Forgiveness is never easy, but then again, neither is luging around anger and resentment. Last night, I was at a fork in the road and decided that it would be easier to lighten my load.
Several years ago, I was very hurt by someone whom I considered a close friend. I was left confused, angry and I felt like I had been terribly mistreated. I'm an optimistic person and like to give people second chances, however sometimes a friend needs to be let go for self-preservation. The older I get, the better I am at discerning true friends from toxic people that are not worth the trouble and I cut off contact. I have a lot of truly amazing friends and am blessed, there is no reason to waste time on people that don't fit the bill.
This particular friend reached out a few years ago with a half-hearted text message apology. I blew him off and clung to the resentment.
A few days ago, he sent me a Facebook Friends request. At first, I was thinking that it was some kind of joke. Didn't he know that I was not his friend? I was irked. Incredibly irked. Dan has pin-pointed me as someone who can't just let things go. I always need to have the last word. He's right. If I don't feel like I've had a good resolution, I will perpetuate the dialogue. It's not about having to win, it's about having the issue put to bed. I wrote back to the friend in anger.
We had it out and then I felt like we had a real, sincere dialogue and I got the apology and understanding that I needed. I am still hurt, but I am no longer confused. I accepted the friend request, although I am not sure that we are exactly friends. It's tentative, a good faith gesture. It's a nod to the good times that we had and the friendship that existed prior to everything going south.
I've had this happen with a few friends via Facebook. Facebook provides a unique forum for allowing the wounds to heal. You can interact as much or as little, let the person in as much or as little as you want. It gives a sense of control over the situation and lets things slowly resolve or fade away.
I know that there are some people that I would never allow into my Facebook or real world, they're relationships not worth salvaging. However, I've found those that I have given a second chance to (after a sincere amends), have been worthy of that second chance. I also would hope those that I may have wronged, would grant me a second chance, if the situation warranted it.
I feel better to have made the decision to forgive, happier for it. I feel like I learned lessons from the situation, as forgive doesn't mean to forget, but to tread carefully in the future. This year is getting better with each day.