and the same crap, hence the inevitable break up, yet again. I equated these yo-yoers with being like fickle teenagers, and not grown folks seeking a deep, meaningful relationship.

It was judgmental. I know that. These days, when a 16-year-old girl says she is in love, I don’t tell her she isn’t. She’s experiencing what she knows to be love at that moment in her life. She’s at the very beginning of a wild journey, but what she is learning and feeling is real. I have teenaged cousins on Facebook who go through this. They are madly in love and then a few days later they are declaring “Boys ain’t shit.”

I start laughing because I’m like, baby, you just starting. You may want to conserve that energy for your 20s. You are going to need it.

Love is going to change when she’s 20, and 24, and 29, and 42 and 99. It’s going to change and evolve into something different with Rick, then Jack, then Sean. Even if she marries Kevin, it’s going to keep evolving throughout their time together. It’s going to look and feel different over time with different people and even with the same people if you are lucky enough to stay together.

But as I get older, as I keep living, I keep finding out more and more that life gets increasingly more complicated. The things people do, their reasons for doing it– as much as you try to connect the dots, you have no clue what’s going on in their heads and they have no real clue of what’s going on in yours. Sometimes you find yourself having difficulty with keeping up with what’s going on in your own head and heart.

There are certain fears, certain experiences that shape us; things we may have never shared with anyone else, or things we’ve fought to suppress that cause us to react to things in unexpected ways. We surprise ourselves, we surprise our loved ones.

I guess I didn’t believe in the breakup to makeup couples of my teen years and early 20s, because when you are that age, there’s a certain selfishness attached to the reasons why folks want each other back.

They are lonely.

It hurts too much to see the person with anyone else.

Great sex.

Proving naysayers wrong.

Dating other wack people isn’t working.

The grass wasn’t that green.

The list goes on.

These days, I’m willing to give more credence to trying again under the right circumstances.

I’m most interested in grown people who have decided to start over with people they loved and had to let go. I’m interested in the people who took the time, years even to rebuild something. Where are the people who forgive, the people who accept the others for who they really are? Can they share the joy of learning from mistakes? What made them listen to something rumbling deep within that told them this is worth saving?

My nutjob ex boyfriend set some strange things in motion this week with his loquacious and highly dramatic pleas for forgiveness and friendship. While I didn’t agree with him that our story was epic and worth revisiting ever again, it made me think of another, more recent love story that actually was.

Is it harder when you’re older? I think so. Ego and pride are the toughest obstacles and their intensity grows with age. It’s dangerous and childish to appear reckless and impulsive. Admitting when you are wrong? Asking for forgiveness and giving it freely without strings attached? You are supposed to know better.

While ego and pride have steel traps for memories, love fortunately is a little bit senile and far more flexible.

In honor of teenage girls and love. I share one of my favorite teenage girl love songs.

Battle of the Exes in Three Acts

Boy meets girl, shit doesn’t work out.

Boy and girl part ways and live happy, meaningful lives.– Me 3/5/12

We gonna call this dude Mr. Kidney, in reference to yesterday’s post.

There was a reason why I ignored this dude for years after we broke up. There’s a reason I let his messages go to voice mail. There’s a reason his emails blocked.

Mr. Kidney has to win. He doesn’t listen, and when he does, it’s only to have just enough material to help him build his rebuttal. He’s making great use of his law school education.

Mr. Kidney, Esquire (ahem) tries to act as if he’s evolved, but doesn’t do fundamental things (listening, being humble and knowing when to shut the hell up) that will aid in the personal growth he swears he’s trying to attain.

ACT ONE

I tried to be nice. That’s when he sent me long-winded email number one.

I sent him a lovely email telling him not to dwell on the past and to move forward which is what I have done. I told him one person alone can’t heal a friendship and I am not a willing participant. Don’t feel bad about it. I congratulated him for whatever growth he’s had and I understand we were both young and made a lot of mistakes. Don’t want to be friends, don’t take it personal, I’m not bitter. I appreciate apologies, but it’s really all good.Go on to greatness. God bless.

