Thursday, April 12, 2012

On Forgiveness

 "Oh, Westley, will you ever forgive me?"

I've been doing a lot of reading lately, scouring blogs and websites for inspiration and ideas about living a more simple life with less clutter and distraction. During that time I've come to realize that not all of the clutter in my life is physical. Aside from the boxes and piles of stuff (and the extra five pounds that I totally classify as "clutter"), there's a whole lotta mental and emotional storage that needs to be sorted and either reordered or purged.

I have a good life, chock-full of people who love me and whom I love right back. There is inexplicable kindness and generosity coming my way almost daily. I feel overwhelmed sometimes, in a good way, by the goodness that people regularly show me, and I often wonder why so many top-notch, grade-A people love me. My husband works hard in a steady job with benefits. My children are healthy and bright. I have everything I need and some of what I want. I have a good life.

And it's time I made room in my brain to appreciate and enjoy it.

I've never fancied myself one to hold grudges. Not against people I love, anyway. I can hate someone I've never liked for a long time, but the people I love tend to get a lot of free passes. And that's not necessarily bad. We should forgive the people we love.

Except that I kind of don't. I may not hold grudges, but I do hold resentment (there's a difference), and I'm often crippled by a sense of unfairness. Waaaaaa, right? Life's not fair, bitch.*

The thing is, with so many positive forces in my life, I'm depleting the light with a gloomy, grumpy, overcast attitude. I've realized how much negative emotion I've held onto my whole life and it's exhausting. So the next step is to let it go.

I'm taking a little time each day to work on forgiveness. I'm examining my old hurt feelings, starting with the least significant, and giving them their due meditation. I'm choosing, one at a time, to let the old resentments go and to celebrate the good stuff. And I'm working on becoming a person who is equally deserving of the forgiveness that I'm sure I need from plenty of people who, like me, have just let it stew under the lid.

I'm not saying it will be easy, and there are some nasty feelings I have toward some people that part of me doesn't even want to let go of. They're comfortable, familiar, steady. I know how they feel in my mind and the idea of letting go of them feels foreign and impossible. So I'm starting with the easy stuff. If you've ever borrowed a sweater from me and not given it back, consider yourself off the hook very soon.

I believe that part of building this life I want with my family means uncluttering all the corners and closets. So I'm going to try, because life is short and happiness is worth it.

*I forgive you for the name calling.


  1. A truly worthy goal and one I think most people could benefit from. Anger and resentment are incredibly damaging, and mostly to ourselves, but man it is so attractive in the moment to snipe or eye roll or put someone in their place (even if it's only inside your own head). But it never feels good for long. It's a real talent to be able to truly let go and let live, but I truly believe owning it is more than half the battle. I highly recommend reading Brene Brown's book, The Gifts of Imperfection.

  2. Also my verification phrase was analtub dlleat.

  3. Who doesn't love a good analtub?