How to Forgive Unforgivable
So Hard to Say Good-Bye
It seems to be one of those givens in life, when even a lousy fortune-teller can't ever go wrong by predicting that, sooner or later, someone we love will hurt our feelings. If that was not so, many of those musical hits talking about unanswered or betrayed love would have never made it to the top.
As it usually happens, time takes care of most of those hurts to heal, with just a memory left of something that is not to be repeated --- so love moves on.
However, there are those hurts which at very onset carry with them an oath --- "never to forgive". Does it really have to be the end of it? For, sometimes we just don't know the way out of that oath, while there is a secret wish to discover it.
Maybe in the name of all those good times with happy memories competing with that hurt in our judging heart. Those ones which somehow just don't fit into the coffin where we buried that love, with our oath of "never-to-forgive" providing all the nails.
Then, maybe there has all along been a nagging little doubt about a possible trace of our own contribution to that outcome. Or, how about a tiny doubt about our possible overreacting?
Well, a heart of a good person can never contain enough poison for which it wouldn't have an antidote; so, like a few songs have already said it before me: "Damn it, it's hard to say good-bye"--- that "damn it" being added by many of those listening to such song.
Let No One Claim Their Perfection
Now, let's get to that very core of your hurt by thinking of that person in question. Since I don't know the gender, I'll be using the pronoun "they" to make it simple.
As you think about them, try for a moment to strip them of their social image, their "front", and imagine them as just another imperfect human being, something like yourself, just in their own style of being imperfect. At this point it will help to be O.K. with the notion that our mistakes are not any more dignifying than those of other people --- just because they are "ours".
So, maybe we never betrayed anyone's faith in us; never let anyone down; never went tactless and inconsiderate towards anyone; never lied about ourselves to make a good impression. Well, if you happen to be one of those --- congratulations, your kind of mistakes are so well undefinable that I could not think of them in this list.
But, let me try your memory again with another question or two. And please, don't think where I am going with all this, because I am on your side, just bear with me. You don't even have to tell me, but tell yourself if anybody ever had to forgive you? Besides, are we humans sure that there will never come a time that we may hurt someone's feelings --- even unintentionally?
I can't guarantee anything like that, judging by my never written autobiography in which a little chapter could be reserved solely for my mistakes --- some of them costing other humans, even animals some hurts. And if you asked me, I consider myself to be quite loving, considerate, compassionate, and tolerant dude. People simply make mistakes in relating to others because they are not perfect --- just like ourselves.
Never Met a Saint --- Including in a Mirror
Thus, welcome to the human race, my unknown imperfect friend. While you may, or may not be slowly mobilizing a willingness to mellow down over that old oath taken "never-to-forgive", perhaps you at least started second-guessing the whole sense of it. I am not a psychic, but I have a feeling that you wouldn't stick to your dark oath merely out of stubbornness.
You know and I know how stubbornness is a cheap surrogate for integrity. After all, why would you be attracted to the title of this article if you just planned to play a stubborn, stiff lip game of righteousness. You know what I mean?
Every time we talk about other people's mistakes, we sound like we hold a degree in morality; not to mention those who are speaking from a pedestal of an ordained saint. Our expertise in these matters seems to be exceeded only by the intensity of our hurt.
But, while we are so readily mobilizing our excuses for all our past and future mistakes, why not try to find similar excuses --- mainly those based on imperfection --- for those other sinners? Again, what makes their mistakes bigger than ours? Thus, why not chill out a little over that person in question and that incident which made the two of you drift apart?
Some Lessons to Be Learned
If you are even remotely considering to break the silence, how would you go about it? Again, not knowing specifics, I can't be specific either; however, some guidelines may generally come handy. The most important part in this readiness to upgrade the renewed relationship is in having learned a valuable lesson of "how not to be".
First, proceeding with caution and a limited trust is not a part of that lesson. You just have to revise your values and put that matter of trust aside. Namely, we should basically stay clear of situations in which trust could be tested. Like gossiping, or saying things "just-between-us".
In romantic relationships we never have a "life warranty" on our partner, and neither should we treat them as possessions, which we "bought with our best intentions and trust". My wife and I have been happily married for 54 years (and "happily" is not said just symbolically); and not for a moment have I treated her as "something mine". She is her own person, and she is with me only because she wants to, not because she promised so in front of that city hall official, by saying that "yes, I do".
Indeed, we don't "possess" anybody, not a lover, spouse, friend, not even our kids --- although we may call them "ours" for all practical and sometimes legal purposes. It's a sign of insecurity to tie a person by a "solemn promise" to ourselves. They are more likely to stay loyal to us if we are not constantly seeking proofs of their loyalty.
Genuine Love Eradicates a Need to Forgive
Indeed, at any time, due to their being only fallible humans or a hasty misjudgment they may hurt our emotions, and it doesn't make them necessarily mean, evil, selfish, or whatever from that bunch of words. Thus, if you want your sweetheart or friend back, you might as well revise those "contract" matters, or what your relationship is obligating the two of you to display in the name of this or that ideal so unattainable by humans.
No matter how you choose to go about it, don't forget that you love that person, so you don't want to restart your relationship by first "clearing the guilt". Trust me on that one --- it's a big no-no. Your first words might as well follow a smile with a simple compliment: "Hi, you are looking great."
And if they start with anything along those lines of "clearing the guilt" --- interrupt gently, and change the subject. There is nothing on your part that will forge your future relationship like this "being a bigger man", by not disturbing the crap, and by showing that you are ready to move on in the name of whatever the two of you ever had going.
You don't want to go backward in relationship, by sweeping your footprints that led to where you are now --- but by looking forward into what new chemistry you are capable of creating. Keep loving that person knowing that love doesn't sit well on fundaments of excuses, forgiveness, let alone making the other person walk around us on eggshells "not to hurt us again". That wouldn't be love, but a sick revenge.
So, give a new definition to your love for that person and then just about anything will work for you --- once that love doesn't mean a strategy of interacting but a spontaneous and genuine willingness to make the most of it. Some people are hard to replace in life, and we should cherish those we have, while never forgetting one life truism: that imperfect beings just cannot create a perfect love.
Then it becomes so much easier to junk that word "forgiveness", let alone "unforgivable".