That’s the gist.

ACT TWO

Like a good rat king, he’s not going to die when you set out the first traps.

Fool then sends me long-winded email number two.

He starts talking about “planting seeds of friendship” and looking into my heart and not looking at the man he used to be and how we had this deep, profound relationship that will span the ages and all sorts of flowery, crazy stuff. He said, he’ll try to contact me five years from now and continue to do so and that my rejections are a part of our epic story and blah, blah, blah. Then he said something about pursuing the healing of our friendship into “the winter of our age.”

Thank you Mr. Frost.

ACT THREE

At that point, I lost my shit, and decided to do what I said I was not going to do years ago. I went ahead and just called him out on all of his arrogant, pompous, self-inflated bullshit, take a quick trip back down memory lane, to the lying and cheating and disrespect to paint a clearer picture. So I went there. I actually felt great after doing so.

Enjoy parts of my rant:

You haven’t lost your flair for the dramatic. You still love the sound of your own voice, the flow of your own beautiful words. And boy are they beautiful. But what the hell are you really saying behind your grand, well-penned phrases? We can’t be friends because you will forever be arrogant. You will continue to posture and debate until you win. You make assumptions, you have to flaunt your grand deep insight. You will always be older than me, but my brotha, I’ve lived enough now to not be impressed or intimidated by a flurry of words you string together and deliver passionately. But do you honestly stand still? Do you really listen seriously? I was enraptured in your grand way with words. It was so grand and intoxicating then. It is so extra now. When it got down to the thick of it all, you were a manipulator. King of the mind fuck, king of turning shit around to win.  You are doing it now. I hurt you. You wanted to marry me, but you always accused me of cheating, going through my shit, moving chicks in your house, cheating on me, playing mind games, getting me all twisted up and confused. You weren’t ready to marry me as much as i wasn’t ready to marry you. You liked what I represented.  I’m done with this. Like only you can, you’ve roped me into your shit. I was trying to be classy. I was trying to call it a damn day. If you are so intent on this, I guess we have a date five years from now, where I’ll still tell you to go sit your dramatic ass down someplace. There is no story, there is no epic tale of you and me that spans the ages. Boy meets girl, shit doesn’t work out. Boy and girl part ways and live happy, meaningful lives. We are not these larger than life characters you’ve made us to be.

Then came long-winded email number three where after a long rant on forgiveness and coming clean about all of the dirt he did, and why he had to lie to me all of the time and how he has to long live with the ramifications of violating me and our relationship he says even if I respond to this email, he’s not going to respond back.

He’s a bitch. I knew after I went off on him, he wasn’t going to leave the scene of the crime, tail between his legs. He had to have the last word. This didn’t surprise me.

What kills me in all of this is, he’s seeking forgiveness which I gave to him years ago, and made reference to in my first really nice email where I applauded him for the courage and humility it took to reach out and apologize.

Once again, he didn’t listen. He just wanted to find holes in my points, so he could make grander points. He extended friendship and I politely declined and suggested we move on. And as I rejected his fool-hearted control tactic of a marriage proposal nearly a decade ago, he felt rejected again and lashed out.

What a surprise.

As I told another friend, “you can forgive someone, but sometimes you just can’t sit down, drink some International Foods Coffees and have a good, civilized chat with them.”

I don’t want to put myself at discomfort just so he can prove to me he’s a different man now. I’ll take his word for it without having to be his buddy.

What does this fool want me to do? Fry some chicken, take his head to my breasts, hum a negro spiritual and say, “My chile you forgiven?”

As Celie from the Color Purple told Mister. “What you done to me already been done to you.”

He also addressed karma and having to pay for his actions (what didn’t he address?).

He’s divorced now, but he made it very clear he was not trying to rekindle anything romantically, but wanted us to get reacquainted. He also said now that he was divorced, I could “lift” my “moral restriction” that kept me from talking to him because he had a wife.

Really? Really?

I ignored you because you were an asshole. Not because you were married.

I would have preferred that he ask me for a kidney.

 

 

